What a great time to be a geek!
Our world has been commercialized for the muggles and now it’s not so shameful to be into comics, fantasy, gaming, sci-fi, adventure, cosplay or whatever it is that makes brethren in the geekdom. The muggles have learned that there’s money in our world and we will spend it for what we’re really into. And they’re learning how much fun it is too.
Growing up as a tall, lanky bookworm in the crack-era ’80s was really not a fucking pleasant experience. Seemed nobody understood my geek interests and as you would guess, I got picked on a lot. Even though I stood over all those fools, my mom always taught my brother and I that fighting didn’t accomplish anything and you fight as a last resort. She preferred us to just ignore them and walk away. Good advice considering in the ’80s folks were getting shot every damn day—for stupid shit. I always listened to that advice but it set me up as a target. To escape the madness, all I had to do was to open one of my issues of Fantastic Four or the X-Men, turn on channel 11 (in NYC) to watch an episode of Star Trek (Original Series) or Space:1999 or simply power my ColecoVision for a round of Donkey Kong.
All through high school, college and early adulthood, I honestly hadn’t met many who were into the same stuff I was. You know some of my boys dabbled a little but when I tried to really get into a conversation about anything, their eyes would glaze over and I’d lose them. It was sports or cars for them. And I almost never mentioned my geek interests when trying to date. Shit, women would ALWAYS say something like “grown men don’t play with toys or read kid comics” not even trying to get to see why this excited me. Hence, I’ve never shared that side of me with anyone I loved simply because they just didn’t understand my geek love. So, I just enjoyed stuff in private.
For the last ten years, geek life has been growing and catching fire. It’s been fantastic seeing characters from the pages of my comics up on both the big & small screens, more conventions growing everyday and now we got whole families all engrossed in the life. What’s cool is how the private dressing up as your favorite character in your home as a kid is now so embraced out in the open and is a thriving industry. Man, at the cons you see folks in some pretty impressive costumes that you’d swear were off the studio lot. What’s even sexier is how many women are now out in the open as full-fledged geeks. When I’m at the comic store, it’s so cool to see couples share a common bond that they both really enjoy. Seeing that makes me smile as I’m sharing my love for comics, gaming and sci-fi with my 9-year-old daughter so as she grows up, she truly understands and appreciates the geek life. But at the same time when I see couples at the comic shop or cons, I get twinges of envy as I wish I could experience what they have. C’est la vie!
The thing that trips me out at times is how I wish this happened 15 years ago where I could be a full-time participant. At 49, I can’t go to a lot of cons unless they are local (been trying to get to San Diego Comic Con for the last three years but I can’t get a freakin’ hotel reservation). Cosplay excites me and would love to try it but realistically, I know I can’t commit the time & finances needed due to work and family commitments. On the other end though, I can get my collectibles and stock up my collection. It’s been a real blast the past 10 years seeing the access of geek life all around and I’m loving it. Enjoying all of this with my kids has been great and totally opposite of my childhood. They are enjoying all the perks of my geek life.
What a great time to be a geek!