Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.

I Don’t Get Fanatics

September 11th, 2013

bPokemon-memorabilia-5456-itemsI don’t know, maybe it’s not in my genes, but I am not now, nor have I ever been a fanatic for anything.  There are things I enjoy to be sure, but I cannot identify with the people that I see that absolutely can’t live without the latest and greatest new stuff that comes out.

I know this isn’t limited to the geek crowd, you have people who fall all over themselves to get all the baseball cards or all the books in a series, but mostly I see it among the geeks and most of the time, it leaves me shaking my head.

The fact is, I’m not a fanatic about anything.  I don’t get emotionally invested in my hobbies.  If that makes me a casual hobbyist, I’m fine with that.  I’d actually like to talk to other casual hobbyists, where we can discuss the subjects as normal, rational people, not as die-hard extremists.  Yet the online forums only seem to appeal to the zealots, not to the people who just have a good time engaging in these activities.

Take the board game forum I’m on.  The people are virtually all fanatics.  They spend copious time complaining about all the games they buy but have never played and probably never will.  They whine about not having any more room for their games, yet they just ordered another half-dozen and have to make space.  They spend time making long and detailed lists of every single game they’ve ever played and how many times they’ve played them.  It takes a hobby and makes it into a spreadsheet.

Or how about the multiple stamp collecting forums I frequent?  You have people who gush on and on and on about the latest stamp they acquired, but worse, you see people who are just accumulating literally millions of stamps that live in boxes because they have no time in actually inventorying what they have.  There is one dealer in Australia whose “collection” has taken over every flat surface in his house and he’s still got more coming by the carton-load.  It’s not well organized either, from the pictures I’ve seen, it’s just stacked haphazardly around his house, I have no idea how he finds anything.

I’ve complained in the past about the bird forum I used to visit.  It was filled with zealots from one end to the other and, in fact, they used to attack anyone who didn’t share their zeal or who behaved outside of the acceptable group-think.  These are people who have focused their lives around birds, some of them have quit their jobs and gotten their doctors to sign off fake medical ailments so they can spend every second of every day with their birds.

What about the action figure forum?  While I don’t go there very often anymore, it’s sad to watch people who openly scorn modern action figures, but who can’t stop themselves from buying them at every turn.  People buy these things by the case, they spend thousands of dollars and then complain how much they hate the quality, then buy more.

Or the comic book forum?  So many people have such an encyclopedic inventory of comic book trivia, you can post a single panel from any comic published in the past 80 years and someone will pop up almost instantly and tell you where it comes from.  Now I suppose that’s not a horrible thing in and of itself, back in my youth, I could do similar things.  My specialty was music, I could tell you, for any band I cared about, what album any song was on, where on the album it was (for whatever format I was most familiar with), exactly how long it was, etc.  But what I could do is nothing compared to fanatics who can almost quote thousands of comics virtually word for word.

I’ll be honest, most of these people really aren’t that much fun to talk to.  Oh sure, they may be knowledgeable about their subject matter but they are focused to an extreme degree on it as well.  It’s all they talk about.  It’s all they care about.  They can’t just enjoy it, they have to obsess over it.  I think a lot of them have an unhealthy preoccupation with their particular activity.  There just don’t seem to be many of these people that have a casual interest and who just want to talk to fellow fans like I do.

I could see if it was a convention or another specialty event that cost money, where only the most devoted fanatics would likely attend, but these are free online forums that anyone can access and unfortunately, I see a lot of interested casual fans coming onto these forums, asking a few questions and almost immediately leaving because the lunacy drives them away.  Lots of people either want to use the craziness to their own advantage or they get overwhelmed by the extreme dedication and decide to slowly back away and take their budding interest elsewhere.  This is sad, but I have seen it in every single area of interest I mentioned above, without exception.

