By Queso6p4 12 Comments
About a week or so ago, I, once again went to my comic shop a few minutes before the scheduled opening so I could grab my pulls before class started. When I got there there was already an older, possibly middle-aged guy, waiting as well , along with Wayne (a long time employee and my favorite to boot) Wayne and I started catching up about Thanksgiving break and what not while we all waited for Dave (the guy with the key that day) to show up. Wayne informed us that Dave had just moved and had to adjust to using a different bus to get into work and that was probably why he was running a little late. A few minutes later Dave showed up and he and Wayne headed up to prep the store. While they did so, the other customer and I struck up a conversation centered around comics, naturally, that was polite, pleasant, and not at all invasive. I found out that he worked down the street and decided to come up early so he could fully enjoy his lunch break rather than having to divide it between travelling to and from the shop as well as eat. I very much enjoyed talking with him and towards the end of our conversation Jeff (the store owner) showed up, and ushered us upstairs to our home away from home. Talking to other comic book readers about comics, comic related topics, or even *gasp* other topics, is what I look forward to the most when making the weekly pilgrimage to Phantom of the Attic Comics. It's always nice to see and hear what people are interested in who share a mutual interest. I'll stop with that for now as the social aspect of comic reading is a whole other topic in of itself.
So, a few weeks ago, about a week or so before the above incident, I skipped my philosophy class and went to the comic shop before it opened so I could grab the titles and covers I wanted before the other faithful patrons could get their hands on them. Well, shortly after I got there another younger-looking shopper showed up and waited so I struck up a conversation with him and asked which titles he was reading and what he thought of the DC reboot. At first, he seemed almost deathly afraid to engage me in conversation and, throughout the painfully wrought interaction, seemed reluctant to talk about this mutual interest that we shared. After our brief chat I left him alone and shortly afterwards, Wayne showed up and went up to set up. Jeff followed him up to help and told us things would be ready in five. After the time elapsed we went up and my pulls were waiting for me in a neat little pile. Blah, blah, blah. To be fair to the other guy, he was just randomly asked about which comics he likes by a random bearded stranger at 10 in the morning so I can understand his initial reluctance. Moreover, he could have suffered from some social anxiety/disorder, but for whatever reason, he still tolerated my talking to him so I give him props for that.
Recently, I've been hitting up the commuter lounge, a new lounge that caters to commuter students (shocking I know, given the name). Strangely enough, there always seems to be a buzz of nerdy/geeky activity here: some people are always playing Magic, doing PC gaming (a lot of WoW fans and virtual chess) , discussing episodes of MythBusters, and the like. On this particular occasion, I was scoping out a spot to set up my laptop when I noticed a guy reading comics that were very 90s looking. I set my stuff down and asked him what he was reading (you'd think I'd have been discouraged from doing this by now) and he held up a cover to show me. I asked him if they were 90s and he said, "I think so" or something like that. I asked him another question or two but he seemed irritated that I was bothering him. I can appreciate that, truly, I can. Although he seemed reluctant to talk from the beginning he had a slightly rude air about him towards the end of our chat. Interestingly enough, later on that same day I was playing Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and a guy walked up behind me and commented on how he'd never seen anyone else playing that game. I took out my ear-buds and had a pleasant, albeit short, conversation with him about it and afterwards he continued walking over to his friends, one of which interjected a comment during our talk. It was neat to connect with a random person over a shared interest
The point of this whole rant-ish entry is to stress how much I hate comic book nerd stereotype as being: shy, reclusive, social awkward, pale, etc. but this guy just screamed socially awkward and that really infuriated me. I though, don't make us look like that! However, the point remains that I still hate negative incarnations of comic book nerds as I'm very proud of my community of readers. (This may very well sound elitist and that too, I despise) We geeks/nerds or whatever have to stick together and support each other, not shrink away from social interactions. Everyone has a potentially interesting and informative perspective on things and it's always awesome to see/hear them and thus expand our experience, knowledge, and perspective as well. What do you all think? Any thoughts and input are appreciated.