I get what Tara Tiger Brown is trying to say here and, yes, my headline is as purposefully inflammatory as that one is. That’s the point.
I absolutely understand what it feels like to have all these things you’ve spent years trying to tell people about and being ignored at best or made fun of at worst for them. And then all the sudden all these other people decide all these things are awesome and you feel a little pushed by the wayside. Trust me, I get it.
But I also think there’s room for all of us.
Does it make me less of a gamer because I’m more likely to buy Bejeweled 3 than Mass Effect 3? (My two favorite video games are Tetris — for the original GameBoy — and Street Fighter II, by the way.)
Does it mean I’m less of a comic book reader because I get more excited about Mara than I do Avengers vs. X-Men? Or does it make me less of a fan of film because I prefer Wong Kar-Wai over Steven Spielberg?
All of these things are personal preferences. And I absolutely think finding common ground in your interests and tastes with other people is important — it definitely is. But I don’t think that’s all there is. And to me, the more the merrier.
For instance, I would never tell my mom she wasn’t a comic reader. She doesn’t read a lot of comics, but she’s expressed interest in several of titles I’ve mentioned (and she was curious about R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis before I brought it up). My mom may not be the sort who goes to the comic book store every Wednesday, but I think my mom is as valid of a comic book reader as someone who does.
Those girls who pick up the Twilight manga because they loved the novels? They’re reading comics, too. At best, maybe they’ll decide the like the medium and decide to seek out more comics. At worst, that’s all they’ll read. I don’t have a problem with that either way. Both are completely valid.
I get I’m absolutely lucky in that I get to hang out with knowledgeable comic retailers and creators. But for as many gaps in my knowledge that I admittedly have, none of these people have ever once made me feel stupid. They’ve maybe handed me books and said I needed to read them, but they’ve never made me feel inferior for not having done so already.
So all you geek girls that are maybe just starting out and are maybe dabbling in all these thing: I absolutely welcome you. I have plenty of comics and movies and games I am more than happy recommend. If you decide this isn’t your thing, that’s cool, too. I just hope you did get to meet some great people in the meantime, because ultimately, that’s what this is about.
(Image is Jill Thompson’s art for Graphittie Designs’ Sandman/Death/Delirium T-shirt, which I may or may not be wearing right now and may have or may not have since I was 16 … anyway, it’s appropriate enough.)