Once Upon A Geek – Growing Up Geeky in the 1970s and ’80s

ONCE UPON THE 1970s AND 1980s! 

The premier episode of the ONCE UPON A GEEK PODCAST! It's an Irredeemable Family Reunion -- Shagg chats with his real-world sister & brother about growing up geeky in the 1970s & 1980s! #FindYourJoy

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Life is short. Focus on the positive. Find Your Joy.

26 responses to “Once Upon A Geek – Growing Up Geeky in the 1970s and ’80s

  1. Thank you for the first episode of OUAG, and what a way to kick things off. Who needs the Shazam Family when you can have the Shagg Family! Eve and Lore are as cool as you, Shagg! But does nobody in this family use their actual name? Or are you like Forties Mystery Men?

    It was fascinating to hear Lore’s story of being in the band, it still amazes me that US high schools have these hierarchies where there are groups whose members have to date one another. I always thought that was made up by TV and films.

    That story about Eve and the Secret Service men was hilarious, and a bit scary – something similar happened to me in San Francisco, well it didn’t happen to me, it was my own fault. I was surprised to see a massive gun at airport security and made a gag, and the cop was ridiculously unamused, I thought he was going to hold me…

    The story about Shagg and his stolen action figures was so sad!

    And the tale about Shagg putting his fingers into the holes of the Kiss posters was a cracker– I hadn’t heard about lots of people thinking there were people in the walls, was that really a widespread thing in North America? I have seen one or two horror films about that, is this where it comes from, some urban legend?

    It was wonderful to hear it again about your sister Alicia and the secret admirer comics – what a special thing to do. I bet she would be so proud of you all.

    Probably the TV show that made me a geek was a 1970 kids’ drama called Timeslip, about two British working class kids who discovered they could travel via a timeslip to past and future, the problem being that the mysterious phenomena was invisible. It seemed to be set in the world outside my window and I spent loads of time thereafter looking for the timeslip, like a tiny mime artist. Look for the show online or on DVD, it stands up. The first episode had a bonus add-on when it was transmitted, with the ITV News science correspondent explaining the theory behind it all… who says TV isn’t educational?

    I missed most of Star Trek TOS when transmitted by BBC1 in the Seventies, pre-DVD, as it went out opposite Coronation Street, the biggest soap in the UK. I’ve only seen about three episodes. I’m catching up now on the weirdly named Horror Channel.

    My mam loved comics as a kid, so had me reading them from pretty much birth. She was the best.

    Did Eve say her husband is English, which would be awesome, or just that he’s a fan of English sports?

    Please have your siblings on again, Shagg, maybe it could be an annual event?

    1. Wonderful show, Shag – interesting that you recruited your brother & sister to your first programme, as nostalgia seems to me to be a really important ingredient of our individual obsessions & fascinations. It was great to hear how your family members had overlapping interests & how you supported each other in them. As you know, my first love was Doctor Who, and that was definitely something that my brother and I shared as kids – both the TV series (when it was on) & the Target novelisations. He’s not so interested now, but it’s something that still burns within me.

      Comics were a different thing – my parents definitely encouraged us as early readers, but they looked down on comics as very lowbrow, and American comics in particular were a real rarity over this side of the pond. We might only get one or two opportunities to buy a Green Lantern or Flash book a year, so they acquired a bit of a “Forbidden Fruit” status for me. Imagine my delight when I went to University in a city that had a Forbidden Planet comic shop!

      I definitely credit my father’s love of sci-fi for my own interest in the genre. He would often get out books from the Gollancz SF Masterworks series from our local lending library (Bright yellow & magenta dust covers – I can see them in my mind’s eye now – what a very 70’s graphic design choice!) It was reading those books of his that fuelled my already growing interest in science fiction tales – especially ones with a core of proper science.

      It’s a shame that geek, nerd, dweeb and all the other terms that you mentioned from your Venn diagram have such negative connotations, even when superhero movies and TV shows completely rule the roost in terms of global entertainment franchises. Is this an attempt to reclaim the terms from being used as abuse?

      Looking forward to many more OUAG (terrible acronym!) shows, and I hope Lore & Eve will stop by again… if only to rag on their little brother!

