Friday, October 31, 2014

We already won

Geek culture isn’t ‘taking over.’ That already happened.

It is with great joy I bring you the following op-ed: We won! The war is over. Go grab a nurse in Times Square and lay a big wet one on her (or him). The verdict is in. The jocks lost to the nerds, the cynics have retreated against the enlightened onslaught of the dreamers. The folks who asked “what if” got their answer while the ones who ask ‘why?’ were left behind like so many Kurt Cameron movie adaptations (see what I did there?).

Today is Halloween, 2014, the biggest official Cosplay day of the year. We’ve de-fanged the witless downers and non-believers by changing the terminology from ‘dress-up’ to cosplay, comic book to graphic novel and super-hero movie to blockbuster. But it hasn’t been an easy road for those of us who embrace fantasy and sci-fi culture. Like so many others, I was ridiculed in my early years for my love of (nearly) all things geek.

It's no secret that superhero and sci-fi films (and culture) have become the biggest entertainment properties on Earth. In 2012, I had a boyhood dream come true when Marvel Studio’s The Avengers became the single-highest grossing box office film of all time (worldwide) raking in $1.6 billion. Audiences the world over threw mad love (and crazy cash!) at Marvel’s iconic superhero mash-up film. Since I have been reading the Avengers since age 7 (thats almost 40 years of being a fan for anyone keeping track), seeing Marvel's The Avengers was one of the greatest moments of my life. 

Assembling Winners

The Avengers were hands down my favorite comic book growing up. Five years ago, you likely didn’t even know that name, not if you grew up without appreciating Marvel comics. I guess it’s no surprise that the latest Avengers (Age of Ultron) movie trailer broke all kinds of internet and YouTube viewing records. The phenomenon is just beginning. 

The explosion of Marvel’s success at the box office shows these movies resonate with many people and are here to stay. I guess I wasn’t reading “funny books”–as my mom would call them–when I was younger. Of course if Mom had ever taken the time to read Crisis on Infinite Earths, Judge Dredd, The Walking Dead, The Dark Phoenix Saga or the The Dark Knight Returns, she might rethink that terminology. 

A Future Worth Exploring

And as more people then ever in the history of cinema flock to these films of larger-than-life heroes and heroic figures, the cynics and critics keep trying to take cheap knocks at the characters I have spent a lifetime reading about, cherishing and even creating. TV shows like the Walking Dead, Arrow and Gotham continue to resonate with everyone, not just geek culture. Praying for it to end? Won’t happen. 

Give up now, join us. These shows are fun, well-handled, well-scripted, well-acted and compelling movies that only keep getting better. While I won’t be wearing any costumes this Halloween, I will be at my desk, giggling like a school girl as I pour over all the Marvel studios and Warner Brothers/DC movie news. 

My Condolences 

For those that don’t like it, I'm really sorry the optimistic young child who used to reside in you died striving against that boring, dismissive, closed-minded grump you’ve become. Just know it’s not too late to revert back to the cooler, funner, brighter-eyed you. Simply embrace the fact that this [geek] culture is here to stay and will only keep getting bigger. Join us!

Between Comicons, Cosplay, Superhero TV and movies, comic books, novels and graphic novels boring stuff–that is people and content with no imagination–just doesn’t cut it anymore. Just waive the white flag, because in case you didn’t hear, we won. 

Arthur Milano is a blogger, writer, designer and avid geek culture enthusiast who revels in his continuing role as a single Dad, ad man, and video game podcaster.

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