I’m proud to be thought of as a geek. Shit, I’m so geek I don’t just have an abundance of action figures – I have among those figures a pretty substantial Barbie doll collection.
Long sad story and yes I’m straight.
I have nothing but love and respect for geeks and like I said I’m proud to call myself one.
Lately I’ve been feeling a bit guilty. I’ve been wondering if I really am a geek. Yes, I love comics, video games, movies, books and TV. Yes, I tend to categorically love the sci-fi flair within those media… but am I really a geek?
I’m looking forward to the next Star Trek movie but I’m not losing any sleep over it. The announcement that the original cast was being reunited in the next Star Wars movie was interesting, but except for thinking “Duh.” I had no reaction.
I love going to the San Diego Comic Con but I couldn’t tell you when the last time I spent any time on the floor not doing business. These are just a few of the hundreds of “I could give a shit” thoughts about pop culture I harbor.
So, am I really a geek or am I just a guy who thinks owning action figures and hating Jar Jar Binks makes me a geek?
A few weeks back, an esteemed colleague of mine (oddly enough this time, not Mike Gold…) pitched a debate for my podcast: “Have nerds won? And if they have… is it a good thing?” Well, it was a great idea, and the debate on my show was fairly one sided. Now, after plenty of time to steep on the topic, I can plainly state my opinion; we have, and it is.
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about geeklitism in fandom, with geeklitism being defined as “claiming you’re a ‘real geek’ and other people aren’t; claiming you’re the superior geek.” I gave a few illustrations of common types of geeklitists I have come across (and find generally obnoxious). I was, yes, a little sarcastic about the way they behave, because I think it’s both ridiculous and harmful. But even though I don’t agree with their attitude, I still understand that they are, as we say, “One of us! One of ussss!” – in the sense that if we weren’t all fans of geeky things, we wouldn’t even be talking about this. We are, by dint of being interested in genre fandoms, all part of the same group; even if geeklitists would argue that point.
I also believe that people with these attitudes, no matter how they might alienate people or make others feel bad by what they say, aren’t purposely trying to be mean or hurtful. They don’t realize what their words say about them, or how they’re perceived by those they try to negate. Why not? Well, let’s go back to the four types of geeklitists I identified last week, with those Geek Badges they wave so proud and high; and see if we can look beyond the attitude to understand what they’re really saying; something they may not have tried to do themselves. Let’s also look at why these attitudes are unhelpful or hurtful to others.
Type 1: The Bullied Geek Badge of Experience
“As a child (and possibly into adulthood), I was bullied, belittled, or ostracized by others in my peer group because of my genre interests. If you didn’t have my exact experiences, you can’t understand or be part of my group.”
What they are really saying:
“I went through these negative experiences and survived. These experiences made me a stronger person and helped me build my identity, and if you haven’t experienced that, you can’t understand what I went through or what my interests mean to me. I perceive that I suffered unfairly because of the things I loved, but I didn’t give up on them. Claiming your place in this fandom falsely indicates to me and others in this group that you are also someone with that level of commitment, when you were not. This takes away the sense of identity I retain from my experiences, and the value of my integrity or bravery in sticking up for what I loved in the face of adversity. Also, because I feel that my treatment was unfair, I may not trust you, as someone who didn’t share my experiences, to be someone who won’t persecute me in the future. I am afraid to let you in to the group in case you are like the people who were mean to me in the past.”
Why this attitude is not helpful/is hurtful:
For one, it assumes things about the other people that the geeklitist couldn’t possibly know. It assumes they didn’t have similar experiences, or other experiences that were just as important and valuable to their identities. It negates those experiences by assuming their nonexistence, and/or makes people have to defend themselves by opening up and sharing possibly painful parts of their own history that they wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing if their identities had not been challenged. For another, even if other people didn’t have the experiences of the geeklitist, it assumes they are not intelligent or emotionally advanced enough to empathize anyway, and also that their lack of that experience makes them people of lesser quality. It also may assume they are untrustworthy or bullies when they are not. It invalidates their importance as whole people in their own right by claiming the past experience of the geeklitist to be a necessary part of true character development.
