Posted by No_name_here (1247 posts) - - Show Bio
 Going to my first convention was so surreal for the simple fact that I was in a whole hall full of other people who liked comics.

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? 

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

#1 Posted by Mr. Dead Pool (3026 posts) - - Show Bio

Everyone I know knows I'm a total comic geek. Only 3 of my 10 friends share my love of comics

#3 Posted by Icarusflies (12767 posts) - - Show Bio

People know that I'm a comic fanatic. I make no effort to hide it. I wear my Comic hoodies to school on a regular basis, and people just think that's cool. Most of my friends are either interested in comics, or are becoming interested simply so they can understand what I'm talking about.

#4 Posted by Theodore (3607 posts) - - Show Bio

everyone knows I love comics at work and my friends. I have a milk crate full for people to look at when they come over. and in my cubicle at work I have an Armor Wars poster, Shadowland, and a little Brightest Day one.

#5 Edited by ZORN (1560 posts) - - Show Bio

I got called gay by one of my "friends" because of it, though he also calls me that for a lot of other things so whatever, though I usually keep my comic book reading to myself, my older brother knows though, and tell him somethings from time to time.

#6 Posted by jakob187 (1030 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm completely open.  There's no reason not to be, especially in this climate where movies based on comics are being seen by so many people, including those outside of the realm of comics.

#7 Posted by rlmay3 (273 posts) - - Show Bio

I flaunt it. My fiancée has come to accept this.

#8 Edited by Dr. Detfink (542 posts) - - Show Bio

Being in the later half of my 30s, this is the worst era to being a comic book fan because every one who has seen a movie or played a video game calls him or herself a "long time" comic book fan. Long time being since the first Spider-man film. 
I loved being the odd ball. Being a comic book fan was the equivalent of my teen years of going to WWF events in Philly in the 80s to BOO Hulk Hogan and cheer every villain. People threw beer at us, spat on us, and rained HATRED. I reveled in being something special only a few could understand.
Today, being a comic book fan is like mourning over the Rock...A great thing turned into a Disney product.  
Today, every one feels like, "Oh I UNDERSTAND comic books (without ever reading them)." Sure, going to San Diego Con-job (I don't call it a comic con because the comics are shoved in a janitor's closet as Hollywood takes over) you'll see MOBS of people in t-shirts but most of them haven't read a comic book from the 80s, 70s, or 60s. They couldn't name 20 writers.
Hence, I no longer respond to being a comic book fan in public because it's like people who request Freebird at a Karaoke bar. It's redundant.  
This is what brings me back to my FAVORITE part of comic vine, which is asking the simple questions for cosplay clowns who can't answer, "Who is Batman?" 

#9 Posted by TheMess1428 (2211 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't have too many friends in real life that share my love for comics but some of my friends do like to hear the stories. And they usually come to me when they have a comic book related question.

#10 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (10419 posts) - - Show Bio

That is really cool to talk about. Not everyone knows I like comic books only my really close friends and family. It took me 2 years to tell one of my 2 friends. I remember we went to go see Kick Ass and Harleyquinnhawkgirl told my two friends that he liked comics and that is the only reason he really liked the movie. I said I also like comics but, they did not care that we liked comics. So, no one in school knows I like comic books. Non of my friends really like comic books only one of my friends does and he is on comic vine, Harleyquinnhawkgirl. So, I never really talk about comics to my friends. One of the reason I love Comic Vine because I could just go talk about comics forever. I never read comics in public I would never bring it to school. But a couple of days ago at lunch  I was talking about Smallville and that we had to see the series finale. They said they never seen the show and know nothing about Superman. Then I kind of looked at them strangely and I said everyone knows a little about Superman he is an iconic figure. They knew he wore glasses and he could fly and that was pretty much it. I was like you do not know he is Kryptonian he gets his powers from the sun. I was not asking them hard questions like name 5 of his villains. They hardly knew who Lois Lane was. So, that is the only time I really expressed my liking of comics and one of my friends that knew I liked comics was there so she knew I could say a lot about the topic. But the other people never really caught on that I liked comics they just thought I knew a lot about pop culture. 

