Hi. My name is David, and I'm a nerd...
I was a typical boy. I loved superheros, cartoons, television, movies, and books. My earliest memories of nerdom came from two shows, both of which were animated. One, Star Blazers. The other, Star Trek: The Animated Series. I would wake up far too early for any kid on Saturday mornings just to catch them.
I fell in love with science fiction due to those two shows. From that moment on, it would be a life-long journey as well as a love/hate relationship with all things "nerd."
When I was five I made sure to watch the premier of The Incredible Hulk, starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. I had already been watching such shows as Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman. It was around this time my family had introduced me to a long canceled yet pioneering live action version of that wonderful show called "Star Trek".
Shortly after The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man premiered in all its cheesy glory. A year after that, there were two forgettable Captain America Movies. Spider-Man, web-slinging and all, did not survive for long.
The biggest thrills and influences on me were perhaps in the reruns of the '66 Batman series, the silver screen version of Superman, an animated version of The Hobbit, and a little movie that came out in '77 called "Star Wars". What a great time for an imaginative young boy!
In the years to follow came cinematic gems like The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Dune, The Wrath of Khan, Superman II, , E.T., Blade Runner, Indiana Jones, Explorers, Tron, The Last Star Fighter, Enemy Mine, and many, many more.
On the small screen we had Transformers, Buck Rogers, Knight Rider, V, Battle Star Galactica, The Greatest American Hero, Mork & Mindy, Doctor Who, Max Headroom, and about a thousand others. All of that was just during the mid 70's to the mid 80's! The following thirty years came with some brilliant movies and TV series' in the science fiction, fantasy, and superhero/comic genres.
I Was A Coward...
It was one thing to talk about, indeed get excited for, those types of things as a kid. When you get older, however, it becomes more difficult to freely do as such. The fear of what our peers would think ate deep at the fragile teenage psyche for far too many of us.
My entire adult life I was unable to openly come out of the nerd closet. I had a phrase I would use when conversations became too nerdy; "I don't know what that is." It was one part joke and one part a cowardly facade . Of course, towards the end of my fraudulent ways I would have a wry smile on my face when uttering those words.
We all knew that I was a big fat nerd. I was just incapable of freely expressing it. I'm unsure as to why that was. Maybe because of being picked on as a boy? For being left out of things because of my hanging out with the "weird" kids? Who knows? Thankfully, the denial of who I was has ended.
I have seen the light, and I solemnly swear I'm up to no good
Science fiction, fantasy, superhero, and comic book. I loved all of those genres with a passion when it came to movies, T.V. shows and litterateur. I veraciously absorb Tolkien as though I'm working on a PhD in Tolkienology. Begining on September 22nd, of every year, I read The Lord of the Rings. Why then? Because it's Bilbo and Frodo's birthday, that's why! I read Dune fairly often, as well as Harry Potter (which I "accidentally" read for the first time in '04.) What I never really read, however, were actual comic books. I had little interest in them and avoided these save for the very rare occasion.
I had read a few comics over the years: Spider-Man, Dead World, Judge Dredd, The Tick, and Batman, but even combined they amounted to only a handful throughout my first forty years. It was in the other mediums earlier mentioned that I secretly filled my camel-like nerd hump. Only in the last eighteen months was it that the comic book Sarlacc pit swallowed me. Characters I had only slight knowledge of since I was a child were suddenly in the forefront of my mind, jumping off the colorful pages before me. Doctor Strange, Deathstroke, Green Arrow, Yondu, Star Lord, Ultron, Black Panther, Thanos, Rocket, Deadpool, and Harley Quinn. But, in what may have been the most enjoyable part, the ability to dig much further into that, the greatest of villains, Joker!
Several things have contributed to my new found love of comics. The memories of the shows I watched growing up. The excellent movies beginning with X-Men in '00. The creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The modern D.C. televisions shows. And the final piece to the puzzle fell when I discovered Comic Book Men.
I suppose I was always on the edge of the comic book chasm but it was a beautiful coalescing of all those things that ultimately pushed me over the edge. And not only me, but thousands of others too. This is another Golden Age that should be celebrated instead of the pissing and moaning we hear from some of the fanboys. "You only know about -insert title here- because of a stupid movie!". What is my response to such notions? "So what?" Besides, Comics aren't for everyone and you do not own the sole rights to the materiel nor can you dictate who can or cannot enjoy the adaptations on the silver screen or the books themselves.
Please, Just let them appreciate it however they can. Many are excitedly and actively seeking out, and have the desire, to love the same things you already do. If watching a movie or a television show is now bringing more people into this beautiful world of art and writing, let them come!
Have you heard? I'm a nerd! Get used it!
I am proud to openly declare that I'm a nerd. I'm proud to openly declare that I love comic books. No person should feel ashamed of such a thing. In fact, being a nerd has taught me some important lessons and I've come across some sage advice that muggles, civilians, non-mutants, non space explorers, and non time travelers most likely will never understand. I will leave you with a few of these. So, until next time, remember...
1: He who controls the Spice controls the universe
2: Always turn to page 394
3: Han shot first
4: Don't panic
5: Shakespeare is best when heard in its original Klingon
6: You won’t like some people when they're angry
7: When asked if you are a God, the proper response is always "YES"
8: Don't believe in the "no win scenario"
9: Do, or do not. There is no "try"
10: Not all tears are an evil
11: With great power there must also come great responsibility
12: Be weary of old books that have been written in, or perhaps have covers made of human skin
13: Even wonderful childhood memories, can on occasion, destroy large cities
14: Never say someone's name three times in a row
15: Never eat the small piles of powder all over the empty ship
16: If you can, take your chances with the pig lizard
17: Some people just want to watch the world burn
18: Try to aim for the head
19: No one tosses a dwarf, unless asked (then it must always remain a secret)
20: If you're six-foot-three and have had a beard since you were fifteen, you're probably not an elf
21: When your co-worker has a really bad stomach ache, everyone should just stand back (or get him some Pepto-Bismol)
22: Pronouncing words incorrectly can at times lead to failure, or even disaster
23: Always follow the rules regarding your pets
24: When the time calls for it, you may set booty traps
25: Drinking or eating consumables with unknown ingredients can lead to unwanted side effects
26: Sometimes, if well prepared, one can match wits with a Sicilian even if death is on the line
27: A belt just means you don't need a rope to hold your pants up*
28: Always open the fortune cookie before you eat it
29: The cake is a lie
30: Sometimes during a worldwide crisis it is best to get to the pub
31: Jewelry found in dark places should most likely be destroyed.
32: Everyone falls the first time
33: "Get her!" is not a great plan
34: Always know where one's towel is
35: The proper (and cool) response to "I love you" is always "I know"
36: Never interfere with your parent's first meeting
37: Not everyone is worthy of having and awesome hammer
38: An escaped penis probably goes by the name "Archie"
39: Sleepy little villages with an overly enthusiastic Neighborhood Watch talking about the "greater good" is most likely hiding something*
40: If you have a suspicion that creepy redheaded pizza delivery boy is a vampire, spilling your sunflower seeds will distract and slow him down
41: Never name a computer HAL. (However, the names K.I.T.T., or Holly, are acceptable)
42: ...is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything
43: Never have sex with the female version of yourself from another dimension.
44: A servant of the enemy would perhaps look fairer and feel fouler
And finally... #45: Never blink or turn your back on statues covering their eyes. Especially if they are angels.
*From honorary nerd sources
This is originally from my blog, The Occasional Idiot