  2. Now, I’m younger than you are, so to think about my “Growing Up Geek” period, I had to adjust to the 80s and 90s, but there was still a lot in this episode that I identified with, especially the desire/want to be “cool” when you were in your teenage years. The way that led to a complete lack of self-esteem as well as my tendency towards toxic “friendships” in both high school in college has been well-covered with my therapist, so I’ll spare you the details. But it really was the fifth and sixth grade where that whole concept seemed to rear its head. Up until then, I think that my friends and I all liked the same stuff–Star Wars, Voltron, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, Masters of the Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the WWF–and nobody got on anyone’s case about it. Then, at some point, things separated and I went from being just part of the herd to being called a geek because I liked Star Trek and read comic books.

    I don’t know where I fall in that Venn diagram (btw, Venn and the Diagrams … great new wave band. Saw them open for Strunk and the Whites back in ’81). I swear I’m all over the place and have a ridiculously wide range of interests and various levels of fixation. Back in high school, though, one of my best friends and I proudly referred to one another as dorks, and when she went away to college, she wrote me a letter wherein she said, “It’s a lot of fun when everyone’s a dork of some sort or another”, which has become somewhat of a mantra for me over the years.

    Loved the conversation with your brother and sister, too. I like how geekdom can run in a family and thought it was really cool to hear your “origins” as far as your geekiness is concerned. I have a younger sister (the Monica to my Ross) whose interests are a lot different than mine–she’s a horse geek. We do have a love of certain movies (Better Off Dead, for instance) and both have a real interest in genealogy, which has led to a mutual love of Newfoundland culture and music. And that butthead has actually been to Newfoundland whereas I have not. We definitely bond over that, and I share a mutual love of the New York Mets with my brother-in-law, so it makes for some fun times.

    With my parents, we definitely have different tastes, although I can attribute my love of movies to my dad, who would take me and my friends to any and every shitty action movie that came out in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was also that guy at the video store who had rented just about everything. He also let me rent just about anything, which meant that I saw Porky’s at 15 (seriously).

    I think there’s also something to say about the way I was left to my own devices very often, so I wound up watching a lot of TV, renting a lot of movies, and listening to a lot of music on the radio and just found a lot of different stuff by myself. Which is really a blog post/podcast episode all its own (and I’m sure I’ve already done that on my own show where I Just talk about whatever I want).

    So yeah, this was a great first episode and I’m looking forward to the next. Can’t wait for V!

    1. Tom, did you ever see that Strunk and the Whites cover band, Funk and the Wagnalls? I found the name misleading. They played no funk whatsoever.

  3. Shag – I’m very late to the podcasting world, so I have been catching up on many of the Network’s shows. I’m glad to be able to start on the ground floor! Truly enjoyed listening to your family tales – especially about your secret admirer comic. What a great big sister! While we don’t share many of the same geekdoms, I shall be listening to you (and your cohosts) regaling in your joy!

  4. Wonderful debut! Lore’s voice sounds like Frank Welker— he sounds like he could voice Fred on Scooby Doo.

    “Everyone is geeky in their own way”— I had to practice the piano a LOT. And I didn’t even have a favorite band or anything; I was playing classical music. It wasn’t until well in high school that I found non-classical musicians that I became passionate about. But that’s how I became a musician in my adult life. Everything changed when I was 15 years old and found other geeky musicians at music camp at a university. It was the first time I remember feeling “normal”.

    And speaking of music and Star Wars… John Williams is easily the greatest film composer who ever lived, and he’s still going strong. What a force.

    More later!

  5. I really enjoyed this walk down memory lane! I barely remember my high school days so it’s nice to hear folks whose recollections are so vivid.

  6. Hi Shagg, I loved this first episode. You and your siblings had loads of interesting things to say. You definitely have a gift for storytelling. You mention that your Mum was a storyteller around European history and I imagine this has got into the three of you. There is a real texture to your descriptions of how and when you discovered new geekdoms that is truly evocative of my childhood even though I’m younger and an ocean away. You should really try and convince your Mum and Dad to appear on the podcast. Just from the snippets you all shared I can tell they have equally fascinating stories to tell.

    Your secret admirer comics introduction is such a sweet story. I wish I had as defined an origin story but I really just always read comics. My Mum is a fanatical reader and from a very early age she encouraged both me and my sister to read. When I was very young we were very poor but still every day my Mum got a newspaper (which we would read the comic strips in together) and every week we got a comic because reading had to be pleasurable. I have so much to be grateful for my Mum to but my love of reading is one of the key shared passions across our entire family.

