The Geek Strain

There’s all kinds of us in the world today. We’re everywhere, having infiltrated every facet of society from High Schools to Congress to Hollywood. We live among you. One of us may share your bed each night, whether you know it or not.

We’re geeks. And sometimes we have to hide who we are because the rest of the world fears and hates us. Okay… I was being a little melodramatic there for the sake of congruence. But it’s more or less true. You know we exist yet you deny us fervently.

There’s a whole Baskin Robbins worth of geek flavors and mixes. Film geeks, music geeks, art geeks, Star Wars and Star Trek geeks (and never the twain shall meet), D&D and WoW (which is the most fun to say) geeks… and of course my lot… Comic Book Geeks. We’re a special breed, unfathomable and unmatched in knowledge of our love (save for the Klingon-speaking Trekkies.. those people just have issues).

We live in bizarre times, as the mainstream has taken to embracing comics (or graphic novels, as the elitist PC world prefers to call them).  It seems these days everyone is a comic book fan… of a sort.   Strange then that we who love them so are still rejected.  I have a friend who loves comic book based films and sees them as soon as they come out, but considers anyone who touches actual comics to be “nerds”.   He isn’t alone.  Go through random myspace pages.  You’ll see an enormous amount of people with Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, Sin City, 300, Iron Man and X-Men under their FAVORITES; however, they’re all put under film favorites.   On average, most fans of movies such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Crow, From Hell, Road to Perdition and History of Violence aren’t even aware that they were based on comics.

Yet Hollywood and the world at large proclaim themselves to be unabashed fans.  Another close friend once told me “I’m a Batman fan.  I’ve seen all the movies!  No, I’ve never read any of the comics, but that doesn’t make you a bigger fan than me.”  Yes, it does.  And for the record, he’s never seen Mask of the Phantasm. And suddenly it’s cool to say you’re a Brian K Vaughn fan, because once he got a job on Lost, Entertainment Weekly picked up on his Y the Last Man series.  It’s cool to love Y now, because unlike Spider-man, knowing about the Vertigo series makes you hip and “indie”.  Yes, we have sunk that low.

We, the fans… the ones who made these films viable properties because of their built-in audience… are not respected in the least.   Both Yancy Butler (star of the television version of Witchblade) and Jennifer Connelly (female lead of the first Hulk film) have gone on record as saying that their projects weren’t going to be “comic book-y”.   I find it somewhat satisfying that both projects faired poorly, with Marvel going so far as to ignore the first Hulk film completely in the far superior Incredible Hulk.

On the one hand, it’s a fun time to be a comics fan.   Our favorite properties are finally receiving the attention they deserve.  On the other hand, as Hollywood and the mainstream slowly consume all we hold dear, what is shat out isn’t always what we might expect.  For every Batman Begins, there is a Catwoman.  For every Sin City, there is a V for Vendetta.

So we’re still outcasts.   Branded with the geek strain, that special bit of DNA that causes to get pissed because Jean killed Scott and Xavier in the last X-Men film.  And makes us jump for joy when we find out that David Goyer or our beloved Joss is writing a new script, because they “get it”.   They have the geek strain too.   Yeah, we’re still mutants.   And most of the time I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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One response to this post.

  1. Dude I totally get you.

    Once my friend said “I love comic books, I’m like a big fan of it! Especially Marvel”.
    I was pretty stoked my friend liked comics too, so I was like “Cool. I like DC Comics way more tho!”
    Then she was like “… what’s DC?”
    I was like “…. big fan…. riiiiight”

    and I’m more than happy that they’re making a Flash/JLA live action movie. But what I’m worried about is people thinkning they have everything figured out and suddenly become “comic fans” after they watch it. God I must sound awefully selfish.

    *sigh*

    I wish comic book readers at my school (if any) are more open about it. It would be so awesome to have a comic buddy at school, so we can exchange comic books and go to the store together… would be way cooler than just having to blog about it. Ah well.

    Sorry for the rant-comment.

    Awesome read btw! xD

    Reply

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