Geek

Culture

Are you aware of the difference between nerds and geeks? Nerds are members of chess clubs and have test tubes in their rooms. They are characterized by their general studiousness and intellectual (usually science and math) prowess. Geeks, on the other hand, play D&D and watch X-Files… and go to comic book conventions.

They are often mistaken for each other because they are both usually anti-social (outside their own cliques) and are prone to general social awkwardness. And, of course, someone can be both. I know this, because Tyler knows this. They also quote movies at random. To be fair, these are exaggerated stereotypes. These days, everyone has a little geek in them and even nerds can be cool.

To learn more, you can read an article on this exact subject that we ran in Excalibur a few years ago (please note that I made the graphic). I even wrote an article on the essence of fandom that ran beside it. 

Ah, fandom. It’s one of my favourite topics. When you get so obsessed with a T.V. show that you watch the entire first season in a single night. Or when you spend hours reading message boards (those old things?) and blogs to find out about that movie or book or next episode. It’s even when you’re at the movies and after watching the final post-credit clip of Iron Man, someone in the theatre yells “to the blogs!” That was Buffy for me. And Veronica Mars. And Harry Potter. And many, many others. 

It also means going to conventions sometimes. I’ve been to FanExpo in Toronto a few times, mostly in high school. It was a thrill to walk alongside other geeks and see so many people indulging in their fandoms. It’s like Halloween but mostly for adults and you can meet people you watch on T.V.! 

Sadly, it started to lose its thrill as time went on. I think it started when I met Mercedes McNab, who was late to her booth and less than enthused about signing an autograph. Honestly, meeting those people isn’t always particularly exciting. That, and the fact that some of my infatuations eventually wore off. I just really don’t need a limited edition Buffy statue at this point in my life. 

But before these geek pride parades completely lose their luster, I’m going to the Mecca of all fan conventions: Comic-Con. I’ve wanted to go for years, starting back when I really wanted to meet Joss Whedon and he would only ever attend Comic-Con. I almost went last year, but I ended up interning in Hawaii, which was okay I guess… So about two months after last year’s convention, I registered for Comic-Con 2009. I booked a hostel. I bought my plane tickets. And then… I waited. Now, it’s only a week and a half away! *high five*

I blog about it now because the schedule went live this weekend. I can’t begin to express how exciting it was. Kind of like finding money in pants you never wear while also discovering they’ve brought back your favourite flavour of ice cream… and it’s on sale! 

I was surprised to see how many panels were for T.V. shows; I was expecting a lot more on the movie side. What happened to Prince of Persia? And The Last Airbender? (See more here.) But, I must say, it’s a very exciting time for television. I’ve been trying to learn myself in some key shows before the convention. Dollhouse? Check. The Guild? Check. Dexter? Next on my list. I don’t want to miss a panel or, worse, go and not understand what’s going on because I’m not caught up.

I was also surprised by how many panels were for wannabe comic artists. I know it’s a comic book convention (or started out as just a comic book convention), but my past experiences have all been with FanExpo, which was much heavier on the “popular arts” side of things. I was also interested to see that they don’t really make any distinctions in genre the way FanExpo does (horror, sci-fi, anime etc.).  

Some highlights I’m looking forward to are the panel (and 3D clip) for James Cameron’s Avatar, seeing Tim Burton at the Disney 3D panel for Alice in Wonderland, the panel for Dollhouse with Joss Whedon, of course, (although it isn’t the best content he’s ever produced, it’s okay and I expect it to get better), the panel for True Blood, the one for Caprica and BSG, and some of the night-time programming, like the screening of the musical episode of Buffy, and, of course, the masquerade, which sounds very entertaining. 

Unfortunately, much of what I want to see is very mainstream and bound to involve very, very long lines. Well, I had no misconceptions about that. It will give me plenty of time to ‘people watch,’ which, if you’ve ever been to one of these things, is one of the best parts. It should be a very exciting experience overall. That being said, I will have to do my best to avoid the Twilighters who are bound to congregate. I’m also going to have to miss things because of conflicting scheduling. The worst of it is that I can’t go to the panel for the sequel to Boondock Saints. *sigh* Such is life, I suppose. Oh, and as much as I want to see Kristen Bell, it looks like she’s only going to be at the panel for Astro Boy and I’m not going to that.

Well, ups and downs aside, I’m psyched. In preparation, I’ve been reading as much as I can from bloggers, mainly, as well as Twitterers and some news sources. Right now, it’s mainly announcements on who’s attending and lots of guides and tips from regular attendees. One of the more interesting tips I came across was this: Don’t go Tijuana while you’re there (which is just a trolley ride away). Lots of people suggested I see a little of San Diego, visit the beach, go to the zoo during the con, but, unfortunately, people scare easy when it comes to Mexican border towns. One even commented, “Your desire to see Santo or Mistico (Mexican wrestlers) may be great, but it’s not worth getting killed or kidnapped.” While I understand the need for caution, I honestly don’t see the harm in taking a day trip. Let’s not ostracize Tijuana any more than it has, please.

Wow, I’ve written almost 1,000 words on Comic-Con already. But, wait, there’s more! Be prepared for blog posts during the convention, which is July 22-26, unless I’m too tired to post. Which I probably will be… from all the fun ‘n all.

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One thought on “Geek

  1. You should check out John Hodgman at the White House correspondents dinner in May. Your first couple paragraphs sounded just like his speech!

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