I had this discussion the other day with a client of mine (I cut people's hair for my other job). It comes from a Wired article by Patton Oswalt, who I think is a comedian and a true geek. The conversation went a little like this "Whatever happened to people crammed around a small table sweating Dorritos and playing D & D?", and some other comments talking about going to the corner store to peruse comics in one of those twirly-racks (This is showing my age I know...31!). After we had spoken about some how great it was to find six issues in a row of your favorite comic and then only have enough money for one, and trying to cram all the reading of the five other comics into the five minutes your parents spent looking at condoms and such, we had a little bitch session regarding the days when our things used to be for fucked up little introverts only.
I walk into my comic shop nowadays and mother fucker, half of the people in the store are cool looking. They have stylish berets (maybe not berets, but something stylish), peacoats, etc., and are actually conversing with each other. I admit, I usually just turn into the introverted little bastard I had always been in my past and rush the racks looking for something new (have you tried Orc Stain, you should try Orc Stain). In my teens the place where I bought my comics wasn't even a comic store, it was a collectibles store run by some mad horrible bastard that served children to his dogs for dinner. I had to steel myself to go into that store for hours before, or bring my father and his endless wallet and guilt about getting divorced from my mother. My father would immediately go and buy a box of the latest hockey cards for "us", which actually meant him, but I digress.
There was a point where you actually had to work to be a geek. You had to shuffle off into a store that you hoped to god someone from your class, workplace, etc., wouldn't find you in, especially when you were perusing Heavy Metal, or something by Frank Miller that they just might think was perverted. I had to defend Frank Miller to my parents when they found That Yellow Bastard in my room and read it. They thought I was a murderous bastard killer. Now kids go with their parents to the fucking cinema to see Sin City and laugh when that yellow bastard is skinning people and chopping off their heads.
I know this is just making me sound like a curmudgeon, but I really have to admit that I get a thrill from seeing a Thor trailer that looks fucking awesome, or hear about a small press book that has been picked up my some major studio. I am happy that people get to play DC online, and things like that, it warms my cockles.
Now my major focus is perusing the indie comics. It has that warm and geeky feeling when I find something by someone that I think is amazing. Like the webcomic Romantically Apocalyptic, or Sean Harrington (whom I had do a cover for us), or some other quiet genius that is just pumping out some amazing shit that gets me all amped up.
The geeks are winning. People are quoting Buffy, Misfits is a television craze, I see superhero t-shirts, hats, lunchpails everywhere I go. I have discussions with people about Alan Moore and his amazing beard, and how much Neonomicon freaks the shit out of me. And it makes me happy and sad, and I wonder when it will go away while people find different things to obsess about.