Comic Books

Geek Culture Through The Eyes Of A Gen Xer: A Few Words On “The Future”

We Will Inherit The Earth

It’s a strange feeling to have lived through what most younglings refer to as “vintage” or “the original“. I was born in March of ’76, so I’ve lived through, and experienced, a lot of cool stuff before it was accepted as “cool” by anyone outside of our little, exclusive club of nerds: the original Star Wars trilogy, the birth of great cartoons, the first comic book renaissance (heralded by writers such as Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and Garth Ennis, to name a few), and comic conventions before they were so prevalent and widespread. I even experienced first-hand, to my chagrin, the fall of the comic-book-movie genre (thanks, Joel Schumacher). But despite how mainstream our culture is nowadays, and how being a part of it feels almost like you’re a passenger on a ginormous bandwagon – no matter how long you’ve been a part of it, I wouldn’t change a single bit; because in the end, regardless of how annoying things like Comic-Con are now, we’ve reached the promised land, folks. 2016 is the future we collectively – secret or otherwise –  dreamed about as kids. I think I’d get a huge kick out of sitting with my 6-year-old self and debriefing the chubby, little runt about the awesomeness he would soon encounter. I also don’t think he’d believe me. That is, until I buckled him into the passenger seat of my DeLorean and showed him – en vivo. In all seriousness though, who could have imagined we’d have a resurgence of comic book films, and that they’d evolve into something as unbelievable, even now, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or shows like Daredevil, Jessica JonesThe Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and the soon-to-air Preacher – which is, quite possibly, one of the greatest stories (not just comics) ever to be written? Or even how much the comic book industry would change in terms of quality of books and choices? There is, sans any exaggeration, a book and story for every literary and artistic sensibility on planet Earth. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of a hundred choices just from 2015 alone. I think most of us have become accustomed to, and taken for granted (even us nerd-veterans), how freakin’ awesome it is to be a geek in the 21st century. I’m sure this elation and wonder I currently feel is of the very same variety that folks my age felt, back in May of ’77, as they sat down with their buckets of popcorn and sodas to watch Star Wars for the first time. Although, even then, I’m sure they had no idea how much things were going to evolve – for our culture – within just a few short decades.

It’s a wonderful time to be an introverted, socially-reserved geek. We’re now in the third phase of total planetary dominion over our fellow, non-geek brethren (the first transpiring in ’66 with Star Trek; the second being the aforementioned debut of ’77’s Star Wars, which prospered for two decades until June of ’97 – before the dark times…..before Batman and Robin). I mean, you can take courses on the topic of our culture, for cryin’ out loud (and, if you’re so inclined, become a certified “master” on the subject). Now, about those hoverboards we were promised…..

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