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Have Comic Fans Changed?

Last week, many of my writer friends participated in San Diego’s Comic-Con. I have wanted to attend any comic convention, so envied them. This is a new desire as I embrace my fantasy genre. Why not before? Because, when thinking of Comic Con’s, The Big Bang Theory comes to mind. Four grown men, smarter than anyone I know, who are enthralled with comics. They collect every single installment, as well as any memorabilia. They wear T-shirts with comic insignia and debate which character has the better superpower. They are…geeks.

When I was in school, I was a self-proclaimed nerd. So much so, that in my social group, we had the valedictorian, salutatorian and every single one of my friends graduated top ten percent of our class. We were straight A nerds…but not geeks. I know. But I think life is full of categories and subcategories—especially in high school. Therefore, I believed I would not fit in at a comic convention. I don’t “speak the lingo.” I don’t dye my hair colors in the rainbow and I will not be dressing up as my favorite character unless it is Halloween…well, probably not even then because I am no longer a teen.
So, how could I possibly go to a comic convention and believe I would ever “fit in.” For one simple fact, I believe the fans are changing. I think it started with television. Shows like Supernatural were present at San Diego’s convention. But Jennifer Lawrence represented the Hunger Games series at the convention, which means it is spanning outside just comics. Movies, in an effort to capture a bigger opening weekend, have embraced a wider audience. So, they go with more action. Stories like Wolverine and Iron man always rake in a lot, but they also have huge budgets for their actions and special effects.
The question then becomes, have these movies changed the scope of comic book fans. In essence, has it become mainstream? This was confirmed for me in a news segment. They were interviewing someone at the convention. This individual stated that more people were attending the conference than ever before, that they weren’t “like us” but that they are welcome to join. I found this statement interesting. Is the face of the comic fan changing, or are conventions changing to capture more interest? Pulling in actors from genres like paranormal and young adult seem to indicate the latter.
Maybe it is as the interviewee stated. There will always be those who wear their comic tee-shirts with their blocky glasses who will buy every memorabilia (I love Big Bang Theory if you can’t tell). But, I don’t know if we can say any longer that the audience at the movies will reflect this. More importantly, I can’t say that this is even the target audience anymore. As the two genres merge, the question remains is it just a trend or a permanent change. Who cares as long as the plots are good!