I am happy to say that in this day and age, I am proud to be a comic book geek.
Now I know there are certain stereotypes that go with being a comic book fan: smart but awkwardly social, shy at times, lack of cleanliness, lives at home with parents, attention to detail (in all things Geek), and either unemployed or working in an underpaid, under-respected profession.
In my opinion, I believe this stereotype has undergone a bit of scrutiny over the past ten to twenty years due to a surge in acceptance in the Geek Universe. Geek life has become more mainstream it seems. With the popularity of comic book movies and television shows such as The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, X-Men, Superman, Batman, Flash, and much more, the fan base for comic book culture has spread. It’s not common to see people of all ages, gender, and ethnicity embracing the comic book universe as well as other sci-fi genres. The cosplay (short for costume play) community has grown in popularity (even spewing television shows to boot) all over the world. It’s quite spectactular how well-crafted, elaborate, and even sophisticated these costumes can be! So much more than the simple costumes I remember having for Halloween when I was a kid. Interested? Simply search Google or Yahoo for “best cosplay costumes” and you will be amazed! I can’t believe there are people who specialize in cosplay such as Yaya Han, Abby Dark Star, Eve Beauregard, Callie Cosplay, Lady Lemon, Issabel, and many others who have made a career from this art.
For me, I’ve always loved comics…even to this day. Whether it is reading, drawing, or coloring, it is a great stress reliever in my life. Being someone invested in the digital age, I still find it peaceful and nostalgic browsing through the pages of a printed comic book. Call me an aficionado. Like many others, I appreciate comic book like a piece of art. Because of my background and experience, I recognize the talents, time, and efforts that artists, publishers, and printers put into creating even a single issue.
The Bronze Age of Comics (1970 – 1985)
Growing up, I didn’t really have an “allowance” so typically comic books were either a gift or a reward. I have a lot of fond memories as a child getting comic books from my parents prior to going on a vacation. I remember waiting impatiently…waiting for the moment we were in the car or on a plane to engross myself in a comic or two . Of course, now that I am older I understand it was probably done by my parents to keep me quiet and occupied. LOL
Back then, my comics collection was a bit different. My stack typically consisted of Archie Comics, Casper, and Richie Rich…along with Superman, Batman, and the usual superhero comics. As I grew older, I segued away from comics to television, video games, and sports. Luckily, I’ve still managed to keep a couple of those old comics around today.
Back in the late 1980s, a resurgence emerged in my young adult years. While in college, I picked back up my comic book collecting. I think this was due in part to a friend of mine who collected as well which got me interested again…as well as the change of major (aviation to design) which drew me back (excuse the pun). To me, this was the height of my hobby. In long cardboard boxes, my comics were placed gently inside…safely protected in acid-free plastic sleeves. Occasionally, I would browse pricing guides checking on values (like a NY trader checking stock prices). It became a true hobby, a true passion for me. Like many things, this too came to an end. The responsibilities of becoming an adult soon outweighed the time and funds I could commit to my hobby…and so my collecting eventually crept into the shadows once again.
The Modern Age (1986 – Now)
Nowadays, I collect Marvel’s Star Wars editions. For budgetary reasons, I have refrained from collecting anything else.
The comics from my youth rest in those same boxes on a shelf in my basement…eagerly waiting to be open and read once again. From time-to-time, I do get curious and think about popping open some of those boxes to go through my collection once more. Inventorying (ugh), checking prices, and reliving old stories. Perhaps when the winter weather approaches and we all retreat once more into the safety and comfort of our homes, it would be a good time to visit my old friends and share a journey or two.