It’s that time of year. A time to be thankful, a time for getting together with friends and family, a time for animated classics starring children who wear the same clothes every day.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching I started thinking about the things I was thankful for in the geek world. There’s been so much negative news and press this year but it’s always good to remember that not everything falls in that category. So here are a few things that reminded me why it’s great to be a geek.
Comic conventions – Comic conventions may not be all about comic books anymore, but they’re a great escape from the real world. A lot of my geek friends live all over the country and world and conventions are one of the few times we can all gather to hang out in person. The Internet is great but it certainly can’t replace face-to-face interactions with good buddies. And yeah, you get the added bonus of seeing creators, stars and special programming that you’re sure to love. What more could you ask for?
Birds of Prey – I was very wary of pretty much every title in the New 52 but near the top of my list was the relaunched Birds of Prey. And well, I was extremely surprised and overjoyed that Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz basically knocked it out of the park. While the team has changed somewhat, the tone and strength of the book did not. This is one book I look to when citing positive examples of female depictions in comics now and I’m thrilled I can do that.
Womanthology – Speaking of women in comics, I’m proud to have been part of one of the most talked about comic projects this year. Womanthology not only created a place of support for female creators but also an outlet that would demonstrate the selling power of such a group. The book is now in Previews and available for pre-order at many places and I cannot wait to see my first comic story on the physical page. Moreover, I can’t wait for people to read it. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
Getting To Meet Dwayne McDuffie – The writer/creator passed away suddenly in February and left a big hole in the heart of the industry. McDuffie always told it how it was and spearheaded some amazing projects not just for minorities but for amazing characters. While his passing was probably one of the lowest points of the year for many, something that happened just prior to it was one of the highest for me. I’d shared a few moments with McDuffie online before but it was at the premiere of the DC animated film All-Star Superman that I finally got to meet and speak with him in person. I’m so glad I had the chance to and tried to spearhead a movement with Hey, That’s My Cape! – Appreciate Creators NOW. People jumped onboard for a while but it eventually petered off. I hope this reminder will get them to continue.
Easy access to creators – When it comes to creators of any type of media, access to individuals may vary. I really admire people like Christopher Nolan and Peter Jackson but I may never have the opportunity to speak with them one-on-one. However, the comic industry is a fairly open one and it’s that I’m grateful for. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or at conventions, most artist, writers and editors are happy to have a dialogue with you as long as you are respectful about it. I’ve befriended a few in my time working in the comics world but even for those people I’m not close with, it’s fantastic to be able to reach out to them easily and say, “Thanks. I really liked that.”
Awkward Embraces, you must check it out. Season 2 was released this year to a highly-anticipated audience and delivered some hilarious life lessons and situations we can all relate to. Creator/star Jessica Mills along with her cohorts Candice Phlegm and Lyndsey Doolan create a trio worthy of mainstream stardom. Do yourself a favor and watch the series and also check out the interview I did with Mills earlier this year, Awkward Embraces: Making Geek Dating Fun(ny). Thanks for making me laugh even when I didn’t want to.
Geek Girl Community – While Awkward Embraces is relatable to anyone, it certainly has a big fan base in the Geek Girl community. And what a community it is. Not everyone who would fall under the category of “Geek Girl” likes to call themselves that but for ease of writing this I’m using it (and so apologize). This is a group that has always been there but in the past maybe hasn’t let the world know it. Well, we’ve certainly been letting them know it over the past year. We saw female fans making themselves vocal at the first ever GeekGirlCon in Seattle, the Oh, You Sexy Geek panel as SDCC as well as Kyrax2 (the Batgirl at SDCC) speaking up on behalf of many ladies. There are so many strong voices, working inside and outside of comics, that refuse to be ignored and I’m happy to know and respect a great deal of them. But besides the serious issues, the Geek Girl community is a joy to be around when they are just doing what geeks do best – geeking out over what they love.
Comic book films – They may not have all been winners but who can’t say it’s amazing to see our favorite characters come to life on the big screen. They may change things on us to suit the masses but when you come right down to it, it’s a great time to be a fan. And the fact that they’ve been relatively successful (at their worst) means we’ll have more comic films to look forward to.
Crazy Sexy Geeks Podcast – I always thought I didn’t have enough time to do my own podcast but I guess I just needed the right partner. When Newsarama’s own Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. asked me to create a weekly podcast with him I just couldn’t say no. We’re now 22 episodes into Crazy Sexy Geeks: The Podcast and I’m loving ever minute of it. Look for this week’s episode to pop up soon with special guest, J.T. Krul!
Reader Response – And that brings me to you, dear readers. There’s a select few who go out of their way to be nasty about my personal opinions (which makes me laugh, so thanks!) but there’s an even greater number of you who go out of your way to let me know what you’re liking and not liking from my work and that’s invaluable and very much appreciated. I’ve gotten a great deal of response this past year thanks in part to my series of Barbara Gordon/Oracle pieces and it’s truly wonderful to hear from people whether it simply be to thank me for writing what I wrote or to share heartfelt personal experiences. I may not be able to respond to you all personally but please accept my thanks. You may not all agree with me all the time or even most of the time but that’s part of the territory when sharing your opinions online. I thank you all for reading and for your continued support. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’m going to go play some Batman: Arkham City now…
Read more columns at the topic page: Hey, That’s My Cape!