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I, Fanboy. Are You?

By:Jonathan Chan

You may be a fanboy and not know it. I'm here to clarify that.

There are many ways in which fans of geek culture are coming out of the closet – proud of who they are, striking dramatic poses while brandishing homemade superhero costumes…right guys? Are you with me here? Anyone?

Fanboy – n. (fan-boy) A person, male or female, who is a passionate fan of various elements of geek culture (e.g. sci-fi, comics, Star Wars, video games, anime, hobbits, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.), but who lets his passion override social graces (a dork).
I’m a fan boy. I’ve always been. I grew up in a veritable fantasy world. While most people acquaint fanboy with comic book/sci-fi connotations, I take it a step further to include the full spectrum of geek culture, as well as just being an addict of more accepted subculture (e.g. music, TV, & porn).
As a 12-year old in the early 80’s (please refrain from adding that up), my joys were simple and heartfelt. I often bucked trends to pursue my own hobbies, thinking I was unique in my obsessions. But over the years I’ve realized that others would share the same interests and prove to be just as dorky.
Nowadays, the evolution of ‘geek culture’ has reached mainstream acceptance. The power of the Internet makes information gathering infinitely easier to be exposed to this cultural explosion. It’s easy to find fans of “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Fellowship of the Rings,” and “Spiderman.” But before the bandwagon rolled in I was there for some hardcore fanboy behavior.

Here are 10 highlights from my life as a fanboy:
1. Star Wars – Classic film. Great toys. Speaking of which, one of my prized possessions is a 12” fully posable Chewbacca action figure. This giant Wookie destroyed the other action figures, with his sheer size and coolness. He was so prized that I built houses made up of Dr. Seuss books for him to dwell in. And yes, girls were light years away.
2. Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon – On Saturday mornings, this fantastic cartoon documented kids in a fantasy world battling monsters and their quest to return home. I thought it was so phenomenal that I played the game and cut Saturday school classes that my parents paid big bucks for.
3. Professional Wrestling – I loved the British Bulldogs. These former WWF tag-team champions didn’t have goofy gimmicks (um…that bulldog they brought to the ring didn’t count), just excellence in skill. They influenced me to the point, that I would come up with games like “Duck, Duck, Snap Suplex,” in which we’d take the game of “Duck, Duck, Goose,” and instead of tagging your rival, you’d be able to do a devastating wrestling move. Nice boy, me.
4. Comic Books – I still have most of my collection of thousands of comic books. At the height of my collecting, I’d buy every single title that Marvel put out. Back then they had a line for kids (Star), a New Universe, and I would buy multiple issues of a potential collectors item – thinking I could sell for a profit in the future. What the comics did provide, was a reference for us fanboys, when we played superheroes. If a friend said, “Thor can’t do that,” I’d show an issue where his hammer went through Gabriel-Lan, the Air-Walker Automation, and bonk my buddy with my toy hammer.
5. Dungeons and Dragons – Yes. D and D. The game with the funny dice and the biggest losers in your school. Sure, I loved the fantasy element but I knew it was time to move on when one fanboy in my group made a song set to the tune of Joan Jett’s classic “I Love Rock and Roll” – but it went awry - “I love D and D…put another dwarf in the dungeon baby…I love D and D, c’mon take your ax and fight with me!”
6. Intellivision – This home-video gaming system was the biggest rival to Atari in the early 80’s. With better graphics and gameplay, I was the biggest proponent to this system. My fandom went so far that I wrote a poem in school with Intellivision and naked women featured prominently. During my all-guy applause, my 6th grade teacher had a heart attack.
7. Kung Fu Movies – Remember catching old-school kung fu movies on TV as a kid? For us in the NY area, we had the Drive-in Theater at 3 PM on Saturdays that would play all of those fantastic Shaw Brothers kung-fu movies were everyone had long hair, fantastic fighting skills, and horrible English dubbing. Possibly the most influential of all fanboy crushes (sorry Chewie), Kung Fu movies became an everyday game with friends and family and yet another strengthening bond with my father.
8. Overpower Card Game – A somewhat recent obsession – this card-based game features Superheroes (Wolverine, Spiderman, Sabretooth, etc.) and is played against another player who uses his own collection of Overpower cards. A simpler, yet just as geeky version of Magic: the Gathering. With some dedicated confidants, we’d buy packs, scream whenever a key card or hero was found, (actual quote: “If I get the Hulk in this pack, I’m throwing your little cousin out the window!”), and play anywhere and everywhere. I won’t even mention a specially made award that was created just for our first tournament.
9. Madonna – It was a short obsession but it was an obsession. I had the posters, the tapes, wrote her name on my sneakers. Thankfully I fell out of that addict mindset and discovered the music of Adam Ant, UB40, the Police, and Wham! (huh?)
10. Toys – As you can tell with my 12” Chewbacca, I was obsessed with toys. One of my all-time favorites was a “Stretch Monster” doll. This green, ugly mother was the rival to “Stretch Armstrong.” Smelling like an old tire and just as heavy, the doll was made of heavy pliable material which would revert back to normal after pulling his arms and legs in different directions. Instructions strictly said not to freeze or cut this toy. Sure enough, I froze it and jabbed the toy with scissors. It was filled with reddish liquid. Curiosity sated, I threw the ruined toy away and went back to Chewbacca in his house of books.

About the author:

This now mature writer no longer plays with his Chewbacca action figure. He lost it. Please visit www.FanclubX.comfor more entertainment based fun.

Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/

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