Meet The Nerds

I would love to tell you that Nerds on the Rocks is a one-man operation because I’m just that awesome, but that is far from the truth. Between the various shows available on the site, articles, art-work, site design and just general grunt work, there is actually a fair number of people who contribute to this site. Here is where you get to meet them, and learn a little something about them.

Earl Rufus – The man behind the whole she-bang. No really, he was bored one day and thought people would actually want to hear him talk about stuff. Somehow that snowballed into an entire site!

Michael Fernandez – He doesn’t really do much anymore, but he still has a stake in this place. Helps out with all the technical stuff when needed.

D.C. Stuelpner – The artistic backbone of the website. You’ll probably not hear much from him (he use to do the Elixir Mixer articles), but you’ll always see his handiwork. Responsible for almost all of our excellent and nerdy banners and backgrounds, and a vast majority of the original artwork/pictures featured on the site.

Dylan “Swan” Jonas – Partner in crime in the long-running, 151 Proof Movies series, never seen a bad movie he can say no to… unless it stars Jai Courtney because F that guy!

Daniel “Wanyal”- He hates everything because he loves gaming too much! Our resident Brit can generally be found badmouthing EA and Activision. When he isn’t, he is a big fan of Valve and Steam. And secretly hopes for a TimeSplitters 4 or a Half-Life 2 Episode 3 sometime in his life!

Jason “Raggy” Ragatz– Our west coast correspondent is a lover of narrative-driven games and games that are unique in some fashion. Fascinated by evolving business models and often plays devil’s advocate on such subjects (cough Online Passes). He is a well-documented fan of Mass Effect and almost always disagrees with Earl’s opinions. He also writes many of our gaming articles and reviews, and even created our first original mini-series, Infirmos Mortem.

Anthony Gerhart– Another resident Nintendo fan. Video editor and guide writer extraordinaire. Anthony grew up with Nintendo and SEGA, but his appreciation for the gaming industry came into its own in the GameCube/Xbox/PS2 era. Anthony had a brief stint with IGN as a video production intern and still occasionally contributes on a freelance basis to the game wikis at IGN. His face will light up during any discussion of Zelda, Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing, Portal, Halo, Tales of Symphonia, Professor Layton, or Smash Brothers. If you’re in Texas and are looking to play soccer, ultimate frisbee, or sand volleyball, be sure to reach out!

Martin “Xater” Baier– Our resident… game player. Seriously, he probably plays more games than the rest of the hosts combined. We’re trying to discover what sorcery he uses to have that much time and work and travel!

Tim “The Toolman” Taylor– He had the unfortunate luck of having Home Improvement premiere long after he was born, and shall forever be linked to Tim Allen now. When he isn’t fixing up things, you can find him reviewing comics for us with a specialty in all things Star Wars. He also seems to dislike colorful shirts for some reason.

Trent Seely– Full-time HR dude and part-time writer, Trent likes to take an analytical approach to his editorials by examining cultural context, playing devil’s advocate, and using big words. He’s one of the few Canadians that populate the site, but don’t expect him to mispronounce “about” or overuse the word “eh.”

Steve Wittkamp – Our Monster Expert, Steve has helmed the Kaiju Kommentary series,where he watched every Godzilla film, and does features on several slasher franchises. Someone has to watch them!

Dan Crotty – Dan Crotty is a Los Angeles immigrant who loves great stories, IPA, and Hot Cheetos. Can be seen reviewing comics every week. 

Dan Thomas – A student of the game, quite literally as he is studying game design. Can often be found on Nerds on the Rocks giving Justin hell. When not doing that, drops video game reviews on the site. Raddest beard on the site?

Sam Neal – Our resident, person. Sam is just a big ball of energy, which like most things can be positively and negatively charged and fired in a cool anime blast. He can be found on Nerds on the Rocks podcast usually as our “uneducated outsider” which he plays scarily well. Also from occasions likes to write about butts and video games.

James Gardiner – A man born way too late for his own good. An old soul in a young man’s body. Our movie snob for lack of a better word on Nerds on the Rocks. He is always eager to share his excitement and disappointment for all things cinema. Some weird fondness of Seth Rogan comedies.

Justin Carter – Most podcast only needs one POV character, but we have two. Justin, oftentimes, plays the role of uniformed movie/gaming person who has surprisingly enough missed out on a lot of big things in his life. Usually gets picked on for it.


“Chad Fleming“- Sadly not related to Ian in any fashion. Our resident niche-gamer. He enjoys his DoTA, Strategy games and visual novels. Other than that, he can be heard being indifferent to everything that comes out. It’s his natural charm.

Phil Dean– Phil is incredibly passionate about all video games, the industry and the culture that surrounds them. He has been gaming since the the turn of the 90s and is one of the rare old-school gamers who is still positively optimistic about the present and future of games. Phil owns nearly every console and handheld and isn’t picky about games of any type, but here are some honest opinions that might piss you off: Final Fantasy XIII is one of his favorite Final Fantasy games, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of his least favorite Zelda games.

Eric Pilgrim– Evil Pilgrim, Drunk power master of mountain Bigruxpin and creator of the Comic Anvil. Likes beer

Kyle McPherson- To quote the classic hymn “The Wire” by the immortal and wise Kanye West, “I still won’t grow up, I’m a grown ass kid”. First his own website and now on a podcast? Surely no good can possibly come from this right?

Anthony Ellis

Josh Raj

Frank Lanza

Frank Fuentes

Lenny Diggity

Mike Fitzgerald

Shawn N.

Nicholas ReedThe rockstar of our little rag-tag group. And when he isn’t dazzling with his words on the show, you can check out his weekly segment A-Z Cinema as he goes through movies one letter at a time. And if at that point you still need more of Nick in your life, you can check him out with his band, Robots and Racecars.

Ashly Nagrant

Wesley Messer