human behavior

A comical need to belong

Posted in Sydney by humanb on November 9, 2009

KingsComicsI’m probably what the psychiatrists would call a Cluster A personality type (along its normal spectrum, mind you), a ‘loner’ in common parlance. I don’t join clubs, seek out company, or require a companion to enjoy myself in any circumstance, except eating out.

But lately I’ve found a strange satisfaction in the fact that I’m now a member of a club: that of the comic book reader. I don’t mean Manga or graphic novels, both of which are far too hip for my taste. I don’t do hip.

I mean regular comics that are read by decidedly uncool, socially avoidant men in their 40’s; men who still maintain autistic fantasies of seducing Mary Jane, or of having to hide their superidentity behind a geek’s mask. Of course, while I do love science fiction and superhero mythology, I don’t read these men’s comics.

I’ve only got eyes for Buffy.

I suppose I must begrudgingly admit that the Buffy Season 8 comic is bordering on cool. The show was a cult classic, though it should have been hailed a ‘classic’, period. But Season 8 has been developed in the spirit of the old-fashioned comics, and by an artistic genius no less – one Joss Whedon. And Joss stays true to the genre without ignoring the rules and rhythms of the Buffyverse. So I like to consider myself as having joined the uncool club of comic book geeks; and I take great pleasure in my monthly pilgrimage to Kings Comics on Pitt Street.

On my first trip to the shop I felt like such a poser. I was sure the staff and customers would incinerate me with their eyeballs. I tried to look comfortable in that shop full of superhero figurines, sci-fi movie posters and hardcore devotees. I even pretended to browse the various collections before making my choice. But who was I kidding? Everybody knew why I had come. Everybody knew I was one of those comic book virgins looking for a Buffy fix. So I gave up the pretense and made a bee line to Dark Horse publishing for Issue #1 of Buffy Season 8.

I just picked up Issue #30 today. That makes me a regular patron of a comic book shop. And while my definition of being in the club does not include my befriending any fellow customers, I can proudly say that one staff person there knows me and always greets me with a smile. He’s a shy young thing with a very sweet manner, hair dyed black, and eyes like a Japanese anime character.

Apparently he saw me on Channel 7 News one night at an Obama election party. I think that made me famous somehow. He’s been eager to catch my eye and smile once a month ever since. And I look forward to his smile.

It means I’m in the club.

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2 Responses

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  1. mike rankin said, on November 10, 2009 at 12:49 am

    appariently you in ur gee to get ur blog up an running took your first misstep wen you called your self a cluster but should have informed the people of the planet earth the your blog was “Planet humanb.” albeit “The World according to humanb” and that your stamp would be without a doubt inked with the bluesest “India blue ink availavle that would not fade or smear thought the end of time. words being what they will hopefully i will be the first to answer this blog with these words. you scorn the men who read regular comics because you say they lay in wait to fullfill their maryjane fantasties but the true fantasties lie in wait at the fantasties which pump up mary jane to the supreme vixen of everyschool boys wildest dream and yes fantasty. But the heros of the comics are those stories that give voice to “antman” and his legions of ants; aquaman who rules the seas and Green lantern and his wonderious lamp, a modern genie.

  2. humanb said, on November 10, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Mike, you misunderstand. I don’t “scorn” the men who read regular comics. I embrace them. I’ve tried to join them.

    As for the blog, how can it be anything more than the world according to the author? I have no expertise in any subject of social or geopolitical importance (see my disclaimer) that I could write about instead of my inner thoughts, so I write down my thoughts about the world for my own pleasure, and that of the odd loner out there like me, who might enjoy my musings too. Apparently I’ve found him.

    Thanks for reading.

    NB: Inappropriate name-calling in comments will be edited, but I leave your voice otherwise intact.

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