Geek of the Month

Name: Jes Schroeder, aka Caffeinated-Zombie or CaffeinatedDead on the inter webs. “Hey You,” if you want to get my attention.

Nationality: Mostly Whovian, with a Slight Smattering of Dumas and Flogging Molly. (English, French and Irish. A little Sweede too.)

DOB: 6/16/88

Height: 5 foot Nothing. Not quite a halfling, not quite normal height.

Weight: One eighty.

Marital status: Live-in with my Boyfriend.

How did you meet your partner? We both met in college together, specifically, an animation course. He mostly flirted by helping me with my coding homework.

Hometown? Princeton IL. It’s about an hour and a half north. I made a big trek, heh.

How did you end up in Peoria? I came here because once upon a time, it seemed like the perfect idea: College here, I had a Band here, and a relationship here. By the time college actually started, I just had that going for me. I just kind of decided to stick around - I’m glad I did.

What would you like to see that's more "geek positive?" To be honest, I feel like we're missing a good gaming area somewhere between Bradley's Campus and ICC (geographically speaking.) something like your old brick-and-mortar Comic and general gaming center. This is an area that has a lot of physical traffic in it - but not a lot of stores I'd consider catered to tech savvy and otherwise geeky folks.


What makes you a geek? Well. I think that really goes without saying. Geek implies more obsessiveness with things outside of academia. I learned to read, reading comics. I’ve played D&D since I was a kid. I don’t think there was I way I could grow up and not be a geek.

How long have you been making comics? I doodled a bunch of comics when I was in high school, but I recently kicked up the habit again last year. I finally got tired of continually telling myself why I shouldn’t, and dove into it headfirst, going so far as to doodle character sketches during slow days at my seasonal job. The first comic should drop sometime this month.

How did you get started? I have been reading comics since I was little. X-Men, Infinity Wars, a lot of both Marvel and DC comics that my dad had from his job at the comic book shop. Post-college I was searching for a project to keep myself occupied and my art fresh, and this seemed like a natural evolution.

Stacked Hand (my webcomic) involves the story of one disgruntled freelance mage coming home after a (fairly) long absence. He started off as a character I played in an MMO almost four years ago, but he was put on a shelf when I thought people wouldn’t want to see him.

I was wrong: I kept getting questions continually about his backstory, his mannerisms, everything. When my first comic project was still on shaky ground, he poked me in the back, as if I’d been avoiding the story all along. Writing started after we moved in June this year. I keep a notebook nearby every time character development hits me.  

Who shot first?   George Lucas. *rimshot*

Favorite bearded person?  I’m more of a tightly trimmed beard/chinstrap type of person. And, deferentially, that has to go to my boyfriend.

Favorite movie(s)? I’ve been more into several TV shows lately, but I always seem to hit up the Comic Book and Sci Fi Movies as of late. Most recently, Thor: Loki’s Big Day Out and Kaiju Big Battle.

(Thor: The Dark World and Pacific Rim)

Favorite book(s)?  Right now I’m working my way through Gaiman’s collection of books. It’s been awhile since an author got me to hungrily devour their writing within such a small time frame. Last was Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, but I’m sad to say I haven’t read any of the books that came out Post Mortem, so I don’t know how the series ends. Oh, yes. Right now it’s American Gods and Good Omens. The latter with Terry Prachett, of course.

And because I’m getting back into comics again, I’ll mention some of the ones I’m reading right now that are definitely worth a look: Skin Deep, by Kory Bing, Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell and Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Favorite band?  Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Emile Autumn, Voltaire and Abney Park. Though I cobbled together a song list that I tend to listen to while I’m working on comics. (I will probably post it in the near future.)

Guilty pleasure?  C’mon man. Guilt means I’m ashamed of being into it.

….I started getting into makeup. I’m not normally a person who likes to “dress up” but I love looking through makeup guides and seeing how much a person’s face can change (both in costuming and in life in general) with the right application of color.

Favorite place in Peoria?  I gotta say it’s a toss-up between 30-30 coffee and Happy Fish Sushi. Happy Fish Sushi - love their food and the place holds a lot of great memories for me. 30-30 Coffee, on the other hand, has this aesthetic that I’ve fallen in love with, head-over-heels, and it’s the best to just absorb and take in while I’m working nestled in a corner there.

Do you have any pets?  Just the one, and oh, he’s enough. A 3-month Pembroke Welsh Corgi pup named Puck. He’s my first dog, and the learning curve has been…interesting.

Hobbies?  In my spare time (har har har) when I’m feeling healthy I like to shoot traditional Archery (SCA, old longbow, the whole “rustic” bit), Video Games, Yoga, and I’ve recently gotten into brewing. Mainly Meads.

What events do you want to promote about your comic?  It’s dropping next month! “A disgruntled freelance mage comes home to a city fit to boil over with upheaval. But in the City that Never Sleeps, his return won’t go unnoticed for long. Will the reluctant magi step up to the challenge and save the Big Easy?”

The website still needs a few finishing tweaks, but you can sign up to watch me struggle with new webcomic applications.

Where do you think technology has the most potential for helping others in the future?  Your question for yourself and future geeks to answer?  Oh wow, this is a big one. I feel like at times we’re not using the wealth of information at our fingertips properly. I mean, yes, it’s gratifying to be able to pop up a random entertainment question about some vague actor that you’re certain you’ve seen before but can’t quite remember his name and silence that nagging in the back of your head. But the internet itself is so much more. Want to learn a programming language (or just learn how to code a website?) There’s CodeAcademy, for starters. Learn how to digitally paint? There’s so much for that, but CtrlPaint is a big one, I think, too. You don’t have to be in school to still be learning some of these skills - and that’s just the start of it.

And that’s just the beginning. I believe in the new technology setting up shop here. The 3D printers that are starting into skin grafts and constructing artificial organs will greatly speed up the problems with donor lists. Occulus Rift for three-dimensional, immersive gaming - and the ability to work with visual learners in the classroom. There’s a program that I just saw on IndieGoGo today that uses your webcam to do facial mapping for a 3-D character.

I think I seriously sidetracked there. I think there’s a lot of potential for educational purposes, and generally in ways to further ourselves in health and sciences. And as always, making games more interesting. (But that’s a side-rant for a completely separate time.)

To go off of this I suppose the question I’d ask is what are you going to do with the technology that’s coming? Specifically myself, I’m looking into doing special works with Augmented Reality in the future. More of an “if I get it done, it’ll be a nice surprise” than anything else.

Who would win in a fight? Superman vs. Batman, but Batman is in a Superman costume and Superman is in a Batman costume because it’s a Halloween party?   I think the Batman-in-a-Superman costume would still win because he is one extremely paranoid person and would have some sort of backup plan that would start right after Superman-in-a-Batman costume killed him by, say, throwing him into the sun. I used to have an animated clip of what would happen but I can’t seem to find the bloody thing.