It is Wednesday and I am leaving work. And like every Wednesday, I have to stop as the Comic Store on my way home so that I can collect the new releases that have come out today. Maybe I will spend an extra few minutes going through some of the old comics and graphic novels they have to see if anything catches my eye, or talking to the guy behind the counter about the newest release, future movies, etc. This is the my life, the life of a geek and despite that I am 27 years old and have to deal with the jabs of co-workers, friends and family, it is a badge I wear with honor. And here is why you all should too.
Over the years the definition of the word geek has changed. Originally when it was first used, dating back to 1914, it was mainly used to define someone who was socially awkward and/or unpopular, someone who didn’t fit in well with others (geek, 2014). However over the years, a second definition has spawned. Now, Merriam-Webster online dictionary list the old definition along with, “a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity.” (geek, 2014). And by that definition, I’m sure 90% of the population falls into that category. But there are certain fields or activities that general fall into the geek category more than others. For example: Comic books, Movies, TV shows, Action figures, etc. Those were things that were the interest of the outcasts, the misfits, and the people from the original definition. Or at least such was the case 20 – 30 years ago. Now things have changed. With the success of Marvel studios and the Dark Knight Trilogy, fans are flooding back to comic books. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and other popular TV shows based on comic books and graphic novels have given birth to a whole new age of fans and geeks. Even Netflix has sparked a resurgence in Doctor Who followers, Arrested Development fandoms, and other older, forgotten TV shows.
But don’t call it a Comeback, fans of these different types of geek-ery things have always walked among you. Since its start in 1970, San Diego’s Comic Con has grown almost every year, even starting a New York Comic Con, and several hundred local Comic Conventions with the same style (Obias, 2013). It is estimated that the Comic event generates $165 million dollars in revenue for the city of San Diego which has other cities, like Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Anaheim making bids to host the event (with no luck) (Obias, 2013). Need more proof of the awesomeness of geekdom? How about Free Comic Book Day?
On May 3rd of every year (EVERY YEAR??) yes, every year, it is free comic book day. A day were you can go and pick from over 60 titles from new artist and writers, new characters, or your old favorites and get them for free (Diamond Comic Distributors). Most comic shops even plan sales, or all out events around this day to increase purchases and foot traffic into their stores. And for events like both of these, you don’t see a sea of children, most a bunch of adults. Men, Women, and families some dressed up as their favorite characters, some not.
But this isn’t just about liking comic books, it isn’t just LIKING something. It’s passion. It’s being so engrossed in something that you want more of it. You learn about it, you collect it, you read about it, to follow it. Now this may sound like borderline obsession, and maybe it is, but what is the problem with that?
Being a geek is about something more. It’s about sharing something with your kids in Spider-man. It’s about teaching them about the investments of collectibles. Or loving these characters in the movies, books and shows that we have grown up with, or who have grown up with us. It’s about the passion, we geeks have for something. (queue epic speech music now)
It’s about being proud. It’s not an age thing. Why do we have to give up on the things we like when we become adults? Why do we have to adopt hobbies from an approved adult list? Why is it acceptable to take a day off of work for something boring like a doctor’s appointment, but when I want to take off of work and beat a three-headed dragon with the sword of the dark lord and save the princess I’m the weird one?
Sorry went a little personal on that one
Anyways (queue music again) you like watching football? You’re a geek! You like cooking? You’re a geek! You like working on cars? You’re a geek! But you know what? That’s ok, because sometimes, at the end of the day, you just have to do what makes you happy. Whatever your escape is, whatever you can take enjoyment out of, have passion for, or relax with, it’s fine. At the end of the day, we are all geeks about something, and you know what? It’s awesome!
Diamond Comic Distributors, I. c. (4). National Free Comic Book Day Hits Comic Book Specialty Shops May 3rd; Over 4.6 million comics to be given away free to comic shop customers. Business Wire (English).
geek. (2014, January 1). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved July 7, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/geek
Obias, R. (2013, July 18). 31 Facts About San Diego Comic-Con. Mental Floss. Retrieved July 7, 2014, from http://mentalfloss.com/article/51751/31-facts-about-san-diego-comic-con