geek elitism


A post shared by Geek Elite Radio (@geekeliteradio) on Jul 14, 2017 at 4:01pm PDT

Just happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch Chadwick Boseman exiting the green room after his and Ryan Coogler’s Marvel stage appearance at #D23Expo

My Embarrassingly-Emotional Comic Book Review: Genshiken 

Shimoku Kio’s Genshiken is one of my all-time favorite comedy comics. It’s like a manga re-imagining of The Breakfast Club, only instead of high school students in Saturday detention, it’s about college kids in an extracurricular otaku club.

Genshiken‘s large cast of characters comprises pretty much every factor of nerdom, from the geek chic to the geek elite to those unapologetically un-hip nerds who take pride in their outsider status. Reading their rambling conversations about comics, cartoons, cosplay and love (lots and LOTS about love!) is often as hilarious as it is cringe-worthy. Hilarious, because most comics/cartoons fans have had similar discussions. Cringe-worthy, because…do I really sound like that?!

If I was to try and describe every ‘main character’ in Genshiken, we’d be here for days. There are simply too many. Aspiring artist using silence to cover shyness? Check. Gundam fanatic full of nerd rage and self-loathing? You betcha. Cynical geek girl into historical battles and Jump-style shōnen titles? See: Season two. Cross-dressing straight guy into Gay fan fiction? Stand up and take a bow! Suffice to say, there is a character (or mix of characters) that will speak to you directly. What’s more, you’ll see bits of your friends, family and co-workers in there, too.

While the majority of Genshiken takes place inside the confines of a cramped and crowded club room, Kio occasionally stages small side-trips for his characters. By having them attend anime conventions, go shopping in the Akihabara district, or even *gasp!* visit the beach, Kio gives readers a more empathetic understanding of the crippling social effects of obsessive fandom, as well as an intimate appreciation for the sense of belonging and self-worth that fandom can also inspire.

One of my favorite parts of Genshiken is the way which Shimoku Ki captures the strange, almost illogical insecurity that one feels around those they’re most comfortable with.

Does that make sense? Here’s a quick, personal example to try and explain it a li’l better:

My fractured family means the world to me. Hanging around them (well, someof them) is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. They know me better than anyone else. They love me more than anyone else. They’re well-acquainted with my angels and demons, and for the most part, they’re cool with both. So why is it that every time we share a dinner, watch a movie, go to a theme park, etc., there’s a moment when I’m driving home where I think, ‘Did I offend (insert family member’s name)?’ ‘Was (insert family member’s name) a li’l stand-offish tonight?’ ‘Did (insert family member’s name) know that when I said (insert stupid joke) that I was referring to myself?’

It makes no sense. I know these folks love and accept me, yet I still find myself silently analyzing our interactions, looking for the many ways I may have unintentionally pushed them away forever.

It’s ridiculous. And yet…not ridiculous at all.

I mean, I second guess sixty second Starbucks transactions, playing them over and over in my head, trying to figure out why the girl at the cash register frowned when I said, ‘Have a great day’ — and I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts guy! I all-caps LOVE my family. Why WOULDN’T I obsess over the tiniest details of my relationships with them?!

In Genshiken, Shimoku Kio turns this niggling insecurity into an emotional constant. Scenes linger, allowing the time and space for a single conversation to ebb and flow between silliness and seriousness, friendship and fan sh*t, candid confessions and pop culture critiques. At the same time these conversations are occurring, Kio is using his characters’ facial expressions, physical gestures and thought bubbles to show us a separate set of conflicting emotions, inner monologues and endless self-doubt. It’s a complicated bit of comics craftsmanship, yet it always reads effortlessly, effervescently.

Over the past few years, I’ve read every available volume of Genshiken at least a half dozen times. One of the things that keeps me coming back is that it’s written in such a way as to be read on multiple levels. On one level, Genshikenis an expertly scripted, wonderfully drawn, extremely engaging character-based comedy. On the other, it’s a ‘How To’ book on establishing and maintaining open and honest personal and professional relationships.

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly use that sh*t.

Amazon link for Genshiken vol. 1:

Elite Knight Armor (Dark Souls) Inspired Outfit

With Dark Souls being such a difficult game, I thought I’d challenge myself with creating a more formal guy outfit inspired by one of the sets of armor. The Elite Knight armor was requested a few times and I absolutely loved the blue coloring. I chose a suit jacket in the blue, paired with a light grey shirt and dark brown/grey pants. It’s a bit of an unconventional look, but works with the colors being in the same neutral palette (minus the blue jacket of course). I also chose a gold watch to represent the gold details on the front of the armor, as well as textured cufflinks that reminded me of something you’d loot in the game. Lastly, finished the outfit off with Chanel Bleu cologne because a classy look deserves a classy smell! 

