WBEZ | Comic Con http://www.wbez.org/tags/comic-con Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Finding 'Geek Love' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/geek-love-new-normal-105118 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Geek_Love.jpg" title="'Geek Love' is an online reality series that focuses on Sci-Fi Speed Dating, a speed dating business founded by Ryan Glitch that brings “like-minded people together to embrace their idiosyncrasies and find love” at events like Comic-Con. (Geek Love/IGN)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Whenever I meet someone with the slightest bit of dating potential, I wait for the inevitable statement of identity that all hipster elitists seem to share: &quot;I am <em>such</em>&nbsp;a nerd.&quot;&nbsp;Some people define their expertise by category (gamer, techie, film snob, music geek etc.) while others claim to be masters of all subjects. Many of them are just poseurs, hoping to woo me with their extensive knowledge of Internet memes and coffee table books from Urban Outfitters. Still, the trend speaks for itself: nerd culture and pop culture have become inexplicably intertwined.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>So, what happens when you fall somewhere in between? I&#39;m way too nerdy to resist a&nbsp;marathon of <em>Doctor Who </em>or a&nbsp;midnight premiere of <em>Harry Pott</em><em>er (</em>in full costume,&nbsp;of course!)&nbsp;but I&#39;m also not quite geeky enough to attend a&nbsp;robot&nbsp;convention or learn advanced Klingon. While I enjoy playing Galaga at my neighborhood barcade and reading obscene amounts of Mulder/Scully fan fiction, I&#39;ve never played a video game (my parents didn&#39;t allow them in the house when I was growing up) and I&#39;ve only read a handful of comic books from cover-to-cover.&nbsp;Does that make me ineligible for geekdom? Is there a nerd hierarchy that I must adhere to in order to claim membership?&nbsp;</p><p>Obviously, putting on a pair of hipster glasses and watching PBS on occasion does not make you a real nerd. However, with the rabid popularity of superhero movies like <em>The Avengers</em> and television shows like <em>The Big Bang Theory</em>, even people who don&#39;t go around describing themselves as nerds secretly wish that they had more nerdy qualities.&nbsp;</p><p>Enter <em>Geek Love</em>, a reality show about Sci-Fi Speed Dating that began as a one-hour special on TLC and now thrives as a web series on IGN&#39;s START YouTube channel. The nine-episode series premiered on January 3, 2013 and airs new episodes every Thursday at 12 p.m. PT. Check out Episode 1 below, as a bonafide&nbsp;<a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Brony">Brony </a>named Alex tries to step out of the friend zone (been there, man) and find a geekmate for life at New York&#39;s Comic-Con:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sQ5iwGApwLM" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Although Chicagoans will have to wait until August for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wizardworld.com/home-ch.html">Wizard World </a>Comic-Con at the Rosemont Convention Center, several smaller-scale events are coming up soon.</p><p>Lauren Rapciak of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/geek-girl-chicago/2013/01/ways-to-meet-geeky-girlfriend-or-boyfriend-in-chicago/">Geek Girl Chicago&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;just posted her list for the spring, which includes the Chicago Nerd Social Club&#39;s <a href="http://www.facebook.com/events/552580318085742/">Newbie Welcoming Party</a> on February 2, the Nerds at Heart <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/org/1143977175">Sixth Annual Lovefest</a> on February 14 and even a Chicago Sci-Fi Speed Dating event tentatively scheduled for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.c2e2.com">C2E2</a>&nbsp;on April 26. Most of these groups offer queer-friendly meetups as well, so everyone has an equal chance of finding someone special.&nbsp;</p><p>Here&#39;s my advice for those geeky singles who would prefer <em>not</em> to spend the dreaded month of February alone: keep your options open. Instead of searching for a carbon copy of yourself, be open to the possibility of new experiences and adventures outside of your comfort zone. Believe me, not sharing all of the same fandoms can be a good thing (unless the other person doesn&#39;t know what a fandom is, in which case you should get out quick). &nbsp;</p><p>What are your thoughts on nerd culture and dating in Chicago? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett">@leahkpickett</a>.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/geek-love-new-normal-105118 Comic Con 2012 Chicago: Where popular culture, art and costumery meet commerce http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/comic-con-2012-chicago-where-popular-culture-art-and-costumery-meet-commerce <p><p>To enter the Comic Con 2012 Wizard World convention in Chicago, you must first line up with hundreds, if not thousands, of people sporting an array of popular culture costumery spanning decades.</p><div class="image-insert-image ">From Catwoman to Minecraft, Captain America, and Spider-Man to zombies, there&#39;s a good chance you&#39;ll also see at least one character from every television show on AMC&#39;s roster.</div><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/comic1.jpg" style="float: left;" title="The Welcoming Committee (WBEZ/Tim Akimoff)" />When they let you into the convention, you pass through a tunnel of Stormtroopers and into the fantasy world of every 10-year-old who ever peeled back the plastic on his or her favorite comic book, trading card or action figure.</p><p>On one end of the massive Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, you can rifle through stacks of new and aging comic books selling for $2 each. Look up and you&#39;ll see framed classics for upwards of $60,000 or more. Collectors hold notepads or printouts of their wishlists in one hand and stacks of comics in their other.</p><p>Eventually you&#39;ll find rows of people sitting at tables drawing on large and small pieces of paper. They are the artists. Some are well known and popular for their art or their collaborations with writers or other artists. Some have Marvel and D.C. on their calling cards. And some have their own private booths where fans stand in long lines to get their favorite comic books signed. Popular superhero co-creator Stan Lee tends to fit this description, and fans young and old line up holding Hulk, Spider-Man and X-Men comics for the mustachioed patriarch of comic books to sign.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lou.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Lou Ferrigno (WBEZ/Tim Akimoff)" />Behind Lee&#39;s private booth is a row of tables where Rodney Ramos sketches some dark lines on a postcard-sized piece of paper.</div><p>He says he&#39;s an inker.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s enhancing pencils and giving it a style and a look,&quot; Ramos said of being an inker. &quot;Think of it as a cinematographer in film, he brings life to the scene in color and texture.&quot;</p><p>Ramos has worked for Marvel and D.C. comics for 25 years. He&#39;s been attending Comic Con events for most of those 25 years as well.</p><p>Ronnie Dukes, who uses quill and ink on hand-made paper from Nepal, is attending his first ever Comic Con. He draws a series called the <em>Vitruvian Hero</em>, based on Leonardo da Vinci&#39;s Vitruvian Man.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/comic2.jpg" style="float: left;" title="The Reason (WBEZ/Tim Akimoff)" />&quot;I decided after 10 years of exhibiting work that I wanted to tell a complete story and have it out there,&quot; Dukes told me. &quot;I really need to take this seriously.&quot;</div><p>Beyond the artists and the sci-fi celebrities, you&#39;ll find find the kitsch. The Gandalf keychains, Tron-style plates and Uruk-Hai scimitars are available along with gaming dice, plush toys and life-size action figures.</p><p>Comic Con is at once entirely familiar and at times a double-take in terms of costumed conference-goers. A winged creature flutters by followed by a black-suited woman and characters I can only assume are still imaginary, just waiting for their turn as art on the pages of a comic book or a screenplay and a show.</p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/takimoff" rel="author">Tim Akimoff</a> is the digital content editor at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff"> Twitter </a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/timakimoff"> Facebook </a></p> Fri, 10 Aug 2012 16:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/comic-con-2012-chicago-where-popular-culture-art-and-costumery-meet-commerce