Type 2: The Encyclopedia Geek Badge of Intelligence
“I know more about this geek topic and fandom than you do. If you don’t know the things I know, you can’t be part of my group.”
What they are really saying:
“I have invested a lot of time in absorbing and learning about my genre loves and fandoms and feel that I now know a lot about it, which proves that I am a true fan. If you know less than I do and claim to be in the same group, that means that you are saying you can achieve the same thing I did with less knowledge and time spent on this passion/hobby/lifestyle. You are also saying that anybody can be a part of a group that I worked hard to belong in. This threatens or negates my achievements, knowledge, or devotion.”
Why this attitude is not helpful/is hurtful:
For one, the geeklitist is calling other people less knowledgeable, which is always insulting and frequently inaccurate. The geeklitist is challenging the achievements and determination or devotion of other people, while also indicating that their interests and achievements (whatever they may be) are less objectively important than those of the geeklitist. The geeklitist is belittling others’ dedication, intelligence, and sense of self based on the tastes and choices that the geeklitist values, rather than the idea that other interests can be just as valuable to others, and just as objectively important.
Type 3: The Discovery Geek Badge of Priority
The attitude: I have known about this fandom since the day it came to be. You just got here. You didn’t recognize the value of this when it first appeared, and haven’t put in the time and effort I have to appreciate or preserve it. You aren’t a true fan like me.
What they are really saying:
“I feel a deep kinship to this fandom because I’ve been in it since day one, which gives me a sense of belonging and being special. (And possibly: I am so special here that sometimes even other fans recognize how important I am to this fandom.) I appreciated it when others didn’t, which means I have a finer ability to recognize quality than the masses. I put effort into helping to keep this going, and (possibly) sometimes even the famous people involved have expressed their thanks at my actions. This makes me feel like a contributor and person of value. If you come to my group and overshadow my sense of value, all of the positive personal qualities I associate with my involvement in this fandom are threatened. You are threatening my identity.”
Why this attitude is not helpful/is hurtful:
The geeklitist is using a false assumption that the amount of time or energy spent focused on something is equal to the devotion someone might feel to it, and that the priority of those who “came first” somehow increases the value of their contributions. By doing so, he or she is negating the value of others’ experiences, actions, and feelings in something that they may care just as much about. The geeklitist is attacking others’ identities by defending his or her own.
Type 4: The Misogyny Geek Badge of Exclusion
“Girls/Women can’t be geeks like boys/men are. They do not truly understand the value or lore of these fandoms/this lifestyle. They can’t be a part of it. It’s our territory.”
What they are really saying: “I built my masculine identity in part (or whole) on geekdom; possibly to the exclusion of more typical “masculine” pursuits that I didn’t have interest in or wasn’t good at. Since I broke out of the stereotypical male mold to do this, I have to feel that I am still part of a masculine group to retain that masculine identity. If females try to enter this group, my masculinity is threatened.”
What they also may be saying in some cases, when this is combined with Type 1:
“Some females gave me a hard time about my interests at some point in time, because they didn’t fit with what was expected of males. I resent this, because it hurt my sense of my own masculinity.(Or) females have it easier than I do. If they want to be geeks (read genre books, engage in less physical forms of activity, etc.) no one cares, because the expectations put on females are not the same as those put on males. I resent this. Because females couldn’t possibly have had the experience I did, they will never understand what it is to be a geek. When they claim they do, it threatens my masculinity.”
Why this attitude is not helpful/is hurtful:
This attitude devalues an entire half (or more than half) of humanity by indicating that due to different assumed experiences and pressures, no matter what qualities or experiences females may have or have had, they will never “measure up” to what males experienced or can understand. It is, essentially, saying that females are lesser people – in intelligence, knowledge, empathy, identity, and much more. It also assumes that the pressures or stereotypes put on females were not just as difficult to deal with as those put on males. It is again based on false assumptions, and challenges and negates a lifetime of experiences and a person’s identity. It also puts females on the defensive in fandom, and perpetuates an exclusionary dynamic by making them constantly feel unwelcome and challenged in their own areas of interest. This can result in less future effort by females to be accepted as part of the group – which doesn’t benefit anyone in the end.