#11 Posted by Mr.Hulk_Smashin'! (2663 posts) - - Show Bio

Not all my friends know, but my closer ones do. I have 2 friends that read comics as well. That I know of, anyways.

#12 Posted by turoksonofstone (13681 posts) - - Show Bio
@Mr. Dead Pool said:
" Everyone I know knows I'm a total comic geek. Only 3 of my 10 friends share my love of comics "
#13 Posted by EnigmaMystery (27 posts) - - Show Bio

Only my close friends and family know that I love comic books. Even though I help run a comic book store, I'm not very open about the fact. 
It's mainly because I'm female and I get looked down on a lot for like something that "only boys are allowed to like". I may be in my early 20's but I still get harassed about it.

#14 Posted by UrmanitaRules (87 posts) - - Show Bio

Almost everyone I know knows that I'm a HUGE comic book geek. It makes me feel kind of an expert among my friends, too.

#15 Posted by jamdown (301 posts) - - Show Bio

I wear my comic shirts often and proud!!!
#16 Posted by Krakoa (815 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm similar to you, Tom. I don't go out of my way to hide it, but I don't really talk about comics or read them in public only because I know few people interested in them, so I don't bother, much like I wouldn't want a botany fanatic to talk ad nauseam about plants around me.

#17 Posted by Meteorite (3479 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty much everyone I know knows that I like comics, but I don't talk about them that much except to my really best friends (not that they understand half of what I'm saying)

#18 Posted by Om1kron (1219 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty open, especially since I'm an artist, everyone that knows me knows I originally wanted to be a professional comic book artist. It just so happens I'm good at a lot of things and working in information technology pays a LOT more than comics for the work you put in.  
When I was growing up comic books were hard to come by with no close comic book stores in walking distance, I then moved to Alhambra where I had a total of 3 comic book stores walking distance from my apartment in Alhambra. I used to spend more time ditching school and drawing or playing video games in the local comic book store than obviously playing basketball in phys ed.  
Comics and Pogs were hot back when I was in school, not a lot of kids were into partying and drugs surprisingly. Everyone was into pogs it was ridiculous, and just so happens the comic book store sold a majority of them so obviously people started to get into comics.  
I stopped actively collecting probably when I turned 20 since I didn't have a local comic book store to me, but I still religiously purchased any set of toys released by mcfarlane toys.  
Here and there still reading comics, tried getting back into Spawn where I left off (Issue 100 or so) but without Greg Capullo penciling it. It was just hard for me to be excited about. I was reading a lot of DREAMWAVE books like Arkanum, TMNT following fresh talent like LeSean Thomas or Alvin Lee.   
Here is the desk (well 2 shots of my cube) roughly about 2003-2005 

I believe these are all of the "Robots in Disguise" transformers, you can see Michaelangelo chillin and my spawn die cast drag car I got with a recent shipment of the collectors club stuff. 
You could imagine how many kids came by my desk at "BRING YOU CHILD TO WORK DAY" jesus, little ass grabby things always trying to play with stuff on my desk.  
I regret to say I lost pretty much everything at this desk (which you can kinda see my spawn figures on top of these bins) around 2006 in some freak apartment accident. Cleaning crew thought I moved out and took my bin of toys while I was staying in another apt at the time. No biggie only like 2600 dollars worth of toys. =(
So It's pretty obvious I'm all about showing everyone my nerd side even if my job isn't comic related.  After having some dumbshit co worker break a 50 dollar transformer and just throw away the piece they broke off w/o leaving a note. I don't leave stuff like this in the office anymore.  

