“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” -Finnick, Hunger Games: Mockingjay
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
And here Finnick speaks for many of us who struggle with mental health challenges, big and small. Thank goodness for awesome stories that help us all keep it together.
From the time I can remember until, say, my mid 20s I was a serious television addict – I could have told you, generally anyway, what was on prime time network TV on every night of the week and my schedule for watching it. Plus, in the years when I had cable I usually had a syndicated show or two that I was dedicated to (my seventh grade self pretty much planned her life around the twice daily showings of Airwolf on the USA network – I wish I was kidding.)
Then I grew up a little and the tv landscaped changed. I still had my shows – things like Gilmore Girls, and Lost, and Castle – but nothing that really made me cross the line from reasonable adult fan to tv fangirl addict. Plus, viewership changed with Hulu and DVR and Netflix. So I thought I was past all that.
But maybe not.
This television season I will have six shows that are must watch for me every week – yep, six. And five of the six? They are, of course, superhero shows.
Thank goodness I have a DVR – or I’d never leave the house.
Another geek confession – I don’t really like Star Trek: The Original Series. Okay, so I love Spock and Scotty and maybe even Bones a little, but that show has just never been my thing.
Still, I recognize that without that first episode that aired on September 8, 1966 none of the rest of it would have ever happened, and some of the rest of it I love…
Like Captain Picard – I mean come on, who wouldn’t want him to be in charge? And Riker’s beard, which had the magical ability to improve the whole show (really, it’s like the signal for when the episodes started to improve)? And Worf, most cuddly-grumpy Klingon in the universe.
And then there’s Voyager – which happened to coincide with the height of my fangirlishness. Even though it’s terribly uneven, and at times downright sucked, I still love it – and some episodes like “The Chute,” “Worse Case Scenario,” and “Barge of the Dead” are really fabulous story-telling.
And then there’s the cinematic reboot, which finally gave me a Kirk I could like and proved that yet another generation could join the adventures of Starfleet.
So congrats on fifty years Star Trek, thanks for taking us to the galaxy and back again.
So this post comes a little early but my clock says it’s been Saturday for the last two minutes. Friday I was lucky enough to go to my local geek convention and I had a great day. I went with my good friend/cousin who gets as excited about this stuff as I do. So that made it extra special. There were lots of great cos-players, friendly vendors and artists, and so much wonderful geek stuff on display it was hard to know where to look.
For instance – I don’t hang a lot of posters anymore, but the above vendor had a pretty epic selection if I suddenly decided to change up my artwork – especially liked the row of superhero posters above. They were also the only place that really had anything related to the DCTV Supergirl, something we were both on the hunt for – but a poster wasn’t quite the right fit.
I did come home with a new Green Arrow shirt and also had one genuine superhero encounter. I met Rip Hunter of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in the form of a very polite and friendly Arthur Darvill (who was also Rory Williams from Doctor Who, it was a double fangirl moment) and came home with a great new autograph for my geek wall. It really was a true superhero day.
“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something.
It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”
– Simon Pegg
This is one of my favorite quotes about being a geek. I love the idea that geekery is all about interest and passion and being unapologetic about that enthusiasm.
Today I read this article about a copy of the first issue of the Superman comic selling for nearly 1 million dollars. Of course, I agree that it’s an iconic piece of American culture worth the price tag, but it got me thinking about my relationship with comic books.
So true confession time….it’s a struggle for me to read comic books.
Especially reading them a single issue at a time. For a person who can read nearly 100 pages an hour of a novel, the 10 seconds of story line you get in a single issue of a comic book is a little frustrating. It feels more like a really cool uber-specific art exhibit than a story. I do better with graphic novels and comic compilations and have read some really good ones, honestly in part to keep up some level of superhero geek cred, but a single issue of a comic is tough.
I have huge respect for comics as a medium for story telling and artistic expression. I think they can be especially great for reluctant readers and visual learners. And every time I find myself interested in a character that started out in the comics I always do some research so I understand a little bit about the origins and history of that character. My way in to comics has almost always been through something else – I started reading Superman and Green Arrow comic compilations because of movies and TV.
There’s also the fact that, until recently, I was not the target audience for most superhero comic books – and sometimes the overpowering aura of male fantasy interfered a bit with my ability to enjoy the stories and art.
I definitely think that’s changing – and I’m constantly hearing about Batgirl, or Squirrel Girl, or some great early Superman story line that I’d love to read – so maybe there’s hope for me yet. Or maybe, someday, if I’m lucky they’ll make a movie out of it for comic book slackers like me.