Being a Comic Book fan...

You know, I wonder what it is to be a comic book fan, is it based on trivia, database like knowledge and statistics? No evidence to support this, but I sometimes get a self-consious feeling that it is the case, and that my very status as a fan is put into scrutiny.


What really made it stick out in my head was at London Expo. A fan of comics approached an artist, they had a pleasant conversation in which the person said "I don't know much about comics, but I know what I like." I found it interesting that she felt she had to state that fact, as if her not being able to name a certain writer or artist or series would somehow belittle her. Its as if she stated it to establish that fact in an almost self depricating way, to not be judged.


This is perhaps down to my own insecurities. I consider myself a big comic book fan, I've been reading them for a good few years. But because I am a very slow paced reader I haven't digested everything out there. The big Superhero comics from the big two, I only read one off trades, not following the continious story. And it is only the A list Superhero stuff I read, I'm not interested in the vast mythology and other characters, does this automatically put me in bad books? Even then I haven't read much, perhaps 5 different Batman ones and Civil War, Ultimates and another few from Marvel's side.


But then, comics encompass many genres, but I get the feeling that if I couldn't name The Green Lanterns brother, I'd be dismissed in my opinion. It's probably because I was a huge film buff before comics, and I had the large knowledge of many certain elements. I would judge on a level people who said they loved films but then hadn't watched a certain film or a certain director. I've swayed away from films nowadays and willl watch very little compared to the one a day I did in the past. But I still conside myself a huge film buff, and shouldn't have dismissed the people.


What does the comic world think? Do you think there's a certain expectation of being a comic fan, since the geek culture is one of a deep fandom that usually comes with large understandings of mythology and franchises? If you couldn't name the artist from Ultimate Spiderman or you hadn't read something like The Walking Dead, would you feel as if its a bad thing? I guess this can apply to all genres and mediums, but its the quote from Expo above that got to me. And the fact I want to make comics for a living, and hid my shame when some mentioned Kieron Gillan (I'm leaving it spelt incorrectly to illustrate this!) and had no idea who he is and what he has done. Sorry folks! But even as I speak, the more I consume the more and more knowledge I will gain, and then will I look back and think "what a noob, not knowing this?" I wonder...


Note: I'm in no way bashing hardcore fans, I fucking love geek culture, I have an insane amount of knowledge on Buffy and Angel, and I'm not saying having a vast amount of info on comics is a bad thing AT ALL.