Every few weeks I receive a call from my local comic book store, Alternate Worlds of Cockeysville, Maryland, to let me know that my standing order for the latest Battlestar Galactica comic books have arrived. It's an exciting call since I've been a BSG fan since 1978 and I usually find the time within the next day or so to stop by and pick up the issues.
I've never been a big collector of comic books. Many of my friends were into the SuperFriends kinds of books featuring heroes like Batman, Superman, Spiderman - the DC/Marvel world of comics. I've usually been into the manga/anime world of Japanese comics, following the adventures of the SDF-1, The Dirty Pair of Kei and Yuki, Mai The Psychic Girl, or Urusei Yatsura's Lum. But since none of those series are continuing, I've turned to the sporadic offerings of Josh Wheden's Firefly universe and the once-again popular Battlestar Galactica.
The world of the comic book store is an interesting place filled with all sorts of role-playing games (RPG), busts of comic book heroes and villains, erotic manga (which I secretly wish to peel back the plastic cover and see what's inside) and the usual selection of DC/Marvel style comic books - which means there's little for me to do but browse and consider purchasing the Firefly RPG book.
On weekends, the store fills with makeshift tables and kids of all ages waging war with miniature figurines that they've either sculpted or painted, or both. I don't really understand what's going on but it looks interesting even though I'm an outsider to their world.
Hang out at the comic book store long enough and you'll see all sorts of people. From the expected goofy guys obsessed with comics, otaku and comic book women, to the suit-wearing businessman - I fall somewhere in-between. By now, I'm a 30-something, post 80s alternative scene, self-employed self-imaginary rockstar. I envision myself as cool and hip as the next 30-something dude - a guy who's traveled the world, worked with some of the most famous celebrities, been a regular at the cool clubs and dated some hot chicks.
Yet, no matter how cool I may envision myself, I still feel like a geek everytime I step into the comic book store.
The 30-something Geek.
I own my own company fer chrissakes, yet I can't help but feeling as geeky as the manga-obsessed virgin to my left. For all that I've conquered in the world, I can see Kathy D. just standing there, shaking her head and telling me how much of a geek I am: ˆDude, you are SUCH a geek!ˆ
Which leads me to believe that the comic book store is great equalizer. No matter who you think you are, no matter what you have done in the world, the mere fact that you are perusing the wares in the comic book store and enjoying it means that you are a Geek. An obsessed with comics and afraid of girls kind of geek who just wants to sit on the couch all day in your Underoos playing Nintendo...