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Geek History

I don’t think you ever outgrow your love for things that are bigger than life and more colorful than the average life. And somehow I feel that these comic book stories are like fairy tales for older people…

Stan Lee

I’ve been fascinated by superheroes and their adventures almost my entire life. As a kid, I watched all the cartoon series, read the newspaper comic strips, and bugged my parents to buy the toys, but it wasn’t until pre-adolescence that I discovered my love for the medium that started it all: comic books.

Using my allowance, I bought my first comic books during the early 90s when the comic book industry went through a huge boost in popularity. That sudden boost was due to a speculative boom brought about by the insane amount of money fetched by old comic books in auctions. Suddenly everyone wanted to buy them, hoping to snag life-changing investments. But sadly, that didn’t last, as most people realized that the tremendously high volume of copies produced made it impossible for values to appreciate over time. That’s a story for another time though. Bottom line is, most everyone stopped, and I just kept on. I fell in love with the stories, characters, and adventures. I was captivated by the art. And that got me hooked.

It wasn’t easy being a comic book nerd back then. People thought it was juvenile, and that led to ridicule, even downright bullying. One time, an older kid punched me and grabbed my comic book and threw it out a window, just for laughs. Eventually, I just stopped talking about it, and just spoke about it with the select few who shared the same fascination.

Fast forward to almost 30 years later, and it’s a lot better for geeks now. Superheroes are the “in” thing again, thanks to the enormous success of blockbuster films based on comic books. Every studio is scrambling over film rights, hoping to turn comic book properties into the next money-making hit. And it’s everywhere now, from TV shows, animated series, to full length films, all the way to toys and other merchandise. Even people who’ve never read a single comic book are now fans of the genre. As of this writing, Avengers: Endgame, a comic book movie, is now the highest grossing film of all time.

I’m an old man now. I still buy comic books. I still watch all the cartoon and tv series, read the comics, and buy the toys. I share the experience with my wife, my children, and friends, and I’m no longer ridiculed and bullied for it. I speak openly about it and now share this fascination with millions of people around the world. It’s indeed a great time to be a geek.