Gemr Community Curator Dave Morton interviewed one of our more active members, Robbi Vega to find out more about what drives him to collect and what he likes about being able to showcase his collections and discover other people’s collections on Gemr. Here is the interview:
Robbi – My Gemr user name is WTFROBBI and I’m from Orlando, FL.
Dave – How long have you been collecting?
Robbi – I’ve been collecting for as long as I can remember. I started with Star Wars toys and Mighty Max. I didn’t really get big into collecting until probably around the first year of college in 2006. In 2007 I started to get big into collecting action figures and comic books.
Dave – What is the first thing you remember collecting…what do you remember actively buying?
Robbi – Like I said, I got into collecting the first year of college, but I really got big into it…it was probably during the Blackest Night series for Green Lantern, so that was 2009. That was when I got really big into collecting, and archiving all my comics and treating them like royalty almost.
Dave – So Blackest Night was your first collection?
Robbi – Yeah, I was introduced to them on Free Comic Day back in 2009. I read the #0 issue and I was hooked.
Dave – Where did you pick it up from?
Robbi – I actually picked it up from A Comic Shop here in Orlando. Eric from A Comic Shop he was the one that definitely got me into that.
Dave – What do you typically collect now?
Robbi – Now it’s an assortment of things. Comic books, but that’s pretty much toned down a bit, because I have way too many. My girlfriend starts to hate me because I have boxes of comics laying around. I collect vinyls, collectors editions of video games. I have all the World of Warcraft CE’s, Diablo 3 CE and different action figures. Those are pretty much the big things that I collect.
Dave – What is your holy grail of collecting? If you had unlimited money, what would you go out right now and add to your collection?
Robbi– Oh man, my holy grail (sigh). It’s probably not even all that expensive, but it would probably be the Metal Gear Solid San Diego Comic Con limited edition GrayFox. Instead of it being blue and gold it was all red and it came with a changeable face. I would love to get my hands on one of those. I see them popping up on eBay every once and a while for $400-$500, occasionally $250 and I’m like “Maybe this is the time!“ and then I just watch the bid go up and up and I’m just like ”…nope.”
Dave – Who is your favorite artist / author?
Robbi – Favorite artist would probably be Dustin Nguyen. I love his artistic style; he has a whole bunch of chibi-art of different Batman characters. I actually have one of his chibi-art Batman characters splash-pages tattooed to my arm. Writers I would probably say Geoff Johns. I think he’s just done a lot of great things and he’s just a great writer over all.
Dave – In college you started collecting pretty actively, what got you hooked on the whole thing? Was it Free Comic day or was it something else?
Robbi – Batman had been a big thing in my life because my dad got me big in to it. We would always watch Batman the Animated Series together and when I finally had my own money to go out and buy things on my own, comic books just intrigued me. It was just great writing, great art… it just had everything. Of course it had Batman, but there was also the Justice League and Green Lantern. I knew about the Major Five, but then I started learning more and more about
other characters and grew from there. My interest kept me wanting to read more and more. At one point I was pretty much collecting every single DC book. Like I said, my girlfriend hates me because of how many comics I have.
Dave – So you can go collectible hunting with any one person, who would you go with?
Robbi – I would probably say I would go out hunting with Jared Leto. I don’t know, he’s always been an inspiration for me. He has such a unique taste in things, it would be interesting to see what he would find and collect.
Dave – So your comic books and collectibles, how are you storing them now?
Robbi – All my comic books are bagged and boarded in long boxes, short boxes and I have a couple boxes that are strictly from the 90’s and older. I have a couple that are New 52’s, some of the newer stuff. I have them sorted DC and Marvel.
Dave – Be honest! What are your thoughts on Gemr so far as a platform for collectors?
Robbi – I love it. So far I’ve probably put 17 items on there. It’s great, I can see how many people have liked my stuff, how many people comment on it. I do like the point system for how many likes, however many comments you get. You can see it slowly going up and up and up as it goes on.
Dave – What can we work on?
Robbi – There are two things that I would like to see worked on. The search function, it’s not that intuitive yet. It doesn’t search for the titles, it only searches based on the tags. There’s been times that I’ve been uploading things on my phone and I don’t put the tags, as I don’t want to put every little detail. I ‘d like to see the search implement the titles so that way I can type in Batman and have everything titled AND tagged batman. Also – home-screen, I want to see change. I feel like it is popular stuff, but it’s stayed there since it started.
Dave – Currently, the home screen is a list of the trending items. If you want to see the newest items uploaded, click the cog up on the search bar, and organize by Collected and then New. We’ll be adding some personalization options in upcoming builds to the site and application.
Robbi– I didn’t know that, I’m still learning the site, thanks. Like I’ve said, I’ve seen my stuff on the front page and it’s still there. There are things on the front page that have been there since I first got here, and I would like to see new stuff up there.
Dave – That’s just about it – I appreciate you taking the time to chat!
Robbi – Not a problem. Have a good one.