Get the look! / Get the game!

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

5 Star Review

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.   

I would just like to begin by declaring my love for Marie Lu. This woman and I should get married and I would watch her write and make her chicken. Okay creeping aside this book is incredible.

This is the first Marie Lu book I’ve read. The thing that I noticed right away is that Adelina, her main character, is FLAWED. I mean flawed in that wonderful way that makes us all human and keeps certain people loving us no matter what. Adelina is physically flawed (She only has one eye) and also emotionally flawed. There is a darkness within her that manifests itself in cruelty towards her younger sister and powers that she can barely control.

Marie Lu does not shy away from any sensitive topics either. All her characters (who are all under the age of 20) go through harrowing experiences. Adelina’s father tries to sell her within the first few pages, Raffaele is a male prostitute, and Enzo is in perpetual pain from his burned hands. An author who does not write as though her audiences are delicate little snowflakes is my favorite kind of author.

All her characters immediately take you in, even the ones you are supposed to hate. Marie Lu has created a world so precise that there is no doubt as to its possible existence. The beginning of each chapter begins with a poem, folktale or essay from various authors from this world. The religion is fascinating and I hope that more is explored in the subsequent novels.

No one is safe in Kenettra. Every page is a new danger for everyone in the book. You want everyone to like Adelina because only you as the reader can truly see her pain but alas the world is not like that.

Marie Lu writes in her acknowledgements that she set out to write a hero’s story and ended up writing the journey of a villain. I have never rooted for a villain as much as I cheered for Adelina throughout this story. I will be pre-ordering the next book (something else I never do). Do me a favor. Put down whatever you’re reading and get your hands on a copy of this novel. You won’t regret it.


For more check out Goodreads and the Author

Super Paper Mario and the smashing of masculine tropes

At the intersection of the post I just reblogged and Super Paper Mario Day (this time, its seventh anniversary) being tomorrow, I just thought of SPM in a way I ’d never really considered and found a whole new way to appreciate it.

It really is a refreshingly female game. Now, of course I’m not saying that people of other genders wouldn’t like it (I know many guys who do!) or that all females would, or that females are defined by these sorts of things, or anything like that. But when you think of that tiresome stereotype of “gamer machismo” - you know, first-person shooter war games, objectified or damsel-in-distress women and power fantasies of muscular white guys with a slight stubble, perhaps in high-tech space armor - SPM is really the opposite of all that.

The plot-driving McGuffins of the game are hearts. Magical hearts that contain the power of love itself. Your constant companion is a rainbow butterfly.  The oft-kidnapped princess Peach is the second playable character you get besides Mario himself, with a feisty personality and more agency than she’s had in the vast majority of the wide library of Mario adventures. The storyline centers around a tragic romance.

Perhaps most striking of all, the game contains a direct parody of the isolated, defensive geek or “gamer dude” who, we can hope, is becoming a dying breed. Much has been said recently about females in spaces that are traditionally perceived as being male-dominated, such as the realms of “geek culture”; comics, video games, role-playing, and so on. Not only are women trying to break in and make the space more friendly and welcoming for themselves or for anyone who doesn’t fit a particular “nerd” stereotype, but it’s coming to light how diverse the scene has really been all along.

Nonetheless, bring this up on the internet and it isn’t hard to find people who will complain that female geeks are nowadays being petulant, demanding that industries and storytelling cater to them, and trying to push males out of a safe space of escapism and fantasy-fulfillment that they had enjoyed for so long. Some would even claim that female gamers have even been impostors all along! The link at the beginning of this post is one example.

In Super Paper Mario, we are given a metaphor of this concept in the character of Francis, a nerd who keeps himself holed up in a giant fortress filled with comic books, anime DVDs, video game consoles, and robotic cat maids. Francis’s hobbies include trolling forums, occasionally breaking off friendships over a fandom argument, and bashing games he’s never played.

Taking photos of butterflies is another particular interest of his, and to this end he kidnaps the butterfly fairy (technically a Pixl… but close enough) Tippi, fascinated by her beauty. Ignoring her pleas, and seemingly not to pay mind to the fact that she talks at all, he keeps her captive, hoping to use her to gain praise and popularity on the internet. Only when Tippi is freed by her friends Mario, Peach and Bowser is Francis filled with remorse at losing his “friend.”

