Passionate Geeks is a monthly feature (the second Wednesday of the month), where I invite people to explore and share about those things that they are passionate about.
What kind of a Geek are you? (If you’d like to answer this question on this blog just let me know!)
Today’s Passionate Geek is Jason of Drake Enterprises. Jason has been a comic fan all his life, since his dad took him to Batman in 1989. An avid cosplayer, this interest evolved from years of over-the-top Halloween costumes. He is now opening his own business: Drake Enterprises, which marries live theater cosplay and comics. Jason holds a degree in theater from Kent State University in Ohio, and is currently finishing a Masters Degree in Theater administration at the University of Akron in Ohio. He considers himself lucky to be just old enough to have seen the start of modern superhero movies back in the late ’80s and ’90s, and the current explosion of comic culture to the mainstream is like a dream come true to this perpetual geek!
Passionate geek- So I finally carved out time to write about what it means to me to be a passionate geek. Before I typed a single letter I had to get some tunes on and since what I’m writing about requires the right mood, I have a playlist on that has movie scores and 1st outta the gate is the John Williams Superman theme, also on this list is the Harry Potter Hedwig theme, the Rocketeer theme and other comic and fantasy related music.
When I was a kid I loved going to comic book shops and especially loved when my local mall had a comic and card show. Who knew that 20 years later I’d be going to conventions and participating in cosplay contests?
I’m a huge and I mean HUGE Batman super fan. I’ve probably forgotten more info about old bats than most people even know. Where did that start? Well my dad still jokingly says “I shoulda never taken him to see Batman when he was a little kid – look what I’ve done” He is talking about the 1989 Michel Keaton Batman so I date myself a little bit. But it started there I loved the darkness of the character I love the justice and the desire to do something HUGE.
It stuck with me and grew with each movie and each comic. Now we are on to our 3rd set of Batman films so my fandom continues to be serviced!
I think for me and many people it boils down to a single story here and there something that fundamentally bonds to our DNA. The brooding Batman 1989, Robin Hood Prince of thieves 1992 the desire to do great things, things THAT ARE NEEDED. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – fighting against the odds for good. Harry Potter – being part of a literally magic world. These things as I became an adult were ideas that transcended the story and became life goals, desires to be more than what I am. HERO’S.
I think we ALL want to be a hero and in a sense we are, there is a quote that goes like this: “We are the hero of our own story”. I suppose my story started with heroes and now it’s permanently entwined with heroes.
My business, that will be my career and livelihood, is all about hero’s and related stories. A comic book shop that’s attached to a fabrication studio for cosplay and props, which is designed to service and help local high school theaters with sets, costumes and props. . . . Have I missed any other way of telling a story . . . I seriously doubt it.
So my adult life is about these stories – comic book- cosplay-theatre. It’s also about creating an environment for this group of people us NERDS AND GEEKS. We were nerds and geeks before it was cool to be nerds and geeks damn it all! So my place will be a community for us to bask in our fandoms.
My life has been shaped by these comics these epic stories, now I want to foster that in my community. I think we are in a brand new GOLDEN AGE of comics thanks to the movies making 300+ million dollars and TV networks scrambling to get comic book characters on the small screen.
What’s awesome is now my work makes me more than just a fan but a steward of this new golden age – a keeper of the keys, or better still a tour guide into this incredibly diverse and fantastic world. The thing is, wouldn’t it be awesome if the rest of the world could get along like we all do when at a comic shop or at a convention or going to the midnight opening of the next HUGE comic book movie or fantasy film. Perhaps that’s what our geekdom is leading us to- NERD ACTIVISOM.
Now wouldn’t that be a hell of a story: geeks and nerds for reals saved the world- now that would be an awesome story. 1989 Batman – Thanks Dad.!