Dawn of the Geeks, part six
By James D. Deaux IV
06 March 2009 — I've always been a "geek culture" fanatic. For nine of the last 11 years, I've attended a three-day convention dedicated to Japanese animation. If that doesn't scream "GEEK!" I don't know what does. I do it because it's fun to see people dressed up in costumes that make you wonder when these people find time to eat, go to work and have any semblance of a social life. It really isn't a stretch to say that anime helped me get through the most miserable three years of my life: middle school. I was what you would classify as the verbal and physical punching bag for various lower-level life forms. If I didn't have the recently departed Toonami block on Cartoon Network to come home to every afternoon, I don't know where I'd be today. I was a wreck during those days, and it gave me something to look forward to after the hideous days of being picked on endlessly. If I knew I was going to be late getting home and would miss an episode, I would set the VCR and wait eagerly for those long, horrid days of school to end. I'd come home and watch Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z, and love them. While not the greatest shows in hindsight (especially the English dubs, which don't do their Japanese counterparts justice), they were entertaining in my youth.
Before I even got into anime and manga, though, I played video games endlessly and collected comic books. Though I realize he is overexposed, I have always been an unapologetic Wolverine fan. I own dozens of Wolverine comics — far more than any other character or group. His stories were intriguing — especially the bone claws era — and he personified "badass" when I was in my teen years. It was something I could read to escape the utterly boring novels that you're forced to read in school. The Scarlet Letter, anyone? I still have my copy of Wolverine #75 with the hologram on the cover — truly the pride and joy of my comic book collection. Today, I own dozens of graphic novels — mostly Batman related — and they have their own shelf on my very large bookcase. I've also been a hardcore video gamer since I was four years old. From the days of blowing into NES cartridges to the present with Xbox Live, video games have been a big part of my life.
Jump ahead to the Earth-2.net era. I knew Earth-2.net was going to be a success because Michael David Sims has a damn good work ethic when it comes to keeping this place updated. I was just happy to be part of the foundation of the website. Now, I look back on this place and think, "WOW, it is unbelievable how far along this place has come." Earth-2.net is where I was first able to publish my anime music videos, and for the most part, I think the feedback has been extremely positive. I could post them elsewhere, but I wouldn't get nearly the amount of insightful comments that I do from our staff and viewers. I then decided a couple years ago to do what I love to do (RE: rant about horrible movies and other things) and turn them into a review series called Tranquil Tirades. Along the way, I picked up a hitchhiker on the road of sardonicism named DW, and the rest is history. We have co-written so many movie reviews that are so much fun to compose, it should be illegal. Dubs, I wait with great anticipation to review Saw VI with you.
However, as much fun as spewing sarcasm is, World's Finest Podcast would have to be the thing I am involved with that I am most proud of. No other podcast or review series on Earth-2.net has brought so many new members to our forums. One of those members drawn in by WFP happens to be my lovely girlfriend, Erin, who has been a fan since the first episode. (I still can't believe how bad my audio sounded in the early days!) The DCAU is a glorious gift upon mankind, and I love the opportunity to dissect every episode of every series in it. There are high times ("The Late Mr. Kent") and low times ("The Terrible Trio"), but it's that kind of roller coaster reviewing that makes it so unpredictably fun. Given that we are near the halfway point of its lifespan, I eagerly await reviewing the legendarily great Justice League cartoon series and others in the DC Animated Universe, such as Teen Titans.
It's truly difficult to believe it's been five years since Earth-2.net was founded. Since the launch we've seen writers and forum members come and go, but we've always had some of the most intelligent reviews and thought-provoking discussions on the Internet. And on the flipside, the forums have also hosted some of the goofiest topics you'll ever encounter. But it's this kind of balance that makes our forums so welcoming to new members. In one area, you can have a very serious discussion of the ramifications of the new Watchmen film, and further down the page you'll see a thread dedicated to finding the funniest unintentional jokes from back in the Silver Age. We are not arrogant by any stretch of the imagination, we practically never have flame wars and even if we vehemently disagree with someone, we don't tell them to "get the hell out of here." Anyone out there reading this that hasn't joined our forums yet, I urge you to do so. Whether you like sci-fi, anime, comic books or any other geek-related media, we're extremely welcoming to new members. I, myself, have Earth-2.net to thank for so many great things in my life right now. Most importantly, it brought me the love of my life. That, in and of itself, is enough to praise the ground Michael David Sims walks on. But beyond that, Earth-2.net is where I can go to escape the mundane and laugh at all of the inside jokes we've crafted over the years. I can read topics that get derailed more quickly than a freight train with plastic wheels. And I can read reviews written by some of the best-spoken and articulate people I've ever met. There's no telling how many lifelong friends I've made through this place, either. Long live Earth-2.net! Here's to five more years of podcasts, sarcasm, rage, laughs and, of course, werewolf sex.