some basic info about submitting your PGS,
go to Submit)
you accept third-party submissions? Because I have this friend who
is such a geek and there's noooo way they would ever submit a story
a rule I do not take third-party submissions. I don't want to risk
hurting the feelings of the subject, and, worse-case scenario, lawsuits.
Nope, the humiliation of a PGS should be yours and yours alone. I
do make a partial exception with stories that involve the submitter
and a friend, because it implicates the submitter.If you know someone
who you think has a great PGS and won't burst into tears at the thought
of having it made public, encourage them to write me.
you explain the standards you use in judging a suitable PGS?
is hard to explain. I guess in choosing stories for the strip, I like
variety. Some are truly horrifying. Others are more quietly disturbing.
Some are tragicomic or just silly, even cute.Early on, fumbling to
summarize the strip's theme, I said "basically anything embarrassing."
But that is an oversimplification. Public farting is embarrassing.
Making a drunken ass of yourself is embarrassing. Is it geeky? It
sure can be. But it's not as resonant or blood-curdling, as, say,
audio-taping a request for a date to your crush, than giving your
crush the tape, and subsequently being turned down, publicly. I guess
I tend to prefer the stories in which a chronic, pathological pattern
of awkwardness and alienation can be detected. The pain and the humor
compete in equal measure. I am more sympathetic to the serial geek
than to the occasional offender. Sinking the ball in the opposing
team's basket, yeah, that's pretty mortifying.
Being bullied in your own bedroom, or
living inside your head to the point where you worry that you've been
branded by visiting aliens, BOY is that mortifying.
submitted a PGS months ago and never heard back from you. Why not?
Should I submit my story half-a-dozen more times?
don't. I limit my personal replies to people whose stories I'm going
to use. Be assured, though, that I appreciate all the stories I receive.
There wouldn't be a PGS without them. And if another story occurs
to you, feel free to submit it if you like. Seriously, please don't
keep submitting the same story over and over. It wastes your time.
Don't be so aggressive! We're trying to have fun here.
can you consider a story not "good" enough if it was a real
thing that happened and was really humiliating to its author? You
can't get any lower than being rejected by Pathetic Geek Stories.
look for stories that are not only perversely entertaining in their
own way, but I think would be resonant with readers or uncover a small
truth you don't really hear about much. It follows that some stories
are more compelling than others. I think that's pretty evident.
you could argue by having your story rejected you dodged a bullet.
"not 'good' enough" FAQ, you should listen to this FAQ.
Hey, wait, that's not really nice either.
do you weed out fakes? Surely you must get fakes.
use the maligned and far-from-perfect honor system. The strip is by
fans and for fans, and in that spirit I generally assume that the
stories are as truthful as the writer's objectivity will allow. I
have some small vetting tactics too. Plus I receive more stories than
you accept stories from adulthood? Because for many of us, the pain
Pathetic Geek Stories don't always take place when you're 13 years
young can a pathetic geek be?
reluctant to run stories about kids under the age of 10. How much
sophistication can you expect from a first grader? It's cute when
they hide from the cleaning lady. It's not
so cute when they're 14.
a really bad artist. Do I have to draw my own strip?
no. You send me the story, I draw it.
Geek Stories?" Oh that's so mean! Why pick apart an open sore?
Some of these "geeks" are victims of bullying and class
bias. Don't make light of real suffering.
It's meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I don't draw this strip to put down
anyone. If I didn't closely identify with the "geeks," I
doubt I would have ever conceived this strip. I wanted to tell these
seldom-told stories of humiliation. It's a facet of life I felt was
getting overlooked. The many people who send stories don't seem particularly
offended either. As far as I know, the adults who have written me
did not die of their experiences. They survived. They may have wanted
to die at some point, but they didn't. Over time, their trauma lessened.
And it's a lovely thing to look back at a bad experience with humor
and perspective.Also, I discovered something interesting while reading
submissions through the years. Sometimes the "victim" is
not always blameless; in fact, he or she can be the unwitting prime
perpetrator. Sometimes their own behavior earns them contempt, whether
through pretension, greed, a compulsive need for attention, or even
their own quest for popularity.
you sure have had a lot of humiliating stuff happen to you.
these stories. How did you survive being such a geek?
you think these stories are all mine?
man. They're sent to me by readers. I just illustrate them. A different
story from a different person each week.
you ever published a book?
yet. Rest assured I will let readers know should it ever happen. In
the meantime, enjoy this
archive of some of the best stories.
I buy an original PGS strip from you?
we can discuss it. I have sold originals in the past, but have always
done so to the submitter who supplied the original story or to a friend/relative/significant
other who wanted to surprise them. I am reluctant to sell them to
people who have no relationship to the protagonist. That's why I've
never sold originals to random people on eBay. Prices vary and are
negotiable, and I prefer shipping the originals via Priority Mail
or Federal Express.
I just have my old strip for free?
I can't do that. I'm sorry. Nothing personal. I can supply free xeroxed
copies to you if you give me an address, or you can download the Internet
we at least end this FAQ on a good note?