On July 23rd, I shall leave the Windy City and go west, young man, to San Diego where I will experience my first Comic-Con.
Oh my dear friends, my nerves are a-jumble! What will I wear? Where will I go? Are interviews even a possibility without a proper press pass? Who should I stalk hardest and how do I find out which hotels they’re staying at? Would John Barrowman be amenable to trying out a girl for one night? So many questions!
So I must prepare. Now one could easily argue that I’ve been preparing for Nerd Mecca my whole life just by being me. One would be correct, but one would also be kind of a dick for saying that. Herein lies the problem: compared to those elusive “normal” people, I’m a huge nerd. Compared to “real nerds” I got nothin’.
I mean sure, I grew up on the Star Wars flicks, Doctor Who, all the sci-fi / fantasy classics, but I can’t name every instance of a Red Shirt getting killed on Star Trek. I’ve read comics, but I don’t know Ant Man‘s origin story. I like video games, but I’ve never played WoW and I have never done any RPG’s. On a scale of nerd to frat boy, I rate somewhere around an Andie in Pretty in Pink, or on a particularly angsty day, maybe an Enid Coleslaw, but not quite. I’m certainly not in with the cool kids, but I’m not in the inner-nerd world either. This column ain’t called Outside of the In-Crowd for kicks, people.
So, as I said, I must prepare. I must delve. I must geekify.
Now I’m not going to go from zero to Milhouse in nine days. I’m going to stay true to myself, because there’s nothing I hate more than these post-Seth Cohen nuNerds, and you know I must truly hate them to sully the good name of one Mr. Seth Cohen from Newport. You know them. We all do. The Good Charlotte-tons of the cult and sci-fi world. Hipster deebs (short for douche bags, not a misspelling of dweebs – I won’t give them what they want) attempting to capitalize on nerd pride by sporting Troma shirts and typing in netspeak. Fucking bandwagoners. Get back to me when you have strong feelings regarding Baker vs. Tennant.
Unfortch, what relative less-than-hardcore geekiness, my strong fear is that I will seem like one of these at the Con. We can’t have that, can we?
So I immerse. I’ve been watching nothing but my well-worn Buffy, Angel and MST3K DVDs and taped-off-TV vids for the past two weeks. I’ve been mentally packing my suitcase, and should you see me in San Diego, I will probably be wearing one of my three Firefly tees or perhaps my “The Angels Have the Phonebox” shirt. I’ve been re-reading Mad Love (which reminds me, is it possible for me to find a Harley Quinn shirt in less than nine days?) and I am obviously IMAXing the shit out of The Dark Knight this weekend. (Note: I’ll also be seeing Mamma Mia and am really excited about it. This makes me a different kind of nerd entirely, one of which we do not speak. An ABBAtastic musicalspastic one.)
Of course, the main reason I will be in attendance is this: the twentieth anniversary reunion panel for my omg-favorite-show-ever-fer-reals, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the Rifftrax Plan 9 Live Show. And trust, where I may lack true and proper fan-ness, I make up for it in abundance in my fandom for this particular program and the people involved. And I will be lining up hella early / sitting in on boring DO NOT WANT panels so that I might get to see the Whedon-verse and Who-niverse panels (and I am super serial right now, if I don’t get in, I will cut a bitch.) So I may not have ever played Spore, but dammit I know every word to every song from “Once More, With Feeling”, so it will all be okay.
All in all, I’m content with my level of nerdliness. All the joy that comes with the love of science fiction, fantasy and superheroes, with none of the cos-play or penchant for sad / skanky girls dressed as cats or small children. Win win.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.