When examining geeklitism in light of the deconstruction above, maybe it’s easier to see why these attitudes are so toxic to our beloved fandoms, and identify ways to weed them out of our own behavior (because let’s be honest, we’ve probably all been guilty of at least a shade of geeklitism at some point, even if it was fleeting). Maybe we can recognize that we all got picked on at some point for our interests; and that everyone has their own special areas of knowledge that they are proud of; and that everyone was part of the “discovery” group for at least one fandom or interest (or if they weren’t, it doesn’t make them less devoted to it); and that women are equals and people too (this one should not be hard to do, but shockingly, it still is for a surprising number of men).
And most of all, maybe we can all try to consciously remember that someone else being good at something, or a fan of something, or part of something, does not have to threaten our own sense of identity and belonging; and that by including rather than excluding others with shared interests, we can actually continue to build and grow the identities we are so protective of into something to really be proud of: the identities of people who know the value of sharing what they love, who can continue to learn and become more well-rounded people, and who can rejoice in the uniqueness of others as much as we do in our own.
So instead of giving in to the impulse to be elitist jerks when our geek identities are threatened, let’s try instead to, in the words of the great Bill S. Preston, Esq., “Be excellent to each other.”
I think tomorrow I’ll call up Merriam-Webster and suggest a new word for their dictionary. That word? Geeklitism. (Not to be confused with Geekleetist, which posts fun stuff).
It should be in the dictionary, because it certainly is a thing that exists. But how would I suggest they define it? Damned if I know, although I guess the short version could be: “claiming you’re a ‘real geek’ and other people aren’t; claiming you’re the superior geek.” But really, the various aspects of both this attitude and of being a “geek” generally are so broad that I’m not sure they can be encompassed in a dictionary definition.
The reason for this, and the funny thing about “being a geek,” is that it’s a different experience for everyone. For instance, I’ve been a geek probably all of my life; but I don’t know that I ever really knew it until adulthood, when, thanks to the increased ease of finding like-minded people via the internet, it suddenly turned out it wasn’t such a bad thing to be. As far as I recall, no one called me a geek growing up. I had no idea I was part of this mysterious group of people called “geeks.”
“What??” I can hear a geeklitist out there crying out in triumph. “No one called you a geek? That must mean that you didn’t get bullied by the “cool kids” in school! Haha! You can’t understand the suffering and hardships that I went through in my formative years because of my love of stories about hobbits! You are not a real geek like me!” (This is the kind of thing geeklitists say, don’t you know. Sometimes they also add, “And all the girls made fun of me!! I’ve never gotten over that! My life was so hard!”)
But that’s not really what I said, is it? Of course I got picked on. Most kids do. For instance, when I was in first grade and all the cool kids in my new school had moved on to jeans or whatever was in fashion, my mom, bless her, still dressed me in cutesy pastel sweatsuits with big decorative (but pointless) buttons and bows on them. It follows that one of my first memories of my new school is three girls in my class making fun of my clothes on the playground – at which point I probably said something mean.
I was a well-read little child, who could creatively insult other children with words that none of us really knew the meaning of; but they sounded like insults, so it all worked out. For example, at some point in my primary school years, one of the biggest insults I remember using was, “You’re corroded!” (Which makes no sense under the real definition but sounds like maybe you have a gross skin condition?) My favorite of the weird words I personally transmogrified into an insult when young was “You’re a transubstantiationalist!” No one else had any idea what it meant, but I managed to convince the kids I was using it on that it was a really horrible thing to be. Mwahaha. But I digress. Anyway, at that point, we all got in a fight. Like a physical fight, of the kicking and punching and hair and decorative bow-pulling variety. Yowch.
“Whatever!” the geeklitist is saying. “That’s not what I meant. That’s just fashion. You were only a geek if you were ostracized because of your offbeat hobbies and/or love of genre fiction as a child! That’s what makes you a real geek like me.” Well, yes. I was that, too. I used to sit by myself at lunch and read giant books that were too “old” for me, like Clan of the Cave Bear and The Mists of Avalon, propped up in front of me as I ate with painful slowness (something else for which I was occasionally teased, but which turns out to be the healthy way to eat. Take that!). I’d walk down the school halls reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet or maybe The Deed of Paksenarrion without looking up (during which I developed a great sixth sense for not running into people while looking down, which is very handy these days when texting while walking to work).
