Gary From Nerdrotic was only seven minutes late to the interview!
Blabbering Collector: When did you decide to start collecting, and why?
Gary: Oh boy! I started collecting even before I intended to! I was five or six; my mom bought me a comic book at a 7/11. She bought me Marvel Team-Up 42 because it had Spider-Man and Vision. Spider-Man was this guy that I saw on The Electric Company, so I thought he was cool. I liked his costume, but I didn’t know much about him. After I got that comic book, it was off to the races! I think that year my parents got me my first Mego Spider-man and Falcon, and it was just… off to the races!
BC: Do you have a budget for collecting?
G: I do! It’s changed a bit. When I was at my comic book store, I would collect with the intention of flipping it. The budget was a couple of hundred bucks a week, but it was filling this studio. Once this studio is filled, it stops. There are two different types of collecting: toys and comics. I will always kinda collect comics until I die. But it has to be within a certain time frame. I don’t buy new comics anymore. I buy them from the Bronze Age. I have all the Silver Age.
BC: Do you find yourself going over the budget? Because I do… all the time.
G: Yeah! Cuz I’m married, and I have another pair of eyes looking at that budget who keeps me accountable. My wife said, “Can you not buy anything in the month of December?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I can do that.” And I’ve done that before – I’ve gone whole months without buying anything. It’s gotten so ridiculous that… it has gotten really tapered down from what it was three years ago. I’ll just say that. It was ridiculous! After I sold the comic store, I stopped for, like, four or five years. I have a lot of stuff. A lot of what is behind me is from the comic shop. It’s leftover stuff! I could open up a comic store tomorrow with the stuff that I have.
BC: How do you limit yourself on collecting?
G: What I do is, I will look at the item, and I will put it in my [virtual] basket on eBay or Amazon and think about it for, like, a month, and usually nine out of ten times, I won’t buy it. It goes on my watch list and everything, and occasionally, I will find something that I need right now and will get it right away. But YouTube has been good and bad with my collecting. The less I hang out with Az and talk about Hot Toys, the better.
BC: Do you get notifications from eBay about what gets listed daily? I get twenty to forty emails per day every morning on select searches.
G: Yeah, on certain things! You’re a Harry Potter fan, and the one thing I’ve greatly resisted is some Harry Potter. I used to be a completionist. I have a full run of every Spider-Man comic up until a certain point, up until a certain end. And I did that with the comic book store, with Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man; I can go on and on! I kept some of it, sold a lot of it… like, I kept Fantastic Four and Daredevil and Iron Man and Cap… I used to have every run of X-Men, but a lot of it sold. But now, I’m just going to get the stuff that I think is really cool. So, with Harry Potter, for example, I have two 1/6th scales of Snape.
BC: By Tonner?
G: No. I do have some Doctors from Doctor Who, but they are a little…
G: *Laughing* More like a little “I got news for ya…” Let’s just call it what it is. I have a Tonner Superman, and that’s the most “I got news for ya” to ever be made! But I have it, and it’s an action figure.
BC: Will you ever make a video about your collection?
G: Yes! When the office is done, which should be at the end of the month! I know people are dying to see it. It’s taken me seven or eight months.
BC: If you had an unlimited amount of money and space, what else would you collect?
G: I would go nuts! I would build a full OG Enterprise bridge set. I would build a TARDIS set. I would go nuts! I don’t think it would be collecting; I would make my own stuff, like my own Prancing Pony, Green Dragon… I would make rooms by theme! That’s what I would do.
BC: If you asked your wife to make you a sandwich, what would she make you?
— BlabberingCollector (@BlabberingC) November 17, 2022
BC: When did you first pick up a comic book? What was it?
BC: If you could bring any character with you on an adventure, who would you bring?
G: Ooo, I have to think about that! On an adventure? I have so many favorite characters! Ford Prefect from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, one of my favorite characters in fiction! Just because he’s such a freaking… I like his attitude towards life, and he would be fun at parties.
BC: When did you first read The Lord of the Rings?
G: I read it all the way through when I was about sixteen. I read The Hobbit before that. My first experience with The Hobbit was, I think, on ABC when they showed the cartoon. Later, when LOTR came out on video, I wasn’t reading books all the way through until I was about twelve or thirteen… way later! I just couldn’t do it, but then I got better at it.
BC: What made you fall in love with The Lord of the Rings?
G: The world-building, the language, and most importantly, the characters! I fell in love with all of it. I’m a character-driven person, so if you have good characters, I can look past some plot holes as long as I’m following a character I like. It’s not “identifying.” I gotta like the character; I don’t have to identify with it! I’m never gonna be a wizard. Okay? I absolutely love Sam, and I adore Gandalf. And this goes back to childhood, but I always had this great sympathy for Gollum.
G: Yeah! It’s such a tragic, tragic life. And then, later on, I don’t think Tolkien ever intended this, but he is addiction personified. It shows what addiction can do to a person or a thing. It’s a truly sad tale!
BC: When did you start to read Harry Potter? What made you fall in love with it?
G: I started to read it around 2001 when the first film came out, and the kids were old enough to see it. We watched the first movie and then started to read the books. I was reading them to a young “bambino” at the time, and I was into it more than they were. It was the early 2000s, for sure.
The third book made me really fall in love with it. I really got into it; I dug the world-building! I think what J.K. Rowling did was perfect. Intentional or not, you can tell the series matures as time goes on. It appeals to everyone! I was into wizards automatically! It was when I got into Prisoner of Azkaban that I was like, “Wow! Oh yeah!” I was hooked. This isn’t like, “Oh, it’s pretty good.” I loved it, to the point where I was there in the parking lot with maybe even a thousand people in line for Deathly Hallows when the book was released at midnight. I don’t know how old you were then. And this was just a random parking lot in California.
BC: 2007? I was eleven.
G: Did your parents allow you to go to the midnight release?
BC: Of the books? No, but I tried to go to a midnight showing of Deathly Hallows Part 2, but tickets were already sold out when I went to buy them in advance. So I went to a 1:00 AM 3D showing with my friends, and I hate 3D! I still have the Harry Potter-shaped 3D glasses, though. I came out of there in shock. I lied on a couch for three days going, “What do I do with my life now?”
G: An entire generation grew up with it! It was crazy being in that parking lot; that’s when it fully hit me. Because there are hundreds more of these, just in San Diego, but then the rest of the state and country! And I’m like, “Oh, this is their Star Wars.” And it’ll eventually be even bigger. It’s captured multiple generations now, and it’s book-driven first. The movies were good enough, let’s say that. I actually watched a couple last night! The books are so great, and then they leave out some of the best parts. I’m like, “You idiots!” I don’t even watch Half-Blood Prince anymore.
BC: Yeah, they are great films as a whole if you take them away from the books. Like, for me, the third film and on are really hard to see; they are just so dark! I can’t see anything, especially in Half-Blood Prince.
G: Yeah, it’s very much a Game of Thrones thing. Warner Bros. is dumb. They even need to redo the 4K editions. They need to release the TV cuts of them on disc.
BC: You can get the first two films with the extended deleted scenes, but the rest of the films don’t have them! I really would love it! The Phelps twins said they filmed about four hours worth of footage for the first film! And that’s just the first film!
G: Yeah, they filmed a lot more for the later films!
BC: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what are three things you would want with you?
G: Oh my God! We need power. I rely so much on power. I would die! I would need my bass; I play it all the time, but no one ever sees me play. When I try to think of video stuff, I play it. I would have to have at least my phone! I would need a satellite or a solar-operated phone. I’m not one of those people who are like, “I wanna unplug from my phone.” Maybe someday, but not now! I’ve got so much shit; I can’t narrow it down to three things. As long as my wife and kids are there, I’m good.
BC: Maybe a fridge full of food or something. Bacon!
G: Yeah! Pizza oven, and some pineapple trees. As long as my family is there, I’m good.
BC: That’s sweet. How did you hear about Geeks + Gamers?
BC: Do you have any YouTube or collecting goals for the rest of 2022?
G: Uhhhhh… well, the collecting goal is to stop for the rest of 2022. *Chuckles* That’s it! God, I do have my eye on one thing, though. There is a life-size Dalek that is fully functional – well, not that functional.
BC: It’s not gonna kill anyone, will it?
G: It’s not going to kill anyone, but it threatens to kill you! Other than that, I’m good. I have surpassed any goal I set out for this year. And I try not to create goals. Like, it’s good to do that, but I do it purely by gut, day by day. I’m not like, “I want to achieve a million subscribers!” No, no, no. I just wanna survive. *Chuckles* I find something I care about; it does well; we move on from there. We do very achievable goals.
I will say, now that this is about to happen. We did, one time this year, set out to make a video that reached a million views. Pierry, Garrett, and I sat down and said, “Okay, the goal is to reach a million views.” It’s evergreen. It was “Top Five Murdered Franchises.”
BC: Oh, I love that video! That was a good one!
G: Thank you! Pierry worked very hard on that one. We are very close to achieving our goal of one million views, and I think we will do it before the year ends. And the fact that we are on the cusp of over 600,000 subscribers, thank you very much, is way beyond anything that I thought would have happened this year.
*Update: Goal achieved on 11/22/22*
Thank YOU🙏 pic.twitter.com/1A8TwF5QuA
— Nerdrotic (@Nerdrotics) November 22, 2022
BC: That’s so cool! What about 2023?