If there was actually a place where people with specific interests could gather, a place where it’s just fun, where collecting isn’t a job, it’s a hobby, I’d love to know where it is.  I have yet to find a single forum, a single IRC channel, a single anything online where that’s the case.  If there really are that many people out there with an obsessive personality, I think we as a planet have reason to worry.  It’s just not healthy.

Revisiting Classic Detective Books

September 10th, 2013

Three InvestigatorsAs most know, I recently helped my mother move after having lived in the same place for 45 years.  I moved out more than 20 years ago and I left a lot of my childhood belongings behind, I just had nowhere to store them when my wife and I were starting out. Over time, I just lost track of them and the few times I thought I ought to find them again, I neither had the time nor the energy to dig through the huge piles of stuff she had accumulated over the years.

Until she moved, of course.  Then, I got to go through all of the various boxes stored in the garage and I came across tons of things I had left and stashed them in the car.  In fact, I stashed about 10 loads of stuff in the car.  I’ve already shared a little of it, but now I want to move on to some of my favorites, my mystery books.

Comic Review: Ultimate Iron Man #1-4 (2012-2013)

September 9th, 2013


As much as I love Iron Man as a character, I have been extremely critical of the Ultimate Universe take on the character.  The first mini-series, released in 2005, written by Orson Scott Card and drawn by Andy Kubert, just didn’t do anything for me.  It had nothing to do with Card’s writing, although I think he’s a complete prick in real life.  It failed because it turned Tony Stark into a mutant, not the regular guy that he is in the 616 universe and that’s what I really like about him.  It also took the armor and made it a part of him, something I utterly detest. What they were writing wasn’t Iron Man, it was another character entirely.  I disliked it so thoroughly that when they released a second mini-series in 2007, I entirely ignored it.  Now, however, comes a third mini-series, this one written by Nathan Edmondson, that I thought I’d try out.

Non-Sport Cards: Alien (1979)

September 8th, 2013


After last week’s foray into Alien³, I thought it only fitting that I take a step back to the movie that started it all, 1979’s Ridley Scott classic, Alien.

The card set was put out in 1979 to celebrate the release of the film.  It was made by Topps and contained 84 cards with images from the movie on the front and the story of the film on the back and included 22 stickers.

Building a Better World Part 4: Back to the Beginning

September 7th, 2013

This time on Building a Better World Part 4, where do aliens come from?

I was originally going to do something about alien species, and in fact, had written virtually the entire piece before I realized that I really ought to start at the beginning. See, there’s a common problem for the overwhelming majority of science fiction universes.  Those for television and. to some degree, movies, it’s obvious and practical, they have to fit actors into their suits and do so as inexpensively as possible, therefore most alien species, at least until the age of cheap CGI, were humanoid in nature,  Most of them had two arms, two legs, bilateral symmetry, etc.  This is also true in most gaming universes because you want your characters to be able to directly interact with the various alien species and unless they all live in a similar environment, with similar tolerances for gravity, atmosphere, heat and cold, that becomes difficult.  There has to be a logical explanation for why there are so many similar species out there.  This is my explanation.

It’s the End of the Action Figure World and I Feel Fine!

September 6th, 2013

Empty PegsI’ve written before that I’ve kind of given up on collecting action figures for various reasons.  First, nobody is really making anything that I really feel the need to have. Secondly, prices are rising, but quality is falling, a bad combination. Third, stores are stocking fewer and fewer figures and collecting just isn’t fun anymore.  So is this the end of the road for action figures?

Weekly Pull List – 8/28/13 & 9/4/13

September 4th, 2013

Pull List LogoYou know, I didn’t realize I hadn’t put together my pull list post for last week until it was too late so I guess I’ll have to throw in a two-fer.  Here’s what I got last week, plus what I’m looking for this week!  Shame on me!

I’ve also decided that I’m going to mark those books or series I plan on reviewing in the near future.  It may be an entire arc review, an entire mini-series review, or just an issue review (not necessarily this particular issue), and no promises when, but I do want to do a few of these.  They’ll be marked with a *.

Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.