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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Comic-CON: Ain't it cool to be a nerd?

   
Author Topic: Comic-CON: Ain't it cool to be a nerd?
Aros
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So, my "normal" sister called me yesterday, stating that WE HAD to all go to Comic-CON next year. I was startled. She elaborated that both her and her husband wanted to go. Because of the spectacle, and the fact that they adore a lot of "nerdy" tv shows, they want to displace two real nerds.

I guess it was to be expected. The last time I went was in 2002. I got to see Terry Brooks, the Coreys, a few Star Trek Actors. It was a good time. Now, it's a media sensation.

If people become enamored with shows such as Chuck, True Blood, Game of Thrones, etc., are they real nerds? Comic book movies versus readers? Where do we draw the line? Or should the faithful just let the mouthbreathers have this CON; we could find another to be the nerd mega CON.

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Samprimary
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comic con is actually pretty awesome i guess! it also comes with the latent possibility for better drama than usual (comics artists as a group have quite a huge share of nuts and creeps)
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Stone_Wolf_
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A friend of mine (attractive female) wore a shirt reading...

quote:
Beware stupid people in large numbers.
...to a comic con. I told her to change it, as we were going to be killed, but she refused. She got so many compliments on that shirt that day. I guess no one thinks themselves "stupid". Or maybe they just like the excuse to openly stare at her breasts.
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Dan_Frank
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Sorry to break it to you, Aros, but nerds won the culture war over a decade ago.

Of course, "real" nerds can and do keep themselves marginalized if they really want to. But they can't easily do it via interests anymore. People like Sci-Fi and Fantasy. People like comic books (and comic book movies, especially). People like video games. People like computers, and the people that make them do things.

If nerds want to keep their "other" status, they generally have to do it through defiance of social norms. That is: nerds (and nerdy interests) are popular and mainstream. Socially awkward people, however, are still on the fringes.

So: If you're dedicated to staying on the fringes, now you know what to do.

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Aros
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Well, I guess we'll always have (pen and paper) roleplaying games. Grumble, grumble. And maybe larping.
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AchillesHeel
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I attended the Phoenix Comicon for the first time this year, while I was there I chatted for a bit with the owner of my LCS who had a tiny spot that he filled with longboxes of golden and silver age comics that had been filling a lonely area of the store for a very long time. He got plenty of looky-loos but I doubt he covered the six hundred it cost him for the weekend (not to mention the four people including himself at the con all three days plus the lone clerk left at the store) all to give con-goers a small coupon encouraging them to actually go to a real live comic-book store and spend money. They had a little bump from it, but for the time spent I'm sure he would rather do something targeted toward his existing customers.

Now, if you had gone to the con looking for a web-comic artist to draw a zombie or to meet that one chick from Starship Troopers or even just want to take a picture with a part-time stripper who has been put into strange costume for a day, the Phoenix Comicon is for you.

I attended a "Meta-Human Smack Down" in which a small room of us poised various characters from all over against each other and then argued in favor of or against either one until the points were tallied and one declared the winner. Doc Octopus barely won when put in the ring with The Ewoks (as a whole, I argued in favor of The Ewoks.) At the end of the day I listened to Wil Wheaton read some original short stories and share a personal story in which I learned exactly why his wife is a very tolerant woman, and that Wil owns a t-shirt that says "The Holo-Deck is for Porn."

I saw some great costumes (the Green Ranger, the White Ranger AND a Putty... a frakking Putty all met by bizarre accident in front of my very eyes) and a great many of horrible ones (Pedo-Bear should not be allowed inside!!!!!!) and about five hired women with fake boobs and no clue what was going on.

In the end I don't think that the comic book convention is about comic books anymore. When the whole experience is about sci-fi actor meet & greets and taking a picture with the re-creation Ecto-1 next to a few people in startlingly good Ghostbuster garb, it just isn't about comics and the people who read them. Where was Peter Gross? Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo and Peter Milligan? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to pick Milligan's brain about Justice League Dark and the future of the magical side of DC.

San Diego Comicon will have whoever the current Joe Quesada or Grant Morrison is, maybe Niel Gaiman and the ever present Kevin Smith but they will never be as popular as the Chuck panel. Hell, last year Cowboys and Aliens was the biggest ticket in town.

[ July 12, 2012, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: AchillesHeel ]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Sorry to break it to you, Aros, but nerds won the culture war over a decade ago.

Of course, "real" nerds can and do keep themselves marginalized if they really want to. But they can't easily do it via interests anymore. People like Sci-Fi and Fantasy. People like comic books (and comic book movies, especially). People like video games. People like computers, and the people that make them do things.

If nerds want to keep their "other" status, they generally have to do it through defiance of social norms. That is: nerds (and nerdy interests) are popular and mainstream. Socially awkward people, however, are still on the fringes.

So: If you're dedicated to staying on the fringes, now you know what to do.

Nice. [Big Grin]
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Well, I guess we'll always have (pen and paper) roleplaying games. Grumble, grumble. And maybe larping.

