Monthly Archives: June 2011

I should be napping.

1984 Travis knows what's up.

Yeah, that little guy knows what’s up.

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Should I being doing give-a-ways?

Maybe. I don’t think so. The only reason I even mention it is because a friend of mine is doing it to draw attention to her blog. I never go to her blog but for some reason when she offered I went to at least look. I figured, maybe it’ll get you here. It worked! Anyway, I just wanted to post because I found this excellent article about the decline of geek culture, which I thought was very well written. You can read it here. I believe every word of it. Here’s why.

The article says the sub-culture of geeks is dead. Not disappearing, not hiding. Dead. It’s kinda sad really, because a few years ago, as a young teen, I was totally embarrassed that I read comic books. It wasn’t cool. At all. The fact that I peddled my bike, and later drove, to a comic store once a week to pick up my hold was really embarrassing to me. Basically no one ever knew where I was on Wednesdays. Sure, I had a few close friends who knew and my family obviously did (you can’t hid Batman boxers from your mom) but none of the girls I dated really knew and most of my casual friends had no idea.

That face is trying to hide the fact it's got a Batman #453 in the car, under the seat. For after prom.

You could say that I was being a coward. That if you had been in my shoes you would’ve been proud of who you were and stood up for it. If you say that though, you were obviously never a teenager. Kids are mean. I admire kids who stand up for what they believe in because it is really hard even as an adult. So I just felt it best to stay out of the way. Keep my head down and let my secret passions about comics be a late night thing. All of this is very similar to creepy old men but here is where things change.

I don’t even know when it happened. I remember I started to buy Batman t-shirts. I remember being more open about my comics with my friends and soon-to-be wife. Soon I had a job at a comic store and created a blog entitled “Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind”. I felt like people were getting what I had always understood. They saw what made Batman so thrilling. The Dark Knight made a bajillion dollars and everyone loved it. They came to me for questions about the third movie. I went to Comic-Con and my friends we’re actually jealous. It was the golden age of nerdity and I was king.

Beware! The end is near!

But every good thing must come to an end. Soon, I began to fill cheated, disturbed even. It seemed like suddenly everyone had Batman on their t-shirt. Suddenly everyone critiqued comics and the movies based on them like they were an expert. My years of knowledge could be found on Wikipedia in 5 minutes and my years of collecting could be bought or sold, creating these immediate fans who had no desire to actually read the stuff.

I knew a kid at school who really killed it for me. He would wikipedia stuff all the time and talk like he was an expert. He proudly told everyone that he was a nerd or a geek, yet he had never picked up a comic or been to a convention. He didn’t even watch any of the cartoons. That’s the easiest fan. He lived in the world as a geek but knew nothing except what Wikipedia taught him. It was so disheartening.

So I sold my comics. It may seem rash but it’s not. The collection of single issue bags had lost their luster, they almost felt meaningless. Of course I kept my trades and a select few single issues but the rest went the way of the earth. I had changed. Not because I cared less for Batman, DC, Marvel or the gang but because I can’t enjoy it the same way. The thrill of collecting is gone and replaced with hundreds of people loving Batman and collecting comics and being big fans but never reading an issue. My collection paled in comparison to some hipster with a lot of money and he didn’t even know who Matches Malone was!

So I muster on quietly now. Collecting trades as they come out and reading comics in secret again. I still wear the shirts but the horn tooting is quieter now. Those who want to talk comics with me must pass a series of questions to determine if they really care. My collecting comics isn’t about being the king nerd anymore, it’s about enjoying the stories. And maybe that’s what comics should always have been about anyway.

Okay, well maybe I don't muster along that quietly but it sure is quieter than before!

Paging the Dr.

Two things.

1. I am loving Doctor Who. Good night, I am nerdier now than ever before. It’s bad.

2. Check out this awesome plush.

He's so fluffy!