    I would love to hear you interview more people about their geeky life. I can see from the replies above me that you could get a great episode out of interviewing any of the community. Maybe you could do themed episodes about what it’s like to grow up geeky in Canada or as a Woman or as an LGBT person. You have a wealth of great contacts who I’m sure have fascinating stories to tell. I feel like there is so many interesting stories for you to unearth about the joy these fandoms bring to our lives and I’m definitely going to be along for the ride.

  7. Loved this episode! I have to know, did you hold Secret Wars 2 up to the sky as you made your declaration?
    My brother and I shared a lot of our geekery as well as having our own specific fanaticism. We currently do our own podcast reflecting on our favorite films.
    I’m eagerly looking forward to you coverage of V. A series that seems to be overlooked these days. Those DC comic tie ins have some amazing action packed covers.
    Keep on geeking on and finding your joy. Too few podcasts spread the joy.

  8. Great debut and so good to hear these stories.

    I am the youngest of 5 kids and so drew a lot of my loves from my siblings. But my brothers were the more geeky in their ways. They have influenced me a ton. We each have a niche or two but the overlap is there.

    I am just a couple of years older than you so the references and touchpoints are the same. So this was all so fascinating. The stories all so similar. So many smiles as I listened.

    I will say that at my job I have gone the other way and completely embraced the geekiness. The world knows I am the comic book guy. I tape panels on my office door. I put put comic stuff in lectures. I quote movies during the shift. And it has all been good.

    Can’t wait to hear more.
    And hope a topic crosses your path where I can join in!

  9. Wow, love conversations like this – thoroughly enjoyed it. Kudos to all three of the Irredeemable siblings.
    There’s a few bits in particular that really struck a chord with me:
    1. School bus seating – yes, where I grew up (in a pretty rural community in Oregon), the cool, and older, kids sat in back, while the front seats were where the first and second graders had to sit.
    2. Underoos – I specifically had a Superman and Batman set just so that I could wear the tops like normal t-shirts.
    3. Star Wars trading cards – man, for about a year after the movie was released a few school chums and I were crazy about these, and we’d bring them to school and compare and then trade each other for the ones we didn’t have to complete our collections. I had stacks of them, and then almost overnight I lost interest. I think I donated my whole box full of them to the local church for a charity flea market a few years later.

    Anyway, like I said, great show – I always like open-ended shows that cover all manner of geek-related and pop-culture topics. Looking forward to future shows, even though a lot of the initial topics you announced aren’t necessarily up my alley.

  10. Great first episode Shag. I appreciated the look into the Irredeemable family setting. My sister is 7 years older than me, so we had a similar relationship in many ways, it seems. I don’t think she ever threatened to burn anything, but there were defintiely some “If you tell Mom and Dad, I’ll…” moments.

    I’m sorry you still feel you have to keep things “closeted” at work. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to feel comfortable just letting my freak flag fly. I wear a Superman watch every day, and I drink from a Star Trek mug at work. I’ve found it’s more a conversation starter for me, but mileage may vary.

    Looking forward to your upcoming shows on “V”, which my whole family watched together. My sister was into the “doomed alien romance” angle, but I just loved the spaceships and laser guns!

  11. Its lovely that you’re all so close. I’m a bit jealous.

    Very enjoyable episode. Glad you found your podcast joy again this way.

  12. You down with OUAG (Yeah you know me), you down with OUAG (Yeah you know me)
    What a great idea for a podcast! It was great hearing everyone’s geek journey. It reminded me so much how my brother influenced my geekdom, specifically one of my brothers that was 12 years older than me. He collected comic books and when he left home he gave them to me. I spent several summers reading comics from this giant cardboard box filled with comics. (all of them horror comics and few Tarzan) . A few years later he gave me his stack of AD&D books. I read the Monster Manual so much. My other brother played KISS on the record player when I was really young, under 4? and had me listen to them on my headphones. As a kid I liked the band because they were only a few makeup changes away from Bozo the clown. (which today Bozo is scary as @#&# to me).

    Again great episode, look forward to more episodes. Ride the wave!

