If I possess a single genuine nerd credential, it’s my obsession with comics.
When I was kid, my dad used to go away for work and when he returned, it’d be with a pile of comics. Disney and Harvey Comics initially (in retrospect, Baby Huey is actually quite creepy … super-strong, selfish, badly retarded), then as I got older, The Phantom and Mandrake.
The Phantom was bad-ass. Not only was he the ultimate fighting machine, but the comic would give you a proverb (“Old Jungle Saying…”) as the grape-clad hero mercilessly beat the snot out of various pirates and smugglers, permanently disfiguring them with his Skull Ring. Did I mention he also owned an island populated by all kinds of crazy shit … dinosaurs, munchkins, Missing Link-style cavemen, and cats who are friends with dogs (and vice versa). Yep.
I still have an epic “drawing” I did of the The Phantom when I was 12, whereby I traced him shooting an M1911 pistol (The Phantom only used his guns to disarm baddies). Somehow, I fucked it up so that his hand morphed into the pistol and he was shooting using his two fingers, like James Woods in “Videodrome”.
Anyway, I eventually got into harder stuff like 2000AD (a storyline where Judge Dredd turns into a werewolf, called “Cry of the Werewolf”, gave me nightmares for months) and DC Comics. Now I’m at the point where I can tell you the difference between “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, “Identity Crisis” and “Final Crisis”. I don’t say this with pride. I wouldn’t want to tell you the difference, and I’d probably throw up afterwards from shame nausea but, with a gun to my temple, I could explain each “Crisis” and the greater ramifications for the DC Universe.
Essentially, fond childhood memories, indulged over the years, eventually transformed into nerd traits. I’ve even started doing some reviews for Comics Bulletin (“The Internet’s Most Diverse Comic Webzine”) recently. Click the link to check them out.