On the internet, nobody knows you’re a nerd
I’m pretty sure this ‘nobody knows you’re a nerd’ illustration was influenced by Peter Steiner’s 1993 cartoon ‘On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog’.
These days everyone is on the internet. Hell, I went to a craft group last week and retirees lectured me on learning to crochet by watching YouTube videos! However, when Ian drew this illustration back in the 1990s, pretty much everyone using the internet for personal interest — and possibly everyone using it for professional purposes — were either ‘nerds’ or ‘geeks’.
The backstory behind these silly illos
Ian Gunn, creator of these silly illos (illustrations), was an award-winning artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Cancer took him too soon. But his legacy includes numerous illustrations for zines, books and even school textbooks.
Victoria’s science fiction convention, Continuum, occasionally presents the Ian Gunn Memorial Award recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of fandom. Recipients work in obscurity for years without recognition. This award commemorates Ian’s selfless efforts to reach out to others, encouraging others and thereby building the science fiction community.
K’rin Pender-Gunn, Ian’s widow, gave Dark Matter Zine permission to republish Ian’s artwork. Thanks, K’rin!