  13. What a wonderful episode. As someone who got his first comic in 1972 and getting it from an older sibling. I can’t wait to hear more episodes here. My older brother gave me comics to keep me occupied but all it did was make want more. So over the 10 years he introduced to Marvel, DC, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and much more. This lead to me finding even more nerdy things to devour. Over the the years I have worked in, managed, and owned comics shops. I still love all the nerdy thing he taught me about. And like you ended up podcasting. Keep up the amazing work. I will following this wonderful show.

  14. It’s kind of surreal to hear Shagg REPEATEDLY saying “geek isn’t a bad thing” on THIS network. Just goes to show how deeply he was wounded by bullies who did think it was.

    This episode needs a “psychology” tag attached to it!

  15. Thanks for sharing your family and your stories with us, Shag. They were all wonderful. And bonus, they completely debunked Rob’s speculative hypotheses regarding your true origin (e.g., alien left behind, lab experiment gone wrong, etc.).

  16. Nice job, Matthews family. I’m trying to imagine recording a geek-themed podcast with my own sister, who probably hasn’t read a comic book since she collected Hot Stuff the Little Devil in the ‘70s.

    Shagg, your story about the Kiss poster takes me back to my first day of kindergarten. I was so excited to show off my new lunchbox featuring my favorite rock band—Kiss (despite not knowing a single one of their songs). It was such a prized possession, when the teacher told us about fire drills, and warned us to leave all possessions behind, I thought, “Even my Kiss lunchbox?!?”

    Also, sorry to tell you this, but at my school, it was considered a pretty low-class maneuver to wear the Underoos T-shirt as outerwear (even the mysterious Boba Fett one that looked more like a baseball diamond than Mandalorian armor).

    Eve, I never pointed a fake gun at a presidential daughter, but my dad did get side-eye from a Secret Service agent when he stood at the urinal right next to Jimmy Carter (and even started talking to him while they pissed).

  17. Impressive podcast most impresses. Cool to hear the family shag doing a podcast together. Interestingly I never try to fit it. Unless I was trying to date. That was the only time I give a crap about what anyone thought of. Before my mother and birth father divorced. My biological male unit . Did work in the oil before my actual that came into the picture. So we had money. I wonder they gave me up to a certain point. Though while I did wear Levi’s. By the time of flashing notice what closer were. Everyone had moved on to bugle boys, Britannias. Ralph Lorenz,, Tommy Hill figure, members only and Coca-Cola shirts. For whatever reason the colored Coca-Cola shirt was really popular. I had a few. After the divorce and mom got free of the male biological unit that may have contributed to my birth. Before she met my dad. We or we can afford. She later became a store manager at first she worked as a cashier. And we had the work funders nests of surviving on peanut butter sandwiches and spaghetti. With packets of Kool-Aid.

    Well I drink the Kool-Aid and what she drink. And I had no problem we had to buy closed Salvation Army. Didn’t really have a care about those things. I wore the members jacket because I saw on Anderson where it when he was part of the horse men. And I was a wrestling fan. I never displayed much of my said. But, I never ask hid it either. The trans stuff wasthe only thing I hid. Sorry shag I know you live in Florida you may not be able to say that word. Though, comics gate may be happy about that. The corruption of the youth in Florida are learning that other people exist out there. Any rate I am right now looking at a wonder woman action figure, next to the fourth Dr. FunkoPop, by the pizzazz focal pop from the gym of the holograms cartoon. Sitting by A DVD of the suicide squad. On the same table that has a Harley Quinn action figure next to a G.I. Joe type ship. Behind a stuffed gnome. And pretty much my friend was always everywhere. Didn’t really bother to hide. If people picked on me I just got sarcastic back Sunday to punches that we can, and I had to learn how to fight. But, that’s not what this is about I had tons of fandoms.