I was definitely called weird, and often, annoying (because I used big words and talked a lot) more times than I can count. I engaged in some geek activities that probably would have been thought cool by at least the little boys in my class, like watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men cartoons, but I never realized that, because at that point in my life, boys had cooties. (Of course.) I’m not saying I didn’t have friends; I did, and they were a lot of fun. But I also got made fun of; and as far as I knew, most of my friends were not actually interested in The Lord of the Rings or Batman: The Animated Series. I don’t even know that I ever thought to ask most of them.(Or if I did, and received blank stares, I probably never brought it up again. This is why I’d never make a good Whedonvangelist, another word I’ve decided should be in the dictionary.)
Those were the sorts of things I often enjoyed alone, and didn’t really talk about that much, and that was fine. I knew (from others telling me, repeatedly) that I was a weird child, and I guess I just kind of assumed that was how life was and would continue to be for me – having some interests that nobody around me shared. Of course, that feeling of being alone in one’s interests is often cited as part of the experience of geekdom; and of course, in truth, lots of other people also had those interests; I just hadn’t discovered them yet. But I guess that’s all part of being a geek.
“Ahaha!” an entirely different brand of geeklitist is chortling. “But none of that matters! That’s just kid stuff! You’re not a real geek like me unless you can list, right this minute, in reverse alphabetical order, every superhero who turned out to be a Skrull during Secret Invasion! And until you can name at least three obscure continuity errors in [my favorite comics character’s] ongoing storyline! And unless you can tell me your three favorite fighting tactics for the video game character whose costume you are now wearing!” But, second brand of geeklitist…the water is wide, and the world is large, and I might like a different character than you do, or I might focus on something for different reasons than you do. Are you saying your viewpoint and favorite genre things and factoids are inherently better and geekier than mine, and are the only things that can bestow upon all of us admission into the uber-exclusive society of geekdom, just because they are yours? …Well, yes, yes you are, and that’s pretty self-centered. We can all be geeks in our own ways, with our own specific areas of interest and knowledge. Right?
“No no,” chides another, lone geeklitist, standing apart with one brow raised and pointing a finger at each of us in turn. “You will never, ever be a real geek, because you didn’t watch Firefly until it came out on DVD! You only like the newest Doctor Who! You never participated in the drive to keep Chuck on the air via purchasing mounds of Subway sandwiches. You’ll never be a real geek, not any of you, because (cue dramatic music and Iwo Jima flag-raising reenactment) I was here first, and I claim this geekdom in the name of Geekmoria! It’s mine, all miiiiine!!!!!”
…What? No, really, what? That’s just asinine.
“Well…maybe,” says the lone geeklitist doubtfully. “But I was here first.”
How do you know, lone geeklitist? Did you turn on your TV to a new show before anyone else in the entire world? Acquire an ARC of the first book in a now-beloved series? Hold in your excited hands the very first copy of the very first appearance of a comic book character? And even if you did…why does that give you any more claim to an appreciation of it than anyone else? Why does timing somehow make you more passionate about your geekdom than all the other geeks?
So, any other geeklitists out there want to make a stand about how they’re the real geeks? I just ask because I don’t like to exclude people, although I realize the irony of saying that to you, geeklitists.
I’m hearing a lot of silence out there. Guess I’ll just wrap this u–what? I’m sorry? What did you say?
A chorus of low, angry, guttural voices rises from the deep to repeat itself, as one last group of geeklitists has its say:
The first time I went into an actual comic book store by myself as an adult, I went in more to browse than with a specific purchasing goal in mind. I was walking by stores, and lo, there was a comic book store, and I’d just started reading comics, and wanted to read more, so I went in, ready to find things to read and buy them.
Having read a few paper comics as a young child and watched a lot of comics-related cartoons and movies while growing up, but not having read comics as an adult until a few months prior, naturally I was familiar with very few of the names’ in comics (i.e. writers, artists, or what-have-you); or with every good book or character. I had no clue who was writing or drawing which book, or what I should try first, which comics were classics, or any of that; only that I was interested in picking up some good stories. I was, in other words, a prime target for a canny salesperson who could have helpfully loaded me up with all the great stories I should read right away. I’d probably have bought them all, and the storeowner could have retired on the spot. But it didn’t happen.