As I traversed into the world of Manga and Anime, dreamwave released a demographic of books that kept me collecting comics while moving over into this new genre of stuff that is more to my liking.  But then they wen't bankrupt or whatever, books were coming out late.  
As an adult without websites like comic vine it was really hard for me to find a demographic of people my age (now 30) that read comic books, and could recommend something for me to get my feet wet with.  
And sadly this past week after checking out the Comic Vine loves your comic book store thread or whatever, I found Nostalgic Books and Comics was down the street from me. I visited the place a few months ago and got excited. After getting a pull list together and heading over there this week to drop a nice chunk of change to get current with haunt and spawn I find the store was closed.  
I went home all sad.  
Back to square one, I know there are more comic book stores out there, Golden Apple comics is on the way to my work so maybe I'll stop by there to fill my Haunt needs.  
But even age, lack of space to keep them, or the demise of the dollar is not going to stop my love for comics. 
- Wayne
#19 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (10419 posts) - - Show Bio
@Krakoa: Wow that is ironic you said that because my twin brother loves plants especially tropical ones. He talks about them sometimes and I tone out and tell him I do not talk about comics so please do not talk about plants. We have a jungle in the house right now. 
#20 Posted by CrimsonInuTears (699 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm a girl who walks around in a Gir jacket, an anime/comic shirts, so everyone knows I'm crazy. ^_^

#21 Posted by <the skull> (318 posts) - - Show Bio

im open about it i have a few friends that can keep up with me in the comics but arnt into them and i have other friends who dont like comics but i openly where a comicbook or geeky shirt everywhere i go.

#22 Posted by justafan (140 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm open about being a comic book fan but i don't go flaunting it around.. usually in class if we make things talking about ourselves i'll bring up the fact and my fav character 
but sadly my friends are only mildly interested

#23 Posted by sonic1435 (14 posts) - - Show Bio
#24 Posted by ComicCrazy (1640 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm a total nerd and well everyone i know knows it and one of my friends is a comic nerd as well which I am very happy to say.
#25 Edited by Mr. Kamikaze (655 posts) - - Show Bio

No one really knows I am a comic book fan, but I don't hide it. I just don't feel like its important enough to mention. If they asked, i'd admit it freely and without hesitation, especially if they want to buy me some, XD 
My mother, brother, and sister know. That may be because we happen to live in the same household. But I don't think anyone else knows, and I don't think anyone else in my family would even care, honestly. I think it'd just make Christmas shopping for them a bit easier. o.O  
That said, I don't have anyone I can share the interest in comics with. So I do keep it to myself mostly because no one else around me shares my interest. My brother will ask questions now and then, but he isn't so invested.  
Comic Vine is my only connection to other comic book fans. 

#26 Posted by robokungfu (183 posts) - - Show Bio

Ever since the girl I was in love with in 6th grade laughed at me over my 10 year old self reading spider-man I kept my four-colored love in the dark.  Strangely enough in college no one seemed to care and I freely wear my (metaphorical) badge.

#27 Posted by Grimoire (595 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll read comics anywhere and at anytime. Those comics and trades that I do have I still read them openly when I want to see a certain part over again and answer questions about them if asked if its about a character I know. I confess I do not dress up but I have never gone to a con before either so that could change in the future. lol Those statues showing my favorite characters in dramatic poses that are sold always look cool.

#28 Posted by SuperXAsh (564 posts) - - Show Bio

My friends and family know i'm a big comic geek, and some of my friends are geeks themselves, be it comics, movies, or manga/anime.

#29 Posted by Baron_Emo (3609 posts) - - Show Bio

I tend to test the waters. I will wear comic themed clothing, have a screensaver or wallpaper at work, that kinda thing. I also have an Etrigan figure from Brave and the Bold on my desk. I will read comics in public. If someone is interested, I will talk to them about it. I'll see if they read anything current. See what they like. My family and friends all know I love comics. My dad and brother may not read anything current, but are very knowledgeable. My dad had (and has since lost) a pretty sweet collection of first appearances and first issues from the 70's. 
If not, I don't push it. It's pretty widely frowned upon where I live. Most are more comfortable ridiculing you, or implying how juvenile it is. 

