Monday, April 25, 2005


I hate geeks. I especially dislike comic geeks, the so called (by me) Babymen of America. Now I love comics as a craftsman, an artist. I love the medium and it’s history, but I don’t give a fuck about the fact Thor can kick the Hulk’s ass or that the Silver Beetle died without revealing his Bi-sexuality to the Atomic Chrysalis, how much Matter Master-eater Lad ate in issue 339. I don’t buy comics for stories, but I will for art. I can look at a poorly written comic for the art, but can’t read a comic story if I hate the art. I prefer both good art and story....but I digress. That hesitant, mouthbreather type, the yammering fanboy--too loud talking, spewing forth an constant dialogue of stupidity, It’s that corner of fandom I can’t abide for more than 30 seconds. Unfortunately much of the people left reading comics fall into this “mouth breathing” category.

Last weekend while hanging out on South Street in Philly with a pal visiting from out of town, we decided to venture into the comic shop a few doors down from Tower records.

I Was feeling pretty good, having swilled 3 pitchers of margaritas at the Coppa, across from Jim’s Steaks on South and 4th. My buzz was still in good effect as I walked up to the rack of new comics and proceed to find nothing worth buying, disgustingly flipping thru and the flopping back down the ugly, greasy-photoshop-rendered comics. Alas nothing worth spending beer money on. As I scanned the sheleves I was treated to the quintessential comic shop conversation. Quetin Tarantino couldn’t have written a better one himself. The conversation follows..

Comic geek: Do you have the trade where they bring back the new Green lantern?

Comic shop employee: You mean Silver-age Green lantern.

Comic geek: Yeah the real Green Lantern.
Comic shop employee: Well there is more than on real Lantern, you need to be more specific. The Silver-age Green lantern, he was always my favorite as he has the ultimate weapon.

Comic geek: Now way, Superman is the most powerful hero in the DCU.

Comic shop employee: Nope Green lantern is. He has the ultimate weapon as his ring is powered by his mind, so whatever his mind can imagine he can make happen. He could kill superman, he’s only limited by his willpower.

Comic geek: No way. He’s lame. He’s always making big shovels and stuff. Superman never has to rely on gimmicks like that. He could just move like the Flash and knock you out.

Comic shop employee: No that was the golden age Green Lantern and he was weaker because that just what his mind could think of. Big boxing gloves and clothespins. But the current Green Lantern could make all kinds of intricate and deadly weapons. And his weapons move at the sped of thought.

I could kill you in a blink if I had the Lantern’s ring. Oops sorry, I can’t because you are wearing a yellow t-shirt. Hahaha!

I had to get the fuck outta’ that place before my head exploded….


bustedacres said...

GOOD GOD, YES!, I agree with you one hundred percent. I can't stand it sometimes, and I love comics, and I love dirty boxes full of old comics and I love to look around, even at the newer stuff that I mostly hate. It's fascinating.

But good lord, the people in there make me nuts sometimes. Particularly that thing where they talk too loud. I think the reason it makes me so crazy is I feel sad for them. Most comic geeks are pretty smart people, but they have such weak social skills and so little confidence that they torpedo any chance of relating to them.

It seems that most of their interactions seem to be competitive rather than cooperative, and god, it can drive me up a wall. There have been many, many times I've left a store because of that, and there's one store here in Seattle I've been to twice and now refuse to visit because of the overloaded aggressive geek quotient.

I'm a geek myself, but I'm quiet about it. That's all I ask! I know you share my love of THE IRON GIANT--but what could possess someone to suddenly rhapsodize about whether the Giant could beat up a Sentinel? Who gives a shit?

Don't get me started on how bad most of the comics themselves look these days, it just breaks my heart. . .

Unknown said...

hmmm, i've never had an expirence like that in a comic shop

but then i'm a girl, all the 'comic geeks' clear out when i come in.

South Park Junkie said...

I know what you mean. Most of the time when I think of comics, I picture fat, balding guys who are still virgins well into their forties and live in their parents' basements coming out every summer to go to cons (kinda like the comic book guy for the Simpsons).

There is a store similar to the one you mentioned that has comic books, and lots of sports stuff. Baseball cards, bobble-head dolls, signed hockey sticks and all that crap, so it's not exactly like a comic book store but it comes pretty close. I went in there to see if they had any Simpsons stuff like posters and figurines, but they didn't so I ended up leaving.

I don't really like comic books that much. In fact I hardly ever read anything outside of MAD and the newspaper. No superhero stuff for me. I just don't find it interesting.