When I entered the store, the (male) sales clerk ignored me completely for about the first twenty-plus minutes, as I stood nearby looking rather overwhelmed at the varied selection, instead helping three different men first (one of whom came in after me). I actually tried to get the clerk’s help with a polite “excuse me” a few times, but his response was a brusque, “Just a minute” before turning to ask Guy Number Three if he needed help. (Note: It was not just a minute.) Finally when there were no other customers in the store he turned his attention to me. I asked him if he had any recommendations for a good trade to pick up. A short conversation ensued. I can’t remember the exact words several years later, but if I had to do a play-by-play of the conversation and what I felt like was happening in its subtext (and I wasn’t imagining this based on some idea of how I’d be treated; it was completely not something I expected to encounter) it would go like this:
He acted like recommending a book to a woman who was unfamiliar with comics was some sort of huge chore and he really had better things to be spending his time on; but when pressed, recommended Watchmen. I asked him what it was about, since it was sealed in plastic and he didn’t want it opened by someone who might not buy it, and he said, oh, it was by Alan Moore (but still did not tell me what it was about). I indicated that I’d never heard of Alan Moore. He indicated that clearly I must be some sort of poser imbecile (‘You’ve never heard of Alan Moore?’), not an actual rare Female Comics Geek, because comics geeks know who Alan Moore is.
I indicated that I’d read a few issues of Runaways that I liked, after a suggestion made by my boyfriend. He indicated that now everything made sense. I was a Girlfriend Who’d Read A Comic Once. Not an actual Geek. Just a Girlfriend who’d accidentally wandered into the store without her Geek Man. He half-heartedly recommended I just look around at a few things and maybe I’d find something I liked – this being made a bit difficult by the trades being in plastic you weren’t allowed to open without permission. Then he walked away. Just left me standing there in an otherwise empty store, still clueless, in the midst of the bewildering selection of Stories I Couldn’t Browse Through Without His Permission, feeling very unwelcome and slightly ashamed to not already know everything about every comic, ever.
Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything that day. The guy made me feel so unwelcome and so much like I was bothering him just by being there that I didn’t even want to go to the check-out line to interact with him again, and I’m not a timid person. At all. Now, you could say, “he was just a rude guy.” Well, he was. But he was rude to me specifically because I was a woman and therefore clearly not a serious geek. I know this because I watched him interacting helpfully and not-rudely with the three male customers who he helped before me, one of whom had also asked for recommendations. I know this because I had a whole conversation with him in which he made me feel, both subtly and not-so-subtly, like I was unwelcome in the store and unworthy of his time because I was a woman and therefore not knowledgeable about comics like his male customers. I know this because I still remember how it felt to be unexpectedly treated like a second-class citizen by someone whose job it was supposed to be to help me.
Why am I talking about this now? Because it wasn’t an isolated incident. Ridiculous as it may seem, even now, when I know much, much more about comics and the industry, when I’m actually known by some people for how big a fan I am of comics and a particular character, I still occasionally encounter the attitude that I’m somehow here in the Comics World by accident or as a Secondary Character in the whole show; not because I love it with as much passion as any guy out there.
For example: a year or so ago, I was attending a con and ran into a male acquaintance of mine who is on the creator side of the industry and who I’ve known for awhile. As we stood near his table at the end of a row in Artist’s Alley chatting and catching up, out of nowhere he said to me “So, where’s the guy?” I had no idea what he meant, and replied with a blank “What?” His response: “Well, you’re always here with one of the guys [in the industry]. I was wondering who you’re here with this time.”
Now it’s true that when we met I was introduced to him by another “one of the guys” who is a friend and happened to be walking the con floor with me. It’s also true that often when I’m at a con, I’ll hang out with some of the industry folks, because I naturally gravitate towards creative people who share my interests, and they tend to be on the creator side of things; and it’s true that most of these people are men. But I’ve actually never gone to a con with a man, and was surprised that this was the impression my acquaintance seemed to have; that I always tagged along with some guy, rather than being excited about and planning a trip to the con all by myself because I love comics and comic cons.