#30 Posted by sora_thekey (8654 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm relatively new to comics... but my dad was a comic book collector (Owned Amazing Fantasy #15 and Fantastic Four #1) and my mom used to be really into anime. 
So my geek-ness was bound to come out someday. 
I don't hide that I'm a geek all my friends know it and my co-workers talk to me about it. My closest friends will usually get into "who would beat who" conversations with comic book characters and I clear up things like that for them. Even during movies, they would ask me: "and that happened in the comic?". 
When I was in Middle school I was in the Soccer team and in the Anime Club so I was geeky and "normal" all at the same time! :)

#31 Posted by MatKrenz (1513 posts) - - Show Bio

In Septembre I was supposed to bring in english class an item that we really liked and that was really near to us and I brought my Runaways vol 1 Hardcover and talked about it so my whole class knows im a comic geek and I don't really hide it since I wont mind if people teased me about it. Also if it wasn't for our stupid school uniform policy I would totally wear my Punisher and Iron Man annuel t-shirt at school.

#32 Posted by Krakoa (815 posts) - - Show Bio
@haydenclaireheroes: Lol, that is a coincidence. I picked plants randomly for my example. Maybe Swamp Thing can be common ground? lol. Bad joke, I know. 

#33 Posted by The Sadhu (860 posts) - - Show Bio

All my family and friends know that I am a comic freak! They always seem to come to me when they want to know something about an comic character. 
Heck I even did a paper on comics back at university as part of my psychology degree!
#34 Posted by sifsclub (464 posts) - - Show Bio

I tell people "I freakin' LOVE Comic Books. and if you think that I'm weak, if you think that you can beat me, because of it, come and try." But only if i sense that hey try to belittle my comic book love. Otherwise, the warning is not issued. But most people are scared of me anyway. They call me things like "Gargantuan" or "Megalithic" or "Humongolithic." So i can pretty much say anything.

#35 Posted by comicbikerscott (152 posts) - - Show Bio

i read and talk about comics all the time
#36 Posted by MatKrenz (1513 posts) - - Show Bio
Seriously dude don't be ashamed.At first just say you have a passing interest in comics and say you only read 2 or 3 comics and gradually go from there.Hell thats how I explained it to my class in english.
#37 Posted by Mr. Kamikaze (655 posts) - - Show Bio
@difficlus: I am relatively new to comics myself, but when people do ask they aren't actually as put off by it as you would think (not to say there aren't people who are, there sure are). I usually just tell people I like the creative aspect of it, and then just shrug it off. Worked for me, they would usually just go with it and change the subject.
#38 Posted by ninjadude853 (286 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll take them to school and read them openly if I have time during class and nobody gives me any crap. It's not like I'll randomly start talking them or anything but if people ask me about them I'll answer questions. Hell, a couple of weeks ago someone asked to read one of the ones I'll brought, don't think he liked it though.

#39 Edited by Icon (2234 posts) - - Show Bio

People who know me know I am a Spidey geek, and that I love comics in general. Why hide that? But Tom makes a great point. I don't know a lot of people who are into comics either so that's in large part why I'm on the Vine too. Frankly, I don't know what I'd do without the interwebs. 

#40 Posted by JonesDeini (3857 posts) - - Show Bio

Everybody around me knows it, especially my ol' lady who I've gotten into reading Y The Last Man. On my book shelf next to my copies of Things Fall Apart, The Beautiful Struggle and the Autobiography of Malcolm X lies Sandman, Preacher, and Watchmen. I go to the shop almost every week with a group of friends/co workers. Atop my cd shelf with 200+ Hip-Hop/R&B/Soul cd's sits A Wing Zero Custom, 1970's Kenner Obi-Wan, Vader, and 90's Kenner ROTJ Luke arranged to mimic the classic Black Power salute from the 1968 Olympics, a Warmachine hero clix, and a Batman Begins batman action figure. I regularly wear a Wolvie/Colossus "Fast Ball Special" 59/50 fitted cap, as well as a Jim Lee Hush era Batman fitted, and a Fantastic Four with Wolvie claw marks through the insignia fitted. Best lapdance I ever got in my life was while I was while wearing a Heath Ledger Joker tee (miss that shirt) at this night club last year...I'm pretty much a loud and proud Geek/Nerd.  

