In this day and age, when everyone has jumped on the superhero bandwagon, there are a lot of people sounding like hipsters: “I was into the Avengers before they became popular.” For many of them, it’s kind of a disappointment to find that the passion they’d learned to embrace as the thing that made them different is now shared by millions.
To me, this is great. My biggest fandom is Star Wars, and having all this new merch around is fun–even if I buy next to none of it. I’m not worried about over-exposure. I love what I love, and seeing Star Wars stuff everywhere makes me happy.
I learned many years ago that there is a difference between fandom and geekdom. When visiting a friend for the weekend, I was informed that, though I had not watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, that night was the finale, and she was watching it live. She’d watched the whole series, and she wasn’t about to miss the end of it just because of out-of-town company. So we watched, and seeing that final episode was the impetus behind my going back and watching the entire series in reruns. Since it was on 5 days a week, I accomplished in just a few months what she’d taken seven years to complete.
The movie Star Trek: Generations came out a couple weeks before another visit. When I got to her house, she asked if I’d seen it. I told her yes, and then excitedly expounded about how, in the last iteration of the time loop, we hadn’t actually seen Lursa and B’etor die, and so maybe those characters had survived and could come back.
She gave me a kind of side-eye look and said, “You’ve gotten way too into this….”
That’s when I realized that there will always be levels of fandom, and that I would always be the kind of person who, when I fell in love with something, took it to extremes that other fans wouldn’t even imagine existed.
And that’s cool. My friend isn’t less of a fan because her fandom doesn’t drag her into a depth of passion that mine does me. I can love the Marvel movies and DC television shows even though I don’t have an understanding of the history behind the characters that Ferrett, as a comic book geek, has. I’ve seen his glee, while watching The Flash, at the introduction of characters, and I know that he’d “getting it” on a far deeper level than I am. But that doesn’t mean I’m not having fun.
Yes, you are probably much more of a geek about the things you love passionately than other people who like that thing. But it’s a big tent. We can all fit in it.