Growing up in the mid-90s, Chris Atomz was your typical Image Comics collecting, Wizard-reading, action figure enthusiast, sci-fi/horror/fantasy devourer, AOL message board “who would win in a fight between Lady Chaos and Elektra? Who cares, I’d just like to watch!” typing, paranormal explorer, wannabe comic book writer, Star Wars Insider subscriber and proud owner of the Star Wars Encyclopedia that he read religiously, serial Simpsons rerun watching nerd. But then, as sometimes happens to love, Chris slowly drifted away from his nerdiness into other interests.
Fast forward to his 30s, and Chris Atomz wakes up one day and realizes that he is missing something in his life: nerding. Tired of denying his roots and fate as one of the nerds of the world, he reaches out to his former co-worker and good friend Matt Rox, a lifelong practitioner of nerding, and asks for his help.
“Will you be my nerd sensei?” Atomz asked. Rox, sitting in his full lotus pose, eyes closed, meditating upon which Spider-Man Clone Wars saga was worse, opened his eyes, and looked down at Atomz.
“Only if you understand that it will cost you your life. In a metaphoric sense. Not a literal one. What I mean is that it’ll be fun. I just want to make sure you understand that. I will give you assignments that will bring you back into the fold; you must take them and become a nerd once more. This is ReNerding.”
ReNerding is a site about rediscovering one’s joy in something. We are believers that life is too short to not spend your time with what brings you joy, so that’s what we do. Through our podcast, essays, and various other projects, we are all about nerding over and over again the things that we love. For us, this is nerd/geek/pop culture; it’s also figuring out how this nerd/geek/pop culture helps shape our experiences.
We hope that you find something to enjoy while you’re here!
Matt Rox hatched in the year 1974 on a chocolatey Halloween night; which has led to some spectacular birthday parties and repetitious jokes that get funnier… every…year… (insert eye-roll here)
From the moment Ma and Pa Rox sat their bearded first-born down in front of cartoons on a TV screen, an intense love of entertainment permeated young Matt’s bones. Soon, comics entered his playtime. And movies on cable. And an Atari 2600. The anime-import book of the 1980’s. Comic book conventions. Nerdcore! YouTube!! PODCASTS!!! The world of geeky, nerdy entertainment had become a friend that travels with Matt even to this day as he creates his own webcomics. (You can check out his series Mattuna, but wait until after you read the bio, eager beaver!)
Currently residing in the DFW area, Matt has also called Austin and Los Angeles home. The only time he’s been outside of the country was a 10 day trip to London for the senior year theater trip back in the early 90’s. Someday Matt hopes to move the Pacific Northwest, as cool temperatures and rain are his spirit animals. (Also bears, but that seems a bit arbitrary to base a choice of habitat on.)
Matt met Chris Atomz at an Unnamed Local Used Bookstore (ULUB) they both worked at in the early 21st century. The two became friends quite easily as both were/are silly, fun-loving creative-types. They enjoyed making each other laugh; and Matt loved sharing his experience in nerddom with Chris.
While Chris left the ULUB to pursue other vocations, Matt continues to toil as a bookslave five days a week. The two friends never lost touch with each other for long; and when Chris presents the idea of ReNerding to him, Matt was immediately onboard.
The time: November of 1985.
The location: Earth. North America. United States. Texas. Dallas.
At this time, in this place, Chris Atomz was born, another cosmic fluke in the vast ocean of nothingness that is our universe. A few years after his birth, Atomz discovered that humans fought against the existential ennui of existence by consuming and creating stories. He embraced comics, sci-fi, horror, fantasy; he was obsessed with the ability to be raptured by stories and creating the rapture himself.
As time went on, his interests deviated from the ‘nerd/geek’ interests of his youth, but what didn’t stop was his passion for stories.
Fast forward to his early 30s: Atomz realizes how much he misses the nerd/geek stories of his youth, so he reaches out to his good friend/fellow cosmic fluke Matt Rox, and asks him to be his nerd sensei, to help him ReNerd. The two friends (who met at Unnamed Local Used Bookstore [ULUB]) began this process of ReNerding, and decided to make a podcast out of it.
Atomz continues his existence in Dallas, Texas, where he was lucky enough to find a woman who agreed to marry him and give birth to a couple of boys. He is convinced that nerd/geek/pop culture is the repository of story for our place and time, and therein, we find the wisdom to live lives of depth, meaning, and beauty. He writes about this, too.