I’ve been somewhat inspired to write this article after fellow GeeksUnleashed.Me writers and friends Allie Burke and Joe Lewis wrote great articles on books that have been banned for various reasons on the site and Allie wrote a great piece on her person blog about being a fan of Twilight and how she read the following comment on a social media site:
Twilight and The Hunger Games. Turns out there’s a reason to ban books after all.
I agree – why should these books be banned? The person wrote this is obviously not a fan these Young Adult books which is fine, these don’t have to be to their tastes. I don’t like sport especially football (soccer) but has anyone ever heard me slate it or read it online? Nope. Because I understand that there are fans out there and it’s choice.
Now I wanted to talk about my passion and other people’s views on my passion.
The kind of person I am now is completely different to the person I was when I was 15 and even 25. I’m not sure when exactly I became comfortable with being myself but it was definitely in the last several years and for those who read my blog or have visited Geeks Unleashed know that I’m a huge comic book fan and have been one since I was 14. I will happily read my comic books in the office or on the train and write about my interests online but it hasn’t been this way.
I used to take my comics to work and go and sit in the cubicle at work and read them for fear of being seen to be a comic book reader and all of the connotations that come along with being a comic book reader. There have been times when it slipped out I was a comic book fan and people repeated it back to with a tone in their voice; “Collect your comics?” I would then answer their question sheepishly and they would generally follow-up with no wonder you haven’t told me. I look back at these moments and think why the fuck was I embarrassed of being myself? I actually learned to hide my hobby and by doing so I hid myself away but then there came a day unlike any other:
“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand! Through the years, their roster has prospered, changing many times, but their glory has never been denied! Heed the call, then—for now, the Avengers Assemble!”
—Prologue from an Avengers Comic Book
I couldn’t help but quote a comic book as I wanted to emphasize how much I’ve changed – I no longer care who knows that I read comics to the point where I have two great framed lithographs of Wolverine and Hulk in my hallway at home, I will happily get my weekly comics now delivered to my work and read them at my desk in my break or even in the staff room and in public but strangely enough two things recently happened to me which made me realised that although I’m comfortable being myself the open Geek that I am there others that unfortunately aren’t comfortable with me being a Geek.
The first one was due to me wearing and T-Shirt with some Marvel Super Heroes and was asked if it was “a hero t-shirt?”. I knew where this was going and confirmed their fears to which they nodded and shot me a dirty look.
What the fuck is wrong with this? I mean the Avengers was on the biggest selling films ever and yet I can’t wear a top with them?
Then this was the conversation that I was left opened mouthed by after I was spotted in public with some of my comics:
Person: “How old are you? 12?”
Person: “Why on earth are you reading comics? They’re for kids?”
Me: “They’re not.”
Person: “Well it’s not acceptable.”
Me: “Maybe not in the UK but in America it’s accepted and common thing.”
Person: “We don’t live in America so you shouldn’t be reading them.”
This actually happened to me a few weeks ago and I was shocked by the small mindedness of this person that because they didn’t think it was acceptable that I shouldn’t be reading them! Seriously what the fuck. Why should I hide who I am to make others feel more comfortable? I can’t see any reason at all.
I’m proud of being a Geek and would never and have launched GeeksUnleashed.Me
if I didn’t feel this way and I will never go and site in toilet cubicles and hide my reading and will read whatever and whenever I want.
So if you’ve ever been afraid to hide your geeky love, book or comic – don’t
. I get that it can be hard to breakout there and it was for me but I just encourage you to think “Fuck it
” and just do it and for all those that think comics are for children then you should go and pick up Harvest by A.J. Lieberman
about an underground harvest operation or Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton
in which over twenty cases of people being brought back to the dead have been reported and some from some pretty intense brutal attacks. These two are just recent releases of some of the great comics out there and I could recommend so many out there to read that aren’t family friendly.