|I think the question here is not so much "Are you a dork/a stud" (although I feel an "are you hot or not" thread coming on") or indeed "Are comics fans in general dorks/studs", just because the answer, yes, some comics fans are a bit geeky but then others aren't so it's sort of yes and no and thern there are gradations of geekiness beyond that so, you know, on the whole it depends, is pretty much a gimme.|
It's more about how your attitude to comics, and the dorkness/geekiness of them, has changed with age. So, to atone for dragging this thread offtopic, here are my "ages of comic buying".
4-7 or thereