When Odin saw that the Final Battle of the Geeks approached, he scoured the fields and fjords for the greatest nerds he could find. Each had knowledge of subjects arcane and abstruse; each knew the pleasures and the torments that a fiery passion inflicts. Perceiving these qualities in them, the Father of All armed the dungeon crawlers with sound-scroll and word-spear, and charged them with a quest: to map the dangerous terrain of fanboy and hobbyist, reconnoiter the mainstream along with the fringe, and follow their passions to the ends of the earth. These brave web warriors have embraced their holy mission, taking a solemn vow to report on all things that appeal to their nerdy niche, for they know that Rag-NERD-rok draws nigh.
Alex Costello – Editor of Stories and Slayer of Templars
Alex was the last child born on the Island before “The Incident.” He spent his formative years editing polar bear test results and developing a love for all things nerdy — mainly comic books and various forms of science fiction, both written and filmed. Alex spent his later years at SUNY Purchase College developing his abilities as a journalist. He graduated from the institution with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and landed a job at a newspaper — an ancient form of disseminating information using words printed on a physical medium called paper.
Still employed as a reporter, Alex’s love of writing led him to become the editor of Rag-NERD-rok, mainly to make sure the words that his friends write for the site are not complete and utter crap. He also writes creative fiction, although in much smaller quantities than his journalist work. He toils long into the night, ink staining his fingers, his oil lamp burning brightly above his head. He spends a great deal of time thinking about how awesome it would be to have telekinetic powers.
Alex still holds out hope that he will one day escape from the Island.
Edward Cress – Playwright and Emergency Medical Hologram
The original Ed Cress received a bachelors degree in drama studies from the Starfleet Academy (Purchase, New York Branch) before hewas killed in a transporter accident involving a Heisenberg Compensator malfunction. His molecules are now spread across the universe. Fortunately, he foresaw this inevitability and backed himself up in a poorly made android replica that now resides in New York. The android replica bears the form of a lanky, nervous, 25-year-old with a flair for the dramatic.
Thankfully, all of the useless nerd trivia, as well as what Ed learned during his time at Purchase, has been uploaded into the replica’s primitive posatronic brain. Before joining the ranks of the apocalyptic warriors of nerdom, the Ed-droid spent some time teaching theatre to high school students in Bushwick. There, he helped his creator’s sister, a teacher, put on successful stage shows like Mac the Beth and Urinetown.
Rag-Nerd-Rok plans to use this acting automaton to bring a unique and theatrical brand of nerd to the battle at the end of the earth.
Ryan Mannix – Recorder of Podcasts and Master of Interwebs
In 2006, Ryan escaped from Johns Hopkins University with a dual degree in Writing and Film Studies, much as Luke and Han escaped from the Death Star with Princess Leia during the first Star Wars film: through trickery, violence, and no small amount of dumb luck. Since then, he has gotten a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education, a valuable experience that taught him how to use a semicolon with unwavering confidence (see above). He has worked intermittently as a substitute teacher, tutor, web content writer and salesperson. At the age of 27, he is still early in the process of trying to figure out the rest of his life, waiting for the epiphany that will grant him some insight into the purpose of his existence.
Until that great revelation comes, he’s been keeping himself busy by reading, watching old movies and TV shows on Netflix, playing video games, surfing the ‘net, and running various tabletop RPGs for his fellow podcasters. Ryan became involved in the Rag-NERD-rok podcast as a way of exploring and reflecting upon these hobbies — to learn about the culture that surrounds them and immerse himself further in it. Like many of his generation, he is genuinely thrilled to have any opportunity to share his opinions and insights with anyone on the Internet who’ll listen.
Billy Meyer – Maverick Artisan and Ninja Warrior
Meyer was created by his Cylon parents in 1986. He grew up living at his family’s moisture farm in New York. Because of the torment he endured from his three banshee sisters, Meyer often used his imagination and drawing ability as a means of escape. When he came of age, he decided that he was going to try to make a living from his drawing talents by becoming a “graphic designer.” But in order to do this he must first complete THE QUEST FOR A COLLEGE DIPLOMA. It is a quest he continues to this very day.