And frankly, this made me a little angry. In response, I asked him to look down his row – a long Artist’s Alley row of artists and writers – and tell me how many women he saw. The answer? Not one. In his row of maybe twenty-plus creators, there wasn’t a single woman. Gee; no wonder so many of my creator friends and people I walk around cons with are male.
Now, this man is a nice person; and he wasn’t intending to be offensive. But he expressed an attitude that I’ve not only experienced myself but seen pop up regularly all over the comics and geek fandoms – that somehow, women who are in geek fandom are the secondary characters in the all male show, there in one way or another because of a guy (or, worse, there just for guys to look at). It ties into the attitude of the comics store clerk, and bothers me for several reasons.
The first one is that I like to hang out with other geek women. I have a number of geek friends who are women, and we have great times together. The more geek women out there, the better, in my book. But attitudes like the above – either actively rude dudes who treat you like you’re unwelcome and an idiot because you are a woman and therefore, at best, a n00b, and at worst, a poser; or nice dudes who blithely assume that you’re at a con with a dude instead of because of your own interests – are not the kind of thing that will encourage women to get into or feel comfortable in geek fandoms. These attitudes propitiate a self-fulfilling prophecy: treating women like this may in fact turn women off to comics or getting more involved in the fandom.
The second reason this bothers me is that these attitudes are examples of a larger problem regarding treatment of both the female characters in comics and female fans. That problem is so large and multifaceted that Gail Simone based a whole website around just part of it, and you see it being discussed, consistently, from multiple angles and spurred by multiple separate incidents, all over the internet. (For a fun time, Google “comics misogyny.” Whee.) It involves objectification. It involves violence. It involves dehumanization. It involves belittlement and aggression towards women and dismissal of female opinion. It involves experiences I myself have had that bordered on harassment and that I don’t even feel comfortable discussing in a public forum. It’s a problem so large that I can’t even fathom a way to encompass it in one column, which is why I’m choosing to focus on just part of it here.
The third reason is that while all this is going on (and trust me, it is ongoing) geek culture seems to think it’s actually super-progressive and feminist in comparison to the rest of the world, and is sometimes obnoxiously self-congratulatory about that fact, while misogyny floats around unchecked in our geek content and culture. (Seriously, read that link for some current examples of the awful stuff that’s happening right now, such as the attacks on Anita Sarkeesian, which actually made me shudder in horror.)
When geeks are called on the existing misogyny, they get super defensive. I’ve seen every excuse or justification under the sun used to try to explain the negative behavior in a way that makes it okay and shows geek culture is still more progressive. Or, alternatively, I’ve seen people try to put it all on women. (One of my favorite excuses for geek misogynistic behavior was some guy saying that, see, the reason geek guys have these attitudes towards women is that so many of them were rejected by women when they were younger, and picked on for being geeks, and blah blah blah they had to walk uphill both ways in geek snowshoes while women taunted them and pelted them with Nintendo controllers from the sidelines or something. To which I say, Shit, son – you think being picked on for being different is something that only happens to geek dudes? You think girls never get rejected by boys for being weird or geeky? Are you seriously that dumb? Put on your big boy pants, get over yourself, and stop blaming girrrrrls for your problems.)
The attitude of self-congratulation or denial that there are problems here makes me angry, especially when held up next to the actual, real-life experiences of myself, my female friends, and people like Sarkeesian. Geek culture may be coming at things from a different angle (which sometimes results in its own, unique brand of negative treatment of women, woo), but it’s not really more progressive, and it’s actually worse a lot of the time because the refusal to acknowledge the problem leads to it becoming more firmly entrenched and accepted.
All this self-congratulation equals no confrontation of the issues that exist. I have no immediate solutions to propose, but the sooner we actually meaningfully acknowledge and confront these issues, the sooner we can truly be the more progressive cultural group that we clearly feel we should be. I hope we get there someday.
So let’s all take a moment to ponder how to make the world of comics more awesome and friendly to us geeky women who love it and, until next time, Servo Lectio!
