I should have seen it coming. He had mentioned his personal collection, at least once or twice. But when he drove halfway across the country, with two dogs, a brother and just a Camry trunk full of his worldly possessions, I knew how deeply the geek in him ran. Deep may be an understatement. He had no problem selling all of his furniture, housewares, even electronics to move from Chicago to New Jersey. But what was non-negotiable? He couldn’t part with his personal prized collection of six long boxes of comics.
Those six boxes have grown. After our basement spilled to a garage full, and now a warehouse full of comics, toys, lithographs, banners, and who knows what else, I have resigned myself to learning the deference between Amazing, Ultimate and Spectacular Spidermen. I am learning the Universe of comic and superheroes. I am an accidental geek–by marriage.
We are a Marvel house. There, I said it. That is his influence, I couldn’t tell you if left to my own evaluation it would have been the same, but that’s just part of my evolution. My introduction to geek-dom has had an undeniable Marvel slant. Iron man, Hulk, Spider-Man, X-men—a very strong base to start my comic education. I have only one Comic con to my credit. The Marvel movie franchise has certainly strengthened my appreciation for Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s megalithic legacy. Now, I can also get a dose on prime time with Abc’s Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I think I have a buried geek-kernel. I grew up on Adam West’s Batman and Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman. Maybe it just needed a little dusting off. I don’t need convincing to go see Wolverine, and it’s not just because of Hugh Jackman. I enjoyed the post Avenger movie drill down on the origins of the Black Widow and Black Panther. I’m just a geek in training.
I am still a noob, but I am learning. I don’t trust myself to know the difference between a toss away comic (is that heresy?) and the comic equivalent of a winning lottery ticket–say, one of Nic cage’s treasures. I never knew part of my joint retirement plan would include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don’t have a favorite hero—yet. But, I have a lifetime ahead to learn.
Geek Culture diagram by Julianna Brion – http://juliannabrion.tumblr.com/