I know that the Comic Vine community encompasses a wide demographic, so I wanted to ask - - how open are you maniacs about your fandom in the “real world?” Do you read comics in public? Do you talk to your friends about them? Do your classmates know you're a fan? Do your co-workers? The notion that the “geeks have gone mainstream” is everywhere in the press these days, but I smell some spin and exaggeration, so I’m curious how much shoe-to-the-pavement, signal-to-noise ratio there is here.
Myself? I haven't cared about any "comics stigma" for years. I keep comics on my coffee table and never move them when I have guests. Is that cool? Is it uncool? I don't care.
But when I was a kid? I got made fun of in fourth grade for reading comics. Even ten-year-olds were acting like they were too big for the stuff. When I was high school, I was never really embarrassed about the stuff. I’d show off my long boxes to friends when they were over at my place, but I’d rarely ever bring it up in school because, simply, none of my classmates were into the stuff. I know some guys who had groups of comics-loving friends growing up, but myself? I never really had a “clique.” I played sports with the "jocks" and PC games with the "geeks," but never identified myself as either. And I simply never encountered anybody, in grade school, high school or college, who enjoyed comics as much as I did. It was just me and the intangible comics community. == TEASER ==
Part of the appeal of being on a website like Comic Vine, of course, is the chance to plug in to that intangible comics community, to talk to people with the same interests as you (especially if you don’t know any in your day-to-day.) When I was in my teens, my experience online felt almost like some kind of astral projection (or a double-life, take your pick.) I'd meet fellow fans online and have conversations about our favorite books that I'd never get to speak aloud in the "real world." I met fellow creators (some of whom I formed long-lasting working collaborations with) when I didn't know anybody who even liked to draw in person. I do wonder sometimes, though, if my interest in comics would’ve still lasted if I hadn't had that kind of reinforcement.That's my story. What's yours? I'm sure every single one of you has a unique answer to this, and it's fun to compare experiences. Maybe we can reach some kind of consensus, here. So let's hear it - - how open are you about your comics fandom?