Sorry man, P&P isn't enough to get you marginalized. Maybe if you're a fan of FATAL or something, but that circles back to the whole "socially awkward" thing.

D&D alone has had, what, 20 million or more players in the past 10 years? Plus is mainstream enough that many TV shows do D&D episodes, and lots of celebs are well-known for playing it. Stephen Colbert went to Gen Con for Pete's sake.

And that's ignoring all the other popular systems like GURPS that have their own sales numbers, and also ignoring the indie P&P market, which is surging in popularity among young hipsters.

I might grant you larping, though. [Wink]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Sorry to break it to you, Aros, but nerds won the culture war over a decade ago.

Of course, "real" nerds can and do keep themselves marginalized if they really want to. But they can't easily do it via interests anymore. People like Sci-Fi and Fantasy. People like comic books (and comic book movies, especially). People like video games. People like computers, and the people that make them do things.

If nerds want to keep their "other" status, they generally have to do it through defiance of social norms. That is: nerds (and nerdy interests) are popular and mainstream. Socially awkward people, however, are still on the fringes.

So: If you're dedicated to staying on the fringes, now you know what to do.

Nice. [Big Grin]
Heh, thanks.

I suppose it's a pet peeve of mine. I know too many socially awkward nerds who use their interests as an excuse for their poor behavior. I bought it in the 90s. Now? Not so much.

I mean, of the 4 top (domestic) grossing films of all time, the winner is Sci-Fi, and both of the non-Cameron flicks are superhero movies. This is no longer the same culture that spawned Revenge of the Nerds.

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PSI Teleport
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I'm happy to no longer be marginalized. Now the margin belongs to people who think "it's so weird" to watch cartoons when you're an adult. And they consider themselves normal, so it's even funnier.
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BlackBlade
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I think my mom finally realized that video games are a normal activity for men and women my age like seriously last week. I think Guild Wars 2 is going to suck in me and the Mrs.
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Jeff C.
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Being nerdy is the new thing now. Look at The Big Bang Theory. That show's lasted for like 7 seasons and it's still going strong.

Now that you've got the comic book craze and shows like The Walking Dead and all the new scifi movies like Avatar taking in all the money, there's bound to be more on the way.

Personally, I think it's great. If more people want to like the same things I like, then why can't they? I love Game of Thrones (the show and the books), so seeing it get some hype and recognition is great. The same's true for Joss Whedon (Firefly is going to have a panel at Comic Con, which probably wouldn't have happened if not for The Avengers).

You really have to wonder if stuff like Ender's Game would even be getting the film treatment if it hadn't been for the recent wave of nerd love that's been going around. I'm glad for that, even if it means I have to suffer through a few neo-nerds that just got on the bandwagon.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Being nerdy is the new thing now. Look at The Big Bang Theory.

*take formula sitcom humor, add aspbergers oddness and peripherally related 'nerd subject' namedropping, garnish with 8 solid hours of laughtrack*
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Aros
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From a nerd perspective, IT Crowd >>>> Big Bang Theory.
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rivka
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No, from YOUR perspective. No one crowned you king of the nerds, and you do not speak for the whole.
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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
No, from YOUR perspective. No one crowned you king of the nerds, and you do not speak for the whole.

Hm. You have a point.

Aros, by the power vested in me, I hereby crown you king of the nerds and deem that you speak for the whole. Your Burger King crown is in the mail.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
You really have to wonder if stuff like Ender's Game would even be getting the film treatment if it hadn't been for the recent wave of nerd love that's been going around. I'm glad for that, even if it means I have to suffer through a few neo-nerds that just got on the bandwagon.

Please feel free to correct me, but wasn't OSC turning down offers and looking into others for over ten years? For whatever reason no one could impress Card enough allow them rights for an adaptation.

quote:

Aros, by the power vested in me, I hereby crown you king of the nerds and deem that you speak for the whole. Your Burger King crown is in the mail.

Didn't anyone ever tell you that Wil Wheaton is king of the nerds? the man was blogging before most Americans understood what the internet was. He was made official when he admitted that his role of Wesley Crusher was the worst thing on Star Trek TNG.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
No, from YOUR perspective. No one crowned you king of the nerds, and you do not speak for the whole.

This is true. But I will argue that Big Bang Theory is (yet another Chuck Lorre show) really written from the perspective of a mouthbreather, while IT Crowd is from the perspective of actual nerd culture. I'll grant that Big Bang has good consulting (and at least one good writer), but it seems to ridicule more than embrace. Whereas in IT Crowd the norms are the ones ridiculed.

Oh, and I thought that Wil Wheaton was King of the Geeks. Chris Hardwick is King of the Nerds.

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AchillesHeel
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Common misconception, Hardwick is merely the schizophrenic alter-ego of Wheaton. He began explaining his other personality as his "roommate" while in his twenties. Wil Wheaton with and without his goatee is the only difference, but like Superman no one seems to understand.
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Darth_Mauve
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Felicia Day is the Queen of all Nerds. You have to admit that.
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