G: Yeah! Besides not getting canceled, that’s my goal every day. But the goal is just to keep the train going. We do have a Paranormal show that we are trying to work on and get off the ground. We are doing that on the side. That might have its own place at one point; it might not all be on YouTube. YouTube might not even be the focus; it might be the first time that I focus outside of YouTube. Otherwise, what I’m doing here is day by day! My goals are, like, a week out! For example, this week, my goal is to get a video out, and we will go from there. My goals are to survive, be happy. What I would like to happen is for Hollywood to completely be turned around and not woke anymore, and the balance be returned to pop culture, and we can just review stuff normally! That would be nice. That would be really nice.
BC: What made you want to start Friday Night Tights?
BC: Do you prefer livestreams or shorter, more focused videos, and why?
G: Hmmm. I guess I prefer livestreams. I don’t do a ton of prep and it’s just a stream of consciousness, and I can talk for a long time. It reminds me of being behind the counter at a comic book store and interacting with people. I love the ten-minute videos; I will never stop doing them. Thank God I have Pierry and Garrett to help with the editing, or else I wouldn’t get anything done with the channel. But if I had to pick one, livestreams.
BC: Do you have anything you would like to say to your audience?
BC: Hogwarts House?
BC: Lightsaber color?
BC: Favorite destination?
G: I’m very bad at quick answers… uhh… the UK!
BC: Hot or cold?
BC: Sand or snow?
BC: Chicken or fish?
BC: The sun or the sky?
G: The sky.
BC: Have you ever read Percy Jackson?
BC: Best Robin Hood film?
G: Errol Flynn.
BC: Favorite film?
G: Raiders of the Lost Ark
BC: Running a mile or doing a 5-minute plank?
G: Running the mile.
BC: Grocery shopping or cleaning?
G: Grocery shopping.
Xray Girl: Superman vs. Hulk vs. Homelander – who would win?
BC: Pierry Chan wants to know who Spider-Man is.
G: Peter Parker.
Twitter: What does it feel like to have a massive line of people trying to talk to [you] for four hours during the meet-up?
Gary: Humbling, extremely humbling. Overwhelming… I’m so grateful, and it’s surreal. I can’t believe people listen to a freaking moron like me. So, it just shows how bad the world is. Honestly, meeting everybody is why I love meet-ups. It fires all of us up! It makes it real. It is surreal, absolutely surreal. We check with each other, like, “Can you believe this shit is happening? Like, what the hell!?” It’s like, “What?” I equate YouTube to winning the lottery that you worked your ass off for.
T: If you had to binge-watch only five shows for the rest of your life, what would they be?
G: Oh, that is easy! Twilight Zone, the original Star Trek, The X-Files, Farscape, and Doctor Who, which would be my number one, up until a certain point.
T: How long does it take to grow your beard?
G: Ohh, that’s a good question! This long? That’s about a year.
T: Which Batman comics would you recommend for someone who likes Year One and The Long Halloween?
G: I would start at issue 300, where it is affordable, and just start reading! Batman has one of the best runs of all time and has such a long run, too. Instead of just grabbing an issue here and there, go to your local comic shop or even eBay, and just start at issue 300, and just read your way up! You will be entertained for years! For years, it’s so good.
T: Was Chaos Comics as cool as I remember, or was I just a weird teenager?
G: You were a weird teenager.
T: Favorite piece of merch?
G: Ummm… Wow. Hmm… My Christopher Reeve Superman Hot Toy. It’s my favorite thing. It looks exactly like him; that’s what Superman looks like! It’s awesome.
T: Name a comic you hated selling.
G: That one is easy; Spider-Man: One More Day.
T: Will you start a gaming channel?
T: Do you think the comic industry can be saved, and if so, how? What are your best guesses for when and how comic characters start being made into good movies again, and by who?
G: Yes! Because you have people out there like Eric July, and he’s not just making his own comic book; he’s [being] his own Publisher. And he’s trying to do it differently. If it’s going to be saved, I think it’s going to be saved that way. I think it also needs to go past Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, relying on other companies to [do] your stuff. You need to go fully independent like Eric has. It’s the next step in evolution. A lot of people have laid the groundwork; they walked so he could run, and now he is running, and we need a lot more people to run with it. It has to have consistency and quality. Without those, it doesn’t survive.
T: You obviously have an interest in UFOs and unexplained phenomena. If aliens exist, what do you think they look like and do you think they are friend or foe?
T: Favorite Tolkien book?
G: OH! *Five years later* Fellowship of the Ring.
T: If you could go back and give your younger self (think just entering high school) advice, what would it be?
G: You’ll survive. *Giggles*
BC: That’s it?
G: Yeah! Because younger me wouldn’t listen to older me at all, so, “You’ll survive. There’s going to be a rough patch, buddy.” *More giggling.*
T: What do you think of pineapple on pizza?
G: I love it. I love it! I’ll have some today. And I’m so happy that Round Table Pizza is now in my area.
T: Do you think Jay can get you on FNT?
G: I don’t hold out any high hopes for that, but maybe Gina can. Ask Gina!
This was incredibly fun! Thank you for your time, Gary!