With Comic-Con International, ak.a. San Diego Comic-Con, now just days, almost hours, away, those traveling to the extravaganza are packing to hit the road. There are several noteworthy survival guides we can recommend to those of you less familiar with what it’s like being there. Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter has his valued 150 tips, the gold standard of advice.
But our friends over at Click Communications has also assembled a witty Survival Guide of their own. Click is a leading media public relations firm and we’ve been dealing with them for years. They talk the talk, walk the walk, and have plenty of good pieces of advice to share along with thumbnails on many of the properties near and dear to their hearts. While Tom’s tips are good for everyone, even veterans, this guide is great for newcomers and those who don’t speak Geek as fluently as the rest of us.
They explained to us, “This guide began as a way to offer some helpful tips—and a little entertainment—to anyone working the Con who might not count down the days ‘til July the way we do. Now in its fifth year, our simple How-To manual has grown into something that “n00bs” and nerds alike can appreciate. This year, the guide also features original artwork from some talented, up & coming comic book artists: Tess Fowler, Tony Fleecs, and Scott Arnold.”
Since you’ll be stuck on lines for a good portion of the con, they have even come up with a useful way to pass the time: The Click Communications Comic Con Survival Kit Contest!
Enter to win a Survival Kit of your very own by visiting our blog, or join us in playing Comic-Con Bingo. Grab the Bingo card from the back of the Guide and share your pics online via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to line up your finds to win fabulous prizes while in San Diego. For more information, and to enter to win, visit either here or here.
Now for Click’s OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER:
Click’s Comic-Con Survival Guide is just a little something they put together for your information and our amusement. There’s zero guarantee that the information they found online is 100% reliable. After all, release dates change, actors need rewrites, directors run out of budget, writers go…insane. Things happen. Since we all know that, no one should take any of the information contained within as locked-in gospel or anything. Okay? Okay.
This week’s Reviewing the Mail begins with a long-distance shout-out to Ellen Wright, who started at Wiley the first week I did, but has since moved up and on to working in Publicity with the fine folks at Orbit US. My pipeline of Yen Press titles — Yen being the manga arm of Orbit — had dwindled recently, probably because I hadn’t reviewed many of their books in that same period , but I now have a batch of them here, and I hope they’ll continue. (Though, again, I imagine I’ll need to review some of those books for Yen to want to keep sending me books — it’s really not difficult to see how this works, if you’re capable of consider other people’s point of view.)
So hooray for Yen, which will be the bulk of this week’s post. But, before I get into that, first comes the ritual explanation: this is all stuff, as you might have guessed, that came in my mail this week, all sent by publishers who hope I will review and love these books and thus urge all of you to buy and love them in turn. This is the crucial bit: I have not yet read any of these books, and it’s entirely possible (you should see the stacks of review copies I have!) that I won’t get to any specific book here. Thus, what I’m about to type at you is somewhere between an educated guess and a wild surmise, based on my prior knowledge and what these books themselves tell me when I examine them closely.
That’s enough preliminary blah blah blah; let’s see what Yen is publishing in December: (more…)
How can we not love a show where the characters wear Flash t-shirts and love comics as much as we do. For the cast of THE BIG BANG THEORY, being a true geek is hard work and we talk to them about how they prepare for the parts, plus TWILIGHT breaks the BO and is that really a Green Lantern in SMALLVILLE?
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Either let us drag you willingly into the future, or be impaled upon the shiny, metallic spikes of our awesomeness. We will bludgeon all resistance with our second generation Kindles and Sony PRC 505s, slicing and dicing holdouts and naysayers with our sleek, sexy MacBook Airs. Now bow before our awesome new lögö. Note the umlaut—it’s totally Spinal Tap, “but way cooler,” according to our latest focus group, a culturally diverse assortment of popular sixth graders (twelve-year-olds being widely recognized as the eternal harbingers of Cool).
It must be understood that we’re not cutting ties with the geek community—rather, we like to think of ourselves as ultra-modern alchemists, painstakingly turning geek into chic. We would never attempt to trivialize the concerns of fandom. At least the fandom we care about—the kind that hangs out at the Apple Store, and look like those kids from Twilight. Young, pasty, sexy, tech-savvy, secret vampires…yes, that pretty much sums up our new target audience.