Francis has a particular room in his fortress that is off limits to everyone except for himself and women, on the off chance that one ever found herself there. Although he enjoys the female characters in the games and anime he consumes, when Peach arrives to save Tippi, he is shocked to find an actual “babe” in his most secret of spaces.

What follows is a dating sim parody in an attempt to win the Princess’s heart. Although the player can choose various options for Peach, going along with Francis’s romancing will eventually result in her angrily breaking the fourth wall, asking who could possibly try to set her up with the creep. In the end, Peach destroys the sim from the inside!

In my experience, Francis’s chapter (and particularly the dating sim) is the most memorable part of the game for many people, and even those who didn’t like SPM overall tend to admit the humor and wit of this particular arc.

I believe that the game overall, and this chapter in particular, provide a satisfying release for those who are sick of the exclusivity and elitism of “geek” or “gamer” culture dominated by specific fantasies of masculinity. It’s also satisfying to see Peach, the traditional damsel in distress, assert her will even over that of the player.

While many mainstream games center on hyper-masculine concepts of power resulting in the ability to dominate, kill and destroy others, Super Paper Mario focuses on the power of love and friendship to heal and restore. It’s a story that’s unafraid to be exactly what it wants to be, with an overall plot refreshingly free from a woman who needs to be rescued (in fact, in a very real sense, there are two male characters who need to be rescued, in different ways). As a young woman, I found this game meshed with me extremely well and I found its messages quite inspiring, but I’ve only just realized how much it specifically meant to me as a girl who has been, for all of her life, a gamer.

I hate the elitist nature of the “geek” subculture. For a group that has spent so long on the fringes of culture, they’re rather exclusionary. They rail against people they determine to be “fake” geeks, slut shame and put down anyone who dares try to use their borderline religious artifacts in a way to highlight their sexuality, and try to pretend that they’re above it all when you call them out on it. It makes me ashamed that a culture that once welcomed me with open arms, and told me that it didn’t matter if I was good enough for everyone else, would slap labels on anyone they see as unworthy of the slightly shitty title of “geek.” Listen, it’s not an exclusive club, we’re not on the fringes any more. Telling people they’re not geeky enough and to get out doesn’t make us look good, it makes us look as bad as those jocks who beat us up in middle school. We’re mainstream now, and that’s A-ok. Roll with it, accept it, and embrace that we can spread our interests to many more people than we once could. Humble yourself a bit, find out what makes people “geek out” and realize that everyone, at heart, is a geek for something. 

-Mike Marone

beanarie  asked:

nothing specific. just they're the ones that spring to mind when i think about people who get ridiculous about canon minutiae.

Ahhhh. True. But I don’t think Potter fans come even close to the LotR fans who insist that you aren’t a real fan if you haven’t memorized the Silmarillion and all of the Appendices, and the comics fans (Marvel or DC) who proclaim you a fake if you can’t remember every history of every character in every reality ever. *rolls eyes*

I mean, I have a healthy appreciation for canon. There’s a reason we love it, imperfect though it may be. And I’m all for people double-checking their facts before they write something; there’s little more irritating than someone making basic errors, especially when (on occasion) that then changes the entire point they’re trying to make.

But it’s geek elitism at its worst to assume that everyone has the time, energy, mental capacity, and resources (both monetary and otherwise) to read and memorize all of the source materials, especially in a fandom where there are a lot of them. And it’s also just silly to assume that someone’s love for something can only be measured by how much minutiae they remember. Different people get different things out of source materials and out of fandom, and not everyone cares about all of the nitty-gritty details. And that’s OK.

Fight Club 2 HC by David Mack

Fight Club 2 HC
Chuck Palahniuk (W), Cameron Stewart (A), Dave Stewart ©, and David Mack (Cover)
On sale June 21
FC, 280 pages
HC, 7” x 10”
Some imaginary friends never go away …
Ten years after starting Project Mayhem, he lives a mundane life. A kid, a wife. Pills to keep his destiny at bay. But it won’t last long—the wife has seen to that. He’s back where he started, but this go-round he’s got more at stake than his own life. The time has arrived … Collects issues #1–#10 of the series.
“Poignant and very funny.”—The Atlantic
“Entertaining.”—Comic Book Resources
“Perfect.”—Forces of Geek
“Jaw dropping.”—Geek Chic Elite
“Excellent.”—The Beat
“Compulsively readable.”—Big Shiny Robot