Welcome to the second issue of the all-new Random Acts of Geekery! As you're reading this, you've been waiting a month for the new issue, but for me, it's still months away from your even reading the first issue!
As I write this editorial in June, summer is coming, with San Diego Comic-Con only a few short weeks away. Sadly, I still haven't managed to make a return visit to this most legendary of comic book conventions, but I'm hoping to some day.
We live in an amazing time to be a geek! When I was a kid, most of the stuff I enjoyed would often be dismissed as simply kids' stuff: Superheroes were on TV, but only on Saturday mornings in animated form; comic books were only at drug stores and other shops of the sort, in spinner racks where you might not be able to find the next issue of your favorite book; once a genre movie was out of the theaters, you had to wait for it to air on TV, and if you were lucky, it might be rerun once every year at best; toys based on genre properties were usually cheap and tacky (although still desirable), with a lot of them seemingly only available at Kmart/Kresge's.
These days, geek culture is everywhere, it seems. You can go into any store that has toys, and there'll be a lineup of action figures and the like featuring characters from comics and movies, or go to a comic book shop, and there'll be even cooler items available. Thanks to eBay, if you have the money, you have access to any collectible from any time (and at the very least, you can always "window shop" and think, "Wow, I had that as a kid, I wish I'd kept it!"
Just about any department store will have t-shirts featuring genre characters in adult sizes, and some carry other articles of clothing with them as well. The video department is just as likely to have a decent selection of genre tv shows and movies available as the latest mainstream releases, and if what you're looking for isn't there, chances are you can stream it on the internet through sites like Netflix or Hulu.
Superheroes have moved from Saturday morning cartoons to prime time, and in greater numbers than before; not only that, but they're being shown in all their special effects glory in movie theaters, with some of the highest-grossing movies being adapted from comics.
But what I believe is the most important change in geekery from when I was a kid is that there's no more sense of isolation. These days, you can be connected to people who enjoy the same things you do easier than ever, whether it's purely online (through social media and the like) or in person (at comic shops, conventions and shows, and more). When I was a kid, there weren't many people around me who liked comics and Star Trek and monster movies and so forth, and when I finally got to meet some of these people with common interests, I didn't feel alone any more. When I go to comic conventions, I'm being surrounded by "my people," and I'm not the weird guy who still likes comics and other esoterica, I'm part of a community where I can pretty much approach anybody and ask them who their favorite comics character is, and get a wide range of answers.
I think it's vitally important that we, as geeks, avoid the temptation to keep our geekery private, and close ourselves off from the rest of the world. We need to celebrate who we are and what we like, and make those connections with those with similar interests in any way we can. Look around your local area, and find the nearest convention or show and get to it, and meet some people! If there's nothing happening locally for you, make something happen -- find out if your library or other location has a space available and start up a group for people who are fans of your brand of geekery, and promote the heck out of it!
Find your way to connect, and be part of a larger community. We all grow stronger when we don't feel like we're all alone in the world, and there's no reason we ever have to feel that way!
Note: On August 19, we learned of the passing of TV's Batgirl, Yvonne Craig, from breast cancer. I had the pleasure of meeting Yvonne at a Mid-Ohio Con back in the days when I lived in Wisconsin (my first wife, Barbara, and I went to Columbus for the convention, where we ran a table for Twomorrows, and Yvonne's table wasn't far from ours). Yvonne was a pleasure to meet, and she graciously posed for a photo with me that I need to dig up, scan, and share here sometime. I'm saddened for her death, she was a great person.
Table of Contents
As with the last issue, you can read this issue either by clicking the "previous entry" button at the end of each article, or click on the items below to open them up in new windows!
Collectible Spotlight – Scooby-Doo collectibles!
Geek Memories – The final segment of the longest-running Geek Memories series wraps up my comic convention memories, with the Emerald City Comic Con and me!
Puzzle Time – Sharpen your pencils and your wits!
Kirby Kovers – A gallery of covers by the great Jack “King” Kirby!
Book and Record – The video feature returns, with book and record sets featuring the Hulk plus Captain America and the Falcon!
Pulp Magazine Cover Gallery – A handful of covers from the pulp magazines I was selling on eBay last fall!
Comic Reading Library – This month's selections are from Tales From The Tomb V2#2, Criminals On the Run V4#2, Masked Raider #6, The Twilight Zone #4, Green Mask V2#3, and The Little Scouts #3
Geek TV Extra – Talking about comics-based TV shows, last season and the new one!
The Indexible Hulk – The Hulk Vs. the Rhino!
Ape of the Geek – The Golden Gorilla/Congorilla!
Covers Redux – Play along at home and see if you can spot differences I missed!
Cool Stuff – Lots and lots of Beatles stuff, but a few non-Beatles things to start off with!
Comic Book Ads – Wheaties Continued
Fandom Library – A few selected articles from K-A #12, a few features from TV Tornado #52, and selected pages from Days of Thrills and Adventure
Geek TV – Return to the Planet of the Apes
My Characters – A profile of Crime-Master, the most obnoxious villain ever!
Monster Stuff – An assortment of monster and horror movie collectibles, plus a handful of articles in the Monster Stuff Scrapbook!
Government Comics – This time, the focus is on the National Guard!
Silly Cover – It's an Amalgam Comics mash-up like you've never seen before!
Puzzle Time Answers - How well did you do?
It's Halloween time, and there's a lot of monsteriffic goodies in store for you! Horror comics, Kirby Monsters, a "Babe of the Geek" look at Julie Adams from Creature From the Black Lagoon, and much more! It'll be available starting October 1st!