There are many interests that can be classified as “nerdy.” Comic book enthusiasts are frequently stereotyped in this category for several reasons. For example, comic book reading is a typically solitary activity: the stories themselves frequently contain complex storylines and nuances that only an obsessive person could appreciate completely. Also, nerds are stereotypically considered immature and reading comics as an adult may be viewed as especially childish.
However, despite a negative connotation held by some, events like the New York Comic Con (last held from Oct. 13-16 of this year) attract tens of thousands of fans per year. Fans can now spend up to four days (previously three) attending celebrity panels and exploring a show floor filled with vendors selling items for just about every geeky interest imaginable. However, one form of nerdiness is noticeably absent throughout: music nerdiness.
Booths sold items such as comic books, graphic novels, DVDs, video games, toys and autographed posters; aside from one vendor selling a collection of high-priced out-of-print movie soundtracks, though, music was pretty non-existent. It’s not terribly surprising, really: the music nerd (“hipster”) and comic nerd have two completely different interests with massive quantities of collectables. Comic nerds prefer to explore other worlds by reading or watching their favorite stories. Music nerds prefer to listen and either use their imaginations or admire album artwork for visual accompaniment.
The New York Comic Con is still excellent for anyone who enjoys pop culture in the form of literature, movies, television and video games. For music nerds, though, a record fair would be the best bet. Both nerd lifestyles share several similarities, such as enthusiasm for collecting and examining small details. However, just as comic books would feel out of place at a record fair, records would also feel out of place at a comic convention. It’s better to separate the two rather than try to combine them; it could work in theory, but to be honest, both types of nerds would probably prefer maximum real estate for their specific interest, rather than a diluted combination of both. After all, record stores like California’s three Amoeba locations are packed wall-to-wall with records for every taste imaginable. Likewise, comic books come in all forms for a massive spectrum of interests.
What’s most apparent at a place like the New York Comic Con, though, is the amount of derivative material spawned from comic books. Characters such as Superman and Batman have been adapted into numerous spin-off comic series, movies, television shows, video games and various other pieces of merchandise. Music merchandise is prevalent in the world as well, of course, but it really belongs in a separate category of its own. It’s simply one medium that deserves its own convention to accommodate the countless fans attending for that sole interest.