#41 Posted by Joshthetwinkie (45 posts) - - Show Bio

I think everyone knows I'm a comic book geek or addicted to spider-man.

#42 Posted by N7_Normandy (2504 posts) - - Show Bio

Let's just say I'm not a people person

#43 Posted by roxamilli (194 posts) - - Show Bio

i'm all about letting my comic flag fly. I'm know for it at school, and people call me Aquagirl in lifeguarding class. My profile pic on facebook, twitter, and tumblr involves some kind of comic related symbol or image.  I even started a club to get more girls at school to get into comics.
I think it's important to have pride in your interests, as long as you're not super annoying about it.
#44 Posted by TheBug (1121 posts) - - Show Bio

My friends and teachers know. I’ve even gotten some of them into comics, not hard core but they’ll read a Gotham Central trade or two. When my lunch table knows who Danny Rand is, I know I’ve done my job. :)

Never once have I been ashamed of my hobby. I read trades at school, and dressed up like a GL for my schools “Superhero Day”. It was for football spirit week. I can’t tell you how many people had camo superman t-shirts (shudder). The only people I’m reluctant to tell are snobby English teachers. I usually have the BEST English teachers, one who actually read graphic novels, but sometimes you meet a person who just doesn’t get it.

Comics are such a huge part of my identity, it’s impossible to hide it. Why be ashamed? Can’t we all collectively acknowledge that we have the coolest hobby in the world?       

#45 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1092 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm open about my love for comics, but I also have, you know, social skills so I don't go up to people at parties and yell at them about the differences between Alan Scott's Green Lantern and Hal Jordan's. It also helps that a lot of my friends are particularly geeky about various topics, be they sports stats, history, or whatever, and I just treat comics as another form of fantasy fiction.

#46 Posted by JonesDeini (3857 posts) - - Show Bio
Bingo, it's all about how you go about being a comic fan. I cringe every time I see a sci-fi, comic, fantasy fan that's just a stereotypical, socially awkward weirdo. I honestly thin the only time I come off as "The Comic Book Guy" is when I go to see comics based movies. I tend to go on full throttle fan boy rants of wrath. I'm pretty sure my cousin/friend/I spent twice the time it took us to watch X3 bashing it after it ended.   
#47 Posted by Thor'sHammer (74 posts) - - Show Bio

My fb profile pick is me as Cap for Halloween.  So, yeah I am totally public in my super hero love.

#48 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1092 posts) - - Show Bio
@JonesDeini: Yeah, it's kinda funny, NOBODY I know who likes comics or is generally geeky acts like the assholes on Big Bang Theory... that may be because people I know are actually funny.
#49 Posted by heroclick6 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

 I once had a boss at the Wal-mart I worked at who promoted me to a supervisor. That year I asked for a week and half off to go to SDCC. When he found out I was a geek, he said " I can't believe I gave a supervisor job to a nerd.". I replied "A nerd is someone who obsesses over a subject be it comics, movies or video games. I take the same concept and apply it to work." After that he began to ask me about comics and watched G4's coverage of Comic-con  looking for me.  

#50 Posted by Gambit1024 (10217 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm very open to it and don't understand why anyone would be ashamed of it. People are obsessed with vampires nowadays and you don't see me laughing in their faces about it.  
Unfortunately I don't know anyone personally who knows as much as I do, and it's a bummer cause this is one of the only things I can talk about for hours at a time. I have some friends who know a few things about some characters, but when I go into deep discussions about them they'll look at me and just say "Yeah, I just think he looks cool." 
This is why I love coming to the Vine, lol