Geek. Be honest, what images come to your head when you hear that word? Grown men living with their mother’s pretending to be Bruce Wayne? Little kids running around with a towel as a cape jumping around like their favourite heroes? Girls dressed in minimum clothing like anime characters? Trainspotters? I am not going to lie, there are some Geeks out there who do these things. However there is far more to Geek culture than this. I should know. I am a Geek. I am proud to be a part of these fascinating people. My parents? Not so much. That is another story for another time.
As humans we all have Geeky traits, it’s just part of our nature. Nowadays most people embrace their inner Geekyness and it isn’t seen as a weird thing anymore. For the most part at least. Glasgow seems to be a great place for Geeks. Young and Old. From anime fans to people who know Middle Earth like the back of their hands, those who can speak Klingon fluently to individuals who can name every Pokémon. If you go into town there are plenty of Geeky shops like Forbidden Planet, or as my mum affectingly calls it “Geeks ‘R’ Us”. Recently I have discovered a new great place in town called Geek Retreat in Union Street. As the name implies it’s a safe haven, and it has a Cafe and where you can read comics while you eat. Awesome!
So it isn’t really surprising that there are events like Collectormaina and Comic con held here. I unfortunately couldn’t attend Comic con but I did manage to go to Collectormaina. Many Geeks go in Cosplay. For those of you unfamiliar with the term it comes from the words “Costume” and “Play”. In a nutshell it’s when you dress up as your favourite characters and have fun. You bet that I was one of those people! I will admit that it wasn’t the best costume but it was better than nothing. My intention was to go as Robin, one of my favourite Batman characters. As you can guess it didn’t even compare to some of the other Cosplayers costumes but maybe next year!
Anyone a fan of the Hobbit? Well I am very proud to say that I got to meet John Callen, Mark Hadlow and Graham McTavish. Otherwise known as Oin, Dori and Dwalin the Dwarves! They were great. True I had to wait a while before I got to put a question to them but it was more than worth it if you ask me.
The Geek culture is often frowned upon by members of the older generation. Many still see it as people who spend all of their time just reading comics or watching cartoons. Never interacting with real people. This is far from the truth. If I have learned anything by attending events like Collectormaina it is that there is so much more to this diverse culture than non-geeks care to think about. For instance some Geeks put so much time, money and effort to make their own costumes and style their wigs. Above that some of them take hours to apply make-up to look like their chosen character. Not to mention the heated debates some partake in to defend their favourite characters. Fans can become fiercely loyal of their shows and characters. I admit that I am too. If someone insults Batman or Robin I can get angrier than the Hulk. Then again so can my sister if you insult her favourite shows.
Which begs the question, where is the line between being a Geek or not? With films like Avengers Assemble and the Batman trilogy being just two examples of the many classic comics being turned into blockbusting mainstream hits, people are starting to see more of the comic world than before. With shows like the Big Bang Theory being one of the most popular shows out at the moment it shows that this cringe of being a Geek is dying more and more every day.
However what is the difference of liking these shows and movies and being a Geek? The line between these two sides has blurred over the years. In my opinion being a Geek means being a part of the fan community and participating. Not just talking to your pals about what so and so did on your favourite reality TV show but connecting with fellow Geeks around the world via websites like Pottermore, DeviantART, Youtube, The Otaku and others. The list is endless. To attend events like Collectormaina which allows you to meet others with similar interests.
At the end of the day, we all have geeky elements in us. However there are those who take pride in being Geeky and wear it like a badge of honour. I am one of those Geeks.