    I too grew up in the 70s and 80s. So G.I. Joe was everywhere. From the one from action team. They had the one that was as tall as Barbie but he had the rooted hair. He kind of looked like McCoy from the Star Trek motion picture. But in army fatigues. I watched reruns of Star Trek on TV as well as kung fu theater and the master. Which was l Lee Van Cleef as a ninja. I too collected a lot of Star Wars action figures. I had the death star base. The Mayan falcon
    and a lot of different stuff. I was nice to people I was decent people I made friends where I could. But other than one instance I never excluded anyone are trying to think above myself. Just wasn’t whom I was. The man we get credit for my kids but I would return it. I was born sarcastic and just grew bigger. I come from a long line of sarcastic people. It’s a skill was passed on from generation to generation. So Alyssa got physically violent just dealt with it. Any rate when the real American hero G.I. Joe’s showed up I quickly bought them to, because I came from a family of military people. I myself was never in the military. Due to being blind to my left eye, but I had many family members that were. Except for the aforementioned male biological birthing unit that may have brought me into this world. So needless to say I watch the year zero cartoon a lot along with thunder cats and all the other stuff. Though panthor was my favorite thunder. I ended up buying his action figure at a con recently. Along with the woman from the second season. Can’t remember her name. Not cheetara but the other one. As a kid I had the Lino figure. Because, everybody had him. Pantro was hard to find because he was popular where I grew up.

    Needless to say I bought tons of comic book and superhero toys. As well as just books. And we definitely grew up in the age of Mego. Where between my cousins we had all of the 8 inch mego figures. And a few of the 12 inch ones. Even the 12 inch Star Wars figures. I had Luke,C3PO and Ben. I will give all my fandom because I’ve had a ton of them. In fact I was watching PBS and saw as my first episode of Dr. who robot. And became a fan of that show ever since. I would walk around with a tire gauge and pretend it was the sonic screwdriver. I didn’t get any of the action figures till I was an adult. Because it was hard to find here. The fourth Dr.’s run was big time. But, it hadn’t reached as big as it did in plastic as the 10th doctors did. I had a scarf I pretended was the doctor scarf. But it was blue-black. They just regular length scarf. I had a cowboy hat that I pretended was his hat. Because, I didn’t own a fedora till later. I of course had the Indiana Jones action figures. Because, after Star Wars like anyone else had become a big fan of Harrison Ford. I never had any desire to fit in. I would kind of history alone that sat in the background. I didn’t care. They friends I made friends with the rising great. Oh well.

    I never hid any of my fandom’s. I also had underos. Though mine were the one with Benjamin J Grimm. Whom was my favorite member of the fantastic four at that time. I probably had the Superman one as well as a child. Didn’t have the guts to buy the wonder woman one as a child. Because I had to pretend to be what the world saw me. They were wrong but whatever. Their history. Back to action figures I started collecting action force recently the Valaverse version. Not the British version of G.I. Joe. Still for six-inch action figures they’re pretty good. As long as you heat them up first. I ended up getting one that was called a scarab. Though I would recommend cutting off the yellow straps around his leg. People’s show that some other figures break when those are on. I removed mind had no problems. After heating him up with. A hairdryer. And in being rejected mostly gentle with the thing. I also got one based on a real-life military guy named Tim Kennedy… Kennedy! Sorry old wrestling every time I hear them with the last Kennedy is not related to JFK. I tend to make that joke based on little progress whose president was Kennedy. Wasn’t his real last name where is this Tim Kennedy’s real last name. At any rate they fit in well enough with my six-inch G.I. Joe classified figures.

    I even made a keep playset for them that I sit to the side with my action figures standing on it. So needless to say nope I had none of my geek dom. I also have some altered McFarlane DC universe action figures. That I made into soldiers that I fitted within with these G.I. Joe classified figures. And a few Marvel legends ones. But I have completely kit bashed. One other interesting tidbit about the guy who makes these toys. This Bobby V. like myself and Rob Kelly went to Joe Kubert. Well I went through the course is a mill. He had Rob with their physically. Probably not the same time. Moving along, as a kid I was lucky. I got the adventure team G.I. Joe and was therefore the real American hero line. Which was LarryHamma at his best. Though oddly my favorite figures from that were stalker and shipwreck. So I deftly had a lot of varying of interest. I load the gym of the hologram cartoon. Though I never bought the toys. Looked like crap. I’m sorry but they just looked ugly. Me and a friend of mine would get the Barbie the rocker once. They were at least cute. I did get the super seven 3 3/4 version of Jim and is as they are on my shelf great. As well as the pizzazz funko pop.

    And the IDW comic. But, back to suffer love as children. In the 70s and 80s. I definitely like the A-Team. Just got to Mr. T action figures. It was because of him that I got into wrestling. After seeing him and of all people who Cogan on Saturday Night Live. Though I had become more of a NWA fan because of Arn Anderson. I even had the Star Wars Darth Vader punching bag. As well as a con of Spiderman and Superman stuff. Like I had to large stuffed figures of both. One of Spiderman and one of Superman. As well as a hulk. Because it was the 80s. I of course had the amigo versions of those two. And I like the spider Mobile. I seem to be the only one. But, it is what it is. I had the 12 inch amigo Superman action figure as well as the Spiderman. And tons of the eight at mego action figures. I did some acting as well. Though having to take parts based upon the appearance that I had at that time.

