I used to think I was able to answer that question with a resounding "Yes."
That was actually quite recently.
I used to describe the kind of rise of all things geek and more importantly, the ability to admit it in public as geek swagger. Superhero films, Comic-based TV shows, Pharrell Williams ... Seth ... Green... all contributed to that Geeks will inherit the Earth vibe.
It seems that now though, you can't escape that word no matter where you go. Everything is "geek" and it makes me wonder, does that even mean anything anymore?
Funny thing was, in school, I never self-identified as a geek. I grew up in the 80s. Everyone I knew watched Transformers, GI Joe, He-Man ... even She-Ra and the Care Bears. We were kids. We did the same stuff. It didn't matter if it was Star Wars or soccer. Everyone I knew had seen Star Wars and Ghostbusters as much as I had because, along with the Karate Kid, that was all we had on VHS. I moved around a lot, so when I got to a new middle or High School, I found myself hanging with people whom I could connect with, who spoke the same language - pop culture. And even then, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation or listening to Weird Al, I didn't think of myself as an outcast. I always had company, and true, I did hide my enthusiasm for the sake of not alienating girls but somehow I never lost the love of things that I grew up liking. And I learned to be unapologetic about it. Confident.
And as an unembarrassed adult I was drawn to my wife in the same way I always made friends: through a glimpse of something cool and quirky on her desk. And a shared love of things culty, sci-fi, and just ... fun! To me geekdom is like a comfort food and it's nice to have that level of comfort with someone you've just met.
|The lunch box that started it all.|
She didn't run when she saw my collection of Star Wars figures (more accurately, the wall of Leias). She had a whole list of her own things to introduce me to. Some, like Firefly, stuck. Some, like Buffy, didn't. But there it was. That same language. And she spoke it.
|"Halloween is for amateurs!"|
Except somehow we went and we discovered immediately that what is awesome about Comic-Con is exactly what is awesome about the whole geek experience itself. You choose your particular level of crazy.
For me it meant seeing vendors who were selling my childhood back to me (Me: "why yes, I will buy that 1984 Bumblebee!") And seeing people in costume reminded me that, yeah, we've done geeky elaborate costumes for Halloween that weren't half as well assembled as the least convincing Poison Ivy. These people do their costume research and the result isn't lame; it's pretty damn awesome. Comic-Con meant meeting artists I may not have heard of but whose work I'd seen ("you drew that!?") and who I could actually pay a little bit of cash to ... draw me something?! whaaaat? Umm... "Draw my cats!"
It means that same comfort food feeling packaged as an event. A traveling circus for people who never quite finished growing up.
And that's where this blog's roots are.
If Comic-Con, or any other convention for that matter, was meant to be for the super exclusive "secret handshake" geek, then the same 34 people would go to every one and they'd all annoy themselves to death (or form a freakishly powerful cult) I've said it before. That secret handshake. It's called "Have you ever quoted a TV Show?" "Have you ever found yourself liking a comic book movie? A sci-fi movie, a fantasy movie." You're in.
Should you go to comic-con?
As an added bonus, I think you'll like the cosplayers, the clever T-shirts, the talented, quirky and quite gregarious artists - I'm sure they have something Game of Thrones or Walking Dead themed for you to check out. (don't pretend you don't watch those shows.) The vendors ... well, it's never too early to buy Christmas and Holiday presents.
Plus you'll be thwarting the formation of a freakishly powerful cult.
You don't have to be a geek. But you probably are. More than you think.
It's cool. So am I.