David Axbey, Katharine Byrne, Matt Chapman, Anne Clowes, Ruth Edmundson, Dave Golder, Bobby MacPherson, Jayne Nelson, Scott Snowden and Octavia Wolton share their fave elements of modern geek life.
This article first appeared in MyM Magazine #51
It may come as a surprise to younger readers, but geek culture wasn’t always so readily embraced. Before the internet unleashed its joy upon the world, declaring your love for something outside the mainstream – like sci-fi novels or manga – was a fast track to spending a lot of time on your own wishing other people shared your passions. Superhero movies were laughed at, comics were read in your bedroom and you wouldn’t dream of pulling a card or board game out of your bag and playing it in a public arena like a café or a pub.
To celebrate its 50th issue, MyM Magazine asked it team to share the greatest things about being a geek in the modern day world.
Cosplay used to be the sole domain of the über fan, but now everyone’s in on the action and life’s all the better for it. From the enduring friendships you make at comic cons to the wardrobe horror stories you swap with them, cosplay is the living embodiment of what geek life is all about. KB
2 Watercooler Acceptance
It’s amazing to think we now live in a world where we can go to work and discuss last night’s The Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones at the watercooler with a co-worker without getting sniffy looks for being a geek. Hurrah for the things we love hitting the mainstream! JN
3 Oh, The Horror
Struggling to get close to James Cameron? Never met JJ Abrams? Unlikely to share a beverage with Pete Jackson? Turn to horror. Horror geeks are spoiled something rotten when it comes to access to their fave directors, thanks to events such as FrightFest where mingling with the fans is seen as the norm. It probably helps that most horror directors are – first and foremost – horror geeks themselves. OW
4 Funko Pop Toys
Do you remember the world before these plastic figures started taking over our desks, mantelpieces and shelves? We can’t either. They’re utterly irresistible. Those big eyes. The attention to detail. The breathtaking array of characters. The only problem is the money we’ve spent on cabinets to display them in… JN
5 Top Talent
Everyone, it seems, wants in on the new comic-book-movie phenomenon, but that’s good. And what’s even better, like proud parents wanting to get more involved with what their children play with, veteran actors like Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Michael Douglas are popping up in the most unexpected of places, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man, respectively. Kenneth “I’m classically trained” Branagh even directed the first Thor movie. SS
6 Global Appeal
Things that geeks used to do for a tiny audience now have a worldwide reach. If you love something enough to write about it, draw it, role-play it or dress up as it, people can now actually notice and enjoy your work. Previously, you’d dress up as Anders from Dragon Age II at a con and only a handful of people would see it; now you might even get a tweet from Adam Howden himself… JN
From Aliens fighting Predators (and Judge Dredd!) to the Six Million Dollar Man meeting the Bionic Woman, or ’60s Batman teaming up with the Green Hornet, we love a good crossover. Our current favourite: the super popular dice-building game Dicemasters. Where else can Wolverine face off against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman join the Avengers or Professor X battle Dungeons & Dragons creatures? MC
8 Dialled-in Dialogue
Being a geek means you can say “I love you” and your partner can reply, “I know” without it causing an argument. You can say “gorram” and it means you’re a Browncoat. Or you can tell someone to nuke the mouldy yoghurt in the office fridge from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure. Geeky quotations have become part of our collective vocabulary. JN
9 Science Is Sexy
A whole new space race has begun, as tech companies have begun to invest in the hopes of being the new pioneers reaping the financial rewards of space travel. Space tourists and mining on the moon are just two examples of how being first in a new environment could spell big profits in the long run. As a result, science now has a much higher profile, including education and TV, with even programmes like Mythbusters helping its profile. SS
10 Sound Scape
A love for all things geek extends well beyond the visual elements of entertainment. One of the greatest additions in recent times has been the ability to hear your favourite soundtracks played by top-class musicians. With orchestral renditions of Pokémon playing to sell-out crowds, planned evenings of John Carpenter’s greatest cinematic tunes and an Aliens concert (count us in!), it’s a healthy aural fixation. MC