    At one time when doing a speech in lost in Yonkers I was supposed to look at the other person and yell at them. Unfortunately I was used to film acting. Since I was also taking multimedia class. So I looked them directly in the face. Unfortunately they were facing the audience. Tomas taking the fourth wall into consideration. The back of my head was to the audience. Well the director since this was casting for that part. Obviously I didn’t get it. Since I wasn’t looking at the crowd and they couldn’t feel the emotion on my face. And they wanted a soliloquy didn’t realize he’s such a bright light. What I have that fun sensation of having your rate is burned? Try working under those particular lights. Par cams are fun. Our videos ellipsoidal. I think it was the Par cams that I was used to having to use to the ellipsoidal light. Was a bit of a culture shock. I also did state can work on a bunch of stuff. Including cabaret. I got in a in my stage in class. I passed my audition class. Sadly because my college screwed things up I didn’t get an actual acting class. But, since I got a C plus in auditioning. I guess I did okay. I pretty much read the Adler book and did what I could learn acting from that. And that directing a few local plays here and there. And starring in one or two read

    Then wisely doing a bit part in another. Since it’s easier to directly or not having to also star in the darn thing. But this was a little bitty town so. In college would also make different goofy videos. Never really went in Europe the acting. Though I did have fun doing one speech in Virginia Woolf. Then the whole auditioning class. I didn’t meet anyone famous for that. MSU people there therethrough, Comic cons. But, not that. Also you have degrees? That is awesome. I went to college for a few years. But, didn’t end up getting any degrees. Like I say how many years I was at college but it was a few. Studying art education. Then illustration. Then multimedia. Minoring in acting. As I thought I was gonna be a martial arts movie star. Yeah that did not happen. The only part I hated in auditioning was the one time we had to do musical theater. I cannot sing. I’ll get up from karaoke. But I am not very good at it. So trying to do a song from Joseph magical Technicolor dream coat. What kind of funny. I also remember years later getting the playmate I think they were called Star Trek action figures.

    As able to get a few figures from other series. Which were kind of cool. The only one I got from the Abrams movies was old Spock. As well as the bad guy from that movie. Since I wanted a Romulan. I kind of like an overly emotional version of a Vulcan. I would go through all my defendants here. But, that would probably take days and days of writing. So I’ll just stop here. It was fun hearing the girl talk about amnesia Lane. Can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

    Also for now my U-Tube page is dead…. my phone and U-tube aren’t liking each other. No idea why.

    1. Almost for got in high school I did play Mercutio in Romeo and Juillet. Having to play what people saw not who I am. But, it was fun. And now I’m fixing what they see so ha. At some point I’ll have to watch the Peace Maker tv show. it sounds pretty cool. Was cool hearing y’all talk about all the fandoms that were big time in the 80s. Once again this is every one’s favored mad woman with a computer box. Peaching out. Was great hearing Shagg and his fam talk about growing up in the 80s.

  18. Great episode Shagg! Loved hearing the dynamics of the Shagg-Family and thinking about my own. We are in a very similar age (sibling included) but in different countries. Still, older sibling with a taste for music (Kiss being part of the mix)? Check. Sharing love for certain TV shows as family? Check. I guess my biggest diversion is that I gave up on comics and fantasy/sci-fi when I hit high school, switched the geek major to music, only to come back by college age.
    And boy, did I feel represented by the “my show” thing. Mine was Wonder Woman all the way.

    Funny trivia: you moved to Florida in 79, and my first time in the US was in the summer of 79, Miami and Orlando. We are luck the time-space continuum wasn’t fractured…

  19. What an amazing way to start off a series! It was very enjoyable to hear all your experiences growing up geeky, in your different ways. There were definitely some same experiences between the three of yourself and myself, though I never antagonized the Secret Service!