Yeah, I think I need to get this for my kid. How cute would it be to see him cuddling up to Dr. Zoidberg. This is officially on my list of things to buy. If you’ve been wondering what gift to get me… well, let’s just say I “linked” it on Facebook. (winks). I actually linked it right there.

Wow, I’ve been off the radar

I am back. A few weeks ago I decided to start “digitizing my life” by scanning in drawings and photos. You saw a little bit when I posted the drawings on my last post (was that my last post?). Anyway, scanning everything and uploading old movies and turning tape cassettes into mp3’s took way longer than I originally thought. I ended up basically spending every waking hour trying to get it done before I left to Chicago. Well the good news is that I did it. The bad news is that my writing, both on the blog and off, suffered tremendously. So we’re back now. I will post some of my scans at a later date but for now, I kinda want to take a breather from all of that. But for good measure, and to prove I am not lying, here is a sneak peek:

Whoa, look at the naive little blonde tipped boy.

I am in Chicago.

This is what I see outside my window. What is up? The Lake. What is down? An Alley full of trash.

So yeah. It’s great to be here. The flight was relatively painless. I spent a lot of the trip reading some X-men comics by Grant Morrison and trying to watch episodes of Doctor Who. It was a pretty nerdy trip. The lady next to me kept looking at my iPad comics and videos in fascination, not because it was an iPad but because I was using it for such geeky means. I arrived in Chicago and mentally went back to Maryland almost immediately. The feeling, the smells, the humidity, all reminded me of the time I spent in Baltimore. That nostalgia combined with all the pictures I’ve been scanning lately really made me miss good old Maryland. I took a cab into the downtown area and got all checked into my apartment.

The two security guards at my apartment were both very nice ladies. One of them was eating a yogurt and showed the tiniest bit of sass, which I hope develops into almost sitcom proportions where we are constantly having adventures and she is constantly shaking her fist in the air and shouting “1804!”, which is our apartment number.

I spent most of my first day making trips between my apartment and target. I would try and think of everything but couldn’t seem to remember the little things, like rings of a shower curtain. Oh I bought the shower curtain but I guess I just assumed magic would hold it up.

We tried to catch a showing of X-men: First Class last night but instead learned three lessons.

  1. It’s very hard to find a theatre in Chicago when your GPS keeps thinking you are out in some suburb of Illinois. We easily spent an hour walking around looking for this theatre. The irony was we could see it for at least a forty-five minutes but it was on the other side of the train tracks and we couldn’t figure out how to get over there.
  2. Movie tickets are really expensive out here! 12.50 a ticket. 10.00 for a matinee? Holy moly, my wallet is going to feel the heat this summer. Yowza!
  3. Get there early. The show was sold out. Buzzkill. I was even wearing my X-men t-shirt. Nerds finish last, I guess.

So I stayed up late last night, setting up my room and watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with my new roomies, Chad and McKay and then it was off to bed. Thus is the new life of Chicago. I only own one thing of food currently, Marshmellow Maties. Argh, this pirate is going to be hungry tomorrow.

I think night time will be the worst for missing my wife. As you know, or don’t know, she stayed back in Utah to manage the farm. Those cows aren’t going to milk themselves. But as I climbed into my bed, (and I do mean climbed, this thing is like four feet off the ground) I really missed my wife. The mattress is bad and the bed is small and lonely and I wished she was here. I’ve learned that for as much as I miss everything else, like my family, the mountains, and water that doesn’t taste like a hobo’s spit, just having my wife here would make this place feel like home. So if I stay in Chicago or go somewhere else, the one thing I am going to make sure of is that I take her with me.

Please take a moment to clean yourself up. Your tear-stained cheeks and shaking as you weep for the beauty of my words are making everyone around you nervous.

I will put some pictures up for you all to see but for now, suffice it to say this one will have to do.

Welcome to Chicago.

This rainstorm started and trapped us in a McDonald’s. It was crazy, lasting for about an hour then sunny skies for the rest of the day. Better start packing my umbrella.

It’s great to be back on the blog. See you in a few days! So to speak.