James Baker said...

Hmmm, what is the difference between a nerd and a geek? maybe a geek is a less socially capable form of nerd? Them GEEKS are giving the rest of us NERDS a bad name! Ha. I'm definately a nerd, not sure if I'm a geek or not...

I bet I know who the "out of town pal" was!

Mike Manley said...

I suppose evryone is a bit of a geek for something. For art, sex, sports etc. I love art, I am totally consumed by it, but I just can't take the babymen. No sir, I don't like it!

It's that total lack of social grace, skill I hate the most. besides the smell..the worst is being at a show and being cornered by some dofus who doesn't take the normal ques or pauses in conversation to exit the table, as if there is something terribly wrong with their brains...full of cheese and weavels!

I suppose the shut-ins are just overcome with emotion and joy at being in their "man-boy womb" of a con with all their brethren geeks. I've know some sad cases who enjoy being derided publically as being nerds. And let's set the record straight, not every nerd is smart, intelligent and going to be the next Bill Gates or Mandark. They are more than likely to end up being the next fry cook at McD's or clerk in the porno store.

And Yes, Mr. Baker, you DO know my drinking buddy!

yelahttam said...

I don't know if it's any different that sports fans (geeks) arguing over their favorite QBs, except perhaps that football players actually exist. I've never quite understood why comics and sci-fi tends to attract social misfits, but I try not to make too much fun of them - they pay my bills! Although, I do have to say my all-time favorite comic geek is the one who wears a long duster INDOORS, with cargo pants tucked into his boots. Love those. You know the kind, the geek who lets everybody know how many kinds of martial arts he knows. Come to think of it, I know a few comics pros like that, too...- mh

Jill said...

Hold on Matt lol. i am a sports fantatic and i will argue over the best players. Definitely not a comic book geek. i just love art.


Mike Manley said...

There are sports geeks as bad as any fanboy. they often work in the stat side of things, or paint themselves...nerds delux, as geeky as a costume wearing babyman at a con. the sporst nerds all swooning over Babe Ruth's jockstrap. But because sports are macho, our societies bread and circus, replacing gladitorial and old world tests of metal, rights of passage and such, and makes million and billions of bucks, its adult.

Comics is always the bastard step child. It isn't sexy like movies, and it will always be looked upon as stories for children, especially Superheroes. So a comic geek ranks far below a sports geek who paints his face and exposed belly. Those nerds are far move aproved of.

JM said...

i could have written the first paragraph. I totally agree with the poor story/good art thing.
Comic-shops...- i don't care, since my comic book dealer had the idea to establish a regulars' table at a local pub, to sell the comic books. Though i have to admit that i sometimes spend more money on beer than reading material... :-)

Mike Manley said...

What a great idea. I guess if I had invibed more sweet margaritas my experience at the comic shop would have been better. But man, if I have to drink $90 worth of booze to read this weeks worth of comics, I'm better off finding another hobby :-)

South Park Junkie said...

As for the good-art bad-storyline thing, I'm kind of the oposite when it comes comics. Since I mostly like funny comics (like in Mad and in the newspaper), I care about content more than quality, so I'm not really a geek when it comes to comics, although I am interested in computers and do consider myself to be a nerd. I go to hacking sites and am trying to learn browser scripting, but I don't have enough self-discipline and often end up quitting when something gets difficult.

Mike Manley said...

Don't get me wrong SPJ, I love a good story. I watched the movie Sideays last nite and it was really great! Interesting slice of life story, and great acting, and directing that didn't get in the way. So it's all about the story. Another example is The matrix. First film great, 2 and 3 suck monkey nipples.

I guess I have read so many comics where "the joker gets away" it is really hard for it to no be a cliche. Back I the day, the good comic stuff had a sense of humor about it as well. Read the first 30+ issues of Spidey, the good ols stuff and you'll clearly see that. Any of the old comics written by Stan lee had that. They wre fun, cool, and hip for their day, but neither Stan nor the artists took it too seriously. This was a generation o me who had fought in WWII for the most part, or who grew up in the depression.

I suggest to you the work of Jay Stephens and Lewis Trondhiem, especially his dungeon series. If you read French even better as you can order trondhims many works from Amazon.france. There is a derth of good humor material today in American comics. I also recommend Plasticman by Kyle Baker, superhero yes, but really a humor comic.

Mike said...

I agree with you, yet simultaneously I find it humorously ironic that you should feel so strongly against it when you look so much like The Simpsons' Comic-Book Guy.
no offense intended

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