    I’m somewhat jealous of your stories, as I only have my one older brother, and he is NOT a geek at all. And as much as I love him now, we certainly didn’t get along as kids. So, for me, I grew up feeling like I was the only one who enjoyed geeky/nerdy/dorky pursuits. While I had a few friends throughout school, none were on a scale of nerd that I felt I was. While my parents and grandparents didn’t mind my comic reading, they certainly felt it was a lower form of reading and tried to “graduate” me to REAL reading of novels. And now, even though I work in a somewhat nerdy industry (computer animation), my co workers all have their own thing and none of them seem to be into comics like I am. Hence why I love this podcast network, it’s creators, and it’s incredible community! I finally feel like I’ve met people that I can talk to about comics and not feel embarrassed or ashamed. You are awesome!

    While I’m looking forward to the next episodes about whatever you feel like talking about, I’m a little apprehensive about V. That show scared the pants off me as a kid. Those lizard faces?!?!? Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!! I will have to get over my child scarring to listen……

    I’m also finally starting to watch Doctor Who so I’m looking forward to hearing experienced takes on the matter!

    Keep up the great work!

  20. What a wonderful first episode, Shagg! It was great hearing from your siblings about their geeky experiences growing up. So much of what all three of you talked about resonated hard with me, especially since I was the youngest sibling (only the two of us though). Like you, I was the comics-nerd in the house and my brother was the Star Wars-geek, like Lore was. I have very fond memories of our parents introducing us to comics by taking us to Dave’s Comics in Richmond, Virginia (they used to advertise in old 80’s comics). It was there I picked up my very first comic, the Who’s Who issue with Cyborg on the cover. I was hooked. My brother picked up the first issue of Captain Carrot and the Oz-Wonderland War, so we both have great memories associated with those characters too. Over time, he dropped out of comics, but I kept going hard. As we became older, he dipped his toes back in with Green Lantern: Rebirth, and the two of us made regular Wednesday trips to the comic shop throughout the entire Sinestro Corp War/Blackest Night period. Even at the time I thought that period of DC Comics was firing on all cylinders (come on.. they were giving out Green Lantern rings every week!), and it was so much fun to experience all of it in real-time with family.

    Also similar to you all, it was our dad that introduced us to Star Trek through the movies. I believe the first we saw Star Trek 4, which I thought was a good entry point (even if there was no Enterprise top be found!). While dad was a casual Trek viewer, I latched on hard and once TNG was on the air I was a diehard fan, asking for him to drop me off at conventions on a regular basis. I’m so thankful I had wonderful parents that didn’t balk at my geekiness, but instead let me enjoy it and even encouraged it to a degree. Mom was even kind enough to attend a comic convention and get my Wonder Woman #1 signed by George Perez while I was away visiting family one summer… talk about awesome parenting!!

    And like you, Shagg, I worked a couple summers at our local comic shop (The Time Capsule in Chester, Virginia) when I turned 13. Looking back, it was a relatively short experience, but one I’l always cherish. I was there at ground zero for Superman #75… which felt like the only day in history it was cool to work at a comics shop!

    I can’t wait for more episodes… especially since you have V coming up!! Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to experience V when it originally aired (although a shot of Marc Singer running down an alley while being shot at by lasers is burned into my early memories). I really got into it my sophomore year of college with my roommate at the time. We were OBSESSED and watch the mini series and final battle over and over. I was really excited for the relaunch (back in the late 2000s early 2010s?), but without the brilliant holocaust subtext of the first mini-series, I thought it fell really flat and was pretty disappointed with it. Oh well, I can always resist the classic!

    Again… can’t wait for more great trips down memory lane with you. Keep up the fantastic work, my friend!

  21. Sometimes, folks just like being a fly on a wall listening to conversations. And this was one of those conversations, which was fascinating. I decided to give this a shot for a pallet cleanser during my JLI Podcast binge and boy was it worth it. It was a joyous celebration of family connection and geekery. I’m younger I think than all of you – not by much, and I moved around a bit as a child due to my father’s job. I never really fitted in well with other kids at my school, I did play a lot with our neighbours where we all pretended to be in Action Force (the UK version of G I Joe) and Star Wars etc. It was strange to play with kids who you didn’t go to school with the sort of things you would NEVER play with your school mates, perhaps because of the anti geek nature of school culture.

    I could go on and on , but I think I’ll save the typing for another day (and I’ve had an idea for something else because of this episode) – but this was a delight to listen to. What a nice family Shagg has!

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