New reality: And the geek shall inherit the earth
FILE - This May 4, 2012 file photo shows writer and director, Joss Whedon, from the film "The Avengers," posing for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. Whedon said Sunday, July 21, 2013 at Comic-Con International that the storylines of Buffy and his other Vampire Slayer title Angel & Faith will intertwine in interesting ways when Season 10 begins its published run. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Samuel L. Jackson visits Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles twice a month. Employees there keep a box stuffed with the latest comic books and graphic novels.
Does that make him a nerd? Go ahead and call him that. We dare you.
"I don't know who actually defined it as such," Jackson said during an interview Saturday at Comic-Con where he was promoting his fantasy-driven film, "Captain America: The Winter Solider." ''I've always read comic books. I've always spent time in comic book stores. I still do. I don't particularly consider myself a nerd. It's just that part of pop culture that I'm also a part of."
If Jackson, arguably the baddest you know what in the history of cinema, is comfortable with the world of super heroes, sci-fi and fantasy, it's probably time to stop throwing around that word nerd. Those who would turn their nose up at a sweaty guy dressed like Wolverine are increasingly in the minority. Geeks may still get stuffed in lockers and given the occasional swirly, but they rule the American entertainment world — and thus global popular culture in the 21st century.
The biggest rock stars at Comic-Con this year weren't the guys in Metallica and Weezer, but the fellows named Joss Whedon, Robert Kirkman and Neil Gaiman.
These purveyors of super heroes, zombies and Lovecraftian mystery are smashing records in the film and television world, driving the publishing industry and setting social media afire.
Whedon, the writer-director-producer of "Marvel's The Avengers," ''Marvel's Agents of SHIELD," ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," says our current obsession is comparable to the Greek or Norse mythologies, cave paintings and the religious high art of the Renaissance because it reflects our society.
"I feel like every culture has a different version of itself sort of writ large," Whedon said. "In Japan and different Asian cultures, people are floating in trees and doing kung fu and here we dress up in tights and fight crime. These stories have been here in some cases closing in on 100 years, and in some cases around 60. They not only inspired a bunch of children, those children grew up, and it's just become part of our mythos, a genuine mythos, a real sort of evolving mythology. It's something people can see and key into instantly. They know where they stand. They know what's good, what's bad, where the pain is, how they identify with it. That kind of shorthand is where iconography comes from."