Kyle J. Steenblik

Raising Geekazona: Chapter 1

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v5feat_200-comic-book-heroeBeing a geek is a challenge, at least it was.  Growing up through the 80s and 90s as a geek wasn’t the picnic you would imagine.  It’s OK now, things are great for us geeks, and I envy my children.  One aspect of my childhood was comic books, or lack thereof.  Coming by them was difficult enough for me, and discovering anything new was damn near impossible.  This was not the age of friendly comic book shops.

My kids have three advantages today, the internet, our local comic shop, HaJoMaJe, and me.  Let me explain.  I have experience to navigate most of these waters, although they are constantly changing, but that’s OK I can deal with it now.  When I can’t deal with it, there is the infinite knowledge of the internet at my fingertips, and when that fails, we can ask.  Odd as this may sound today, twenty years ago asking a question in a comic shop was not met with an over abundance of support.  I once heard that I had no business in a comic shop if I didn’t know how to find the comics I wanted.  Fortunately, we are mostly past that level of ass-hole elitism.

Before we get too involved here, let me tell you a little about my kids.  I have two, a girl, who I will call Iris, is seven, and a boy, who I will call Cael, is five.  Iris is crazy for My Little Pony and is invested in that series.  She is curious about female superheroes and we hope to find something up that alley.  There are also a few other “girl” comics she wants to try.  For my goals, I hope to find her something “gender neutral” and age appropriate.  Cael, who just turned five, is only starting to read his first sight words, so we are aiming for something he doesn’t have to read.  He enjoys making up his own stories and dialogue to the pictures.  He is fond of Spider-man, Iron Man, and Batman.  Really, the superheroes he is familiar with from the cartoons he has seen.  I hope to find him something that is not only age appropriate, but easily replaced when left out in the rain.  You know, I think I should let them tell you what they want.

[The following has been translated as accurately as possible, and abridged because this 5 and 7 year old can ramble something fierce]

Me: We’re going to the comic shop

Cael: REALLY? OH THANK YOU!

M: Yes, it’s time for some new comics.

C: For you? You love comic books!

M: No, for you.  What do you want?

C: Superheros!

M: Ok, which ones do you want?

C: Iron Man!

M: Ok, any others?  what if we can’t find an iron man?

C: Batman, is my favorite too!

M: Batman is good, who are your other favorites? in case we can’t find a good Batman.

C: um, all the heros are my favorite.

M: Superman?

C: um… yeah, he’s OK

M: Do you like Batman more?

C: Yeah, Batman is awesome, so is spiderman and Iron Man is the most awesome.

M: What about the bad guys? What bad guys do you like?

C: ULTRON! he is the baddest bad guy and Iron Man will punch him and [he proceeds to imitate Iron Man’s repulsors and some various robot noises]

M: Ok, we’ll try to find an Iron Man with Ultron.  How about you Iris? What do you want?

Iris: You already know! why are you asking again?

M: Because I need to be sure you haven’t changed your mind.

I: I need the rest of My Little Pony because I need to finish that story, and I want more of Emily and The Strangers!

M: Ok, anything new?

I: Uh.. I don’t know.

M: That’s fine, I’ll try to find a Batgirl, or Supergirl, or a Young Avengers if you like.

I: Can you find one with Thor’s daughter?

M: Torunn? from the Next Avengers movie?

I: YEAH I love her.

M: Ok, we’ll look for that.

Join us for chapter 2, where tears are shed and comics are bought.

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