Geeking out at 30
I’m a geek. I have been my whole life. The things I’ve been “geeky” about have changed and evolved over the years. Back in elementary school, it was books. I couldn’t read enough. Middle school was when I started getting downright nerdy over math. I would do quadratic equations FOR FUN. High school, I started to mesh the things I really enjoyed. Throughout it all, I’ve always been big into anime, superheros, and the like. But the one thing I never got into? Comics. It wasn’t because I was a girl. It wasn’t because the covers of the comics would depict females with huge busts and little clothes (sometimes that annoyed me, but mostly I just shrugged and moved on). I think I never got into comics for one reason: it was full of pictures.
I know that sounds really odd. But remember, the first thing I became a geek about was books. Even in elementary school, I didn’t really like books with pictures. I wanted the words. I wanted the words to fill my imagination to give me a basis, and then let me imagine what the characters and the world looked like. Back as a teen, I felt as if comics cheated me out of that.
And now, here I am at thirty, and all of a sudden I’m all “COMICS! Must have comics!” I’ve got two of those comic storage boxes. They both are about half full. One of them is almost nothing but Ninja Turtles (what got me started into comics just a few months ago). I love reading the story lines, and having the visuals to go with it. I get to really immerse myself in that universe for a short time.
This started because of the Ninja Turtles. If you know me in real life, you know I’m a HUGE fan. As a kid, I loved the cartoon and the live action movies (even the third one, which, watching as an adult, I realize oh holy hell this sucks). I was really into the early 2000’s Fox network cartoon. I loved how edgy and dark it could be. I enjoyed the CGI 2007 movie. I currently watch the show on Nick. And I actually loved the new movie that came out last month.
When I first heard about the movie that came out last month, I wasn’t at all excited. It had Michael Bay’s name attached to it. And yeah, I enjoy the Transformers movies, but Bay annoys me for the most part. And then there was the leak that stated he was changing them from mutants to aliens.
The internet and fandom exploded into a giant ball of hate and fury on that one. It was recanted pretty quickly. And then Megan Fox was cast as April O’Neil. I wasn’t sure if she would be able to do justice to April. For a long time I was dreading this movie coming out.
And then the first stills of what the turtles were going to look like came out. I wasn’t sure if I liked the way they looked. Their faces looked weird, especially the noses. But as time went on, and more stills came out, and then trailers started being aired, I started to get excited. I thought they nailed Mikey’s personality just from what I saw in one preview. And Mikey’s line about Raph using his Batman voice? I almost died laughing. And this was just from trailers.
So the movie came out, and the hubby took me to go see it. I was like a kid all over again the whole time. I actually really enjoyed it. Was it award winning? No. But it was enjoyable and I had FUN. That’s what matters. And it made me realize, yeah I love the movies and the cartoons, but the turtles started out as comics. I’m pretty sure you can see where this is going. I decided to give the comics a shot. I started getting the volumes of the current run of the comics released by IDW. It’s dark, gritty, funny, and just plain fun. The origin story is different than what I grew up with from the original cartoons and the movies. In this current run, the turtles and Splinter are lab specimens at Stockgen. Yeah, that Stockgen. Baxter Stockman. And guess who’s an intern there? April O’Neil (April was Baxter’s intern in the 2000’s Fox run, so that wasn’t too different for me). Ninja’s break in, Splinter saves April’s life (he’s still a normal sized rat at this point in time, although the experiments have given him intelligence). The turtles and Splinter are left in an alley, where a cat picks up one of the turtles until Splinter straight up gouges his eye out, and that turtle (Raph) gets seperated from the rest. The first couple of issues are about Raph making it on his own, with no memory of who he is, and meeting Casey Jones, while Splinter, Leo, Donnie, and Mikey are trying to find him. When they are finally reunited, Splinter tells the turtles that with the experiments that were done to them, Splinter has regained memories of his past life, their past lives. He was a ninja of the Foot Clan in Feudal Japan, whom the Shredder killed after murdering his wife, and later his four sons, whom have been reincarnated as well as the turtles.
I bring this up because of all the dissenters that hated the origin story of the new movie. They bitched about and hated on it (not going to go into detail because “Spoilers, Sweetie.”). But I recently went and checked out the synopsis of the ORIGINAL comics that came out back in 1984 and 1985. The origin story of the recent movie tied in more with the original comics than any others, other than maybe the 2000’s Fox show. And that just pisses me off. If you are such a big fan, then go out and check out how the original origin story went. It’s pretty damn close. I just want to rub that in their faces.
Getting into the Ninja Turtle comics just opened the door for me. I’d already had a hardcover of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files Welcome to the Jungle comic (I absolutely love the book series), and I found that there were more of those, so I started to get those. I have a series of comics about Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG1. Sherlock Holmes and the Liverpool Demon. Watson and Holmes (which is retelling the classic with Watson and Holmes being two black men from Harlem). Getting a series about the show Dollhouse. Have some issues from two different series about Gambit from the X-Men (working on getting the rest, Gambit and Rogue were always my favorite two X-Men). Working on getting the issues of some series for Rogue. V-Wars (based on the collaboration novel edited by Jonathan Maberry, where a virus awakens junk DNA that turns people into vampires) , and Rot & Ruin (zombie comics based of the book series of the same name by Jonathan Maberry – also being turned into a movie!). Just got the one shot release of Constatine that goes with the New 52 from DC. Reading that one shot made me go look up the New 52 issues of Constatine and add those to my want list of the comics. I have the hardcover of the DMC comic that gives backstory on what happens just before the events of the video game DMC. And I know I’m going to find more that will tie into things that I already currently geek out over, and will just give me more chances of immersing myself into those universes.
Because that’s why I find myself really getting into comics now. I get to immerse myself into the universe of whatever fandom in an entirely new way. I can’t believe I let the fact that comics have pictures stop me from really getting into them.
Again, I know it sounds weird that it was the picture aspect of comics that stopped me from getting into them when I was younger. I read an article last week, I think, about another woman who didn’t get into comics until she was in her late 20’s, I believe it was. She didn’t get into them because of the scantily clad women depicted on the covers of the comics she saw as a child growing up. And I get that, I do. I do get that seeing that as a child can drive a girl away. It didn’t for me, maybe because I had a different mindset about the way women are depicted in various media. It doesn’t generally offend me.
I had to sit down and really think about why it doesn’t bother me seeing women depicted in comics. Even had to drag the hubby into a discussion to help me work out why it doesn’t. I mean, that article I mentioned, the woman who wrote it did go into the fact that it objectified women. And I do see that, but that’s not how I see it. Maybe it’s a shift in my mentality, the way I was raised, or something else, I don’t know. I just don’t see it as objectifying women all the time. Yeah, sometimes I do, but it depends on the female character of the comic. While I was talking about this with Draevan and trying to figure out why my mentality seems to be different; I remembered a story my mom told me about when I was really little, maybe 5 or 6 years old. I was with her, my sister, and another female family member in a gas station and I’d pointed to the magazines behind the register and asked Momma what they were. She looked and saw they were Playboys and the like. She told me, quite matter of factly, that they had pictures of naked women in them. I basically called her a liar. So she asked the clerk for one. She then opened it up and showed me, that yes, it had pictures of scantily or naked women in them. She gave me an explanation of why, putting in a way that I would understand. My response? According to her, I basically said, “Oh, ok. Can I have a Yoo-Hoo?” My parents treated these situations differently than most other parents would have. I thank them for this. I have never been ashamed of my body because of the way they dealt with situations like this. Did this affect the way I see women depicted in comics and other media? Quite possibly. I just don’t get really offended by the pictures themselves. I see it as art. What offends me are the reactions others have to what I’m seeing as art. Can women be overly sexualized in comics and other media? Yes. And here’s the part that really pisses me off about it:
The women who get offended and up in arms about the art in comics that depict women in very sexy poses,are the same women who then turn around and watch Magic Mike to be able to see Channing Tatum strip. Or go online to look up pictures of various actors, musicians, etc to drool over they way they look. Isn’t that the same damn thing? Hello, pot calling the kettle black, anyone? Get over yourself. We’re human, even if we don’t admit, everyone will look at someone they find attractive and fantasize about them, whether its a real person or a drawing of a comic book character.
Sorry, got off topic. Getting into comics now, at thirty, may seem odd to some. If it does, eh it’s my life and I’m free to do as I wish. I’m a geek. What I really get into and passionate about changes from day to day. Even with as into comics as I am now, there will be days I don’t think about them. Those days, I’m geeking out over something else. It’s what I do. I get so into something, that it will be all I can think about for days (besides my hubby, family, work, bills, and other real life things). Sometimes, I’ll burn myself out on that subject. At least temporarily. I come back to it sometime later, just as passionate.
Over all, I’ve realized, just because comics have pictures, it doesn’t take away from what my imagination goes with, it actually adds to it. I’m enjoying reading with pictures, and I look back at myself as a child, and I think, “Kid, you missed out. But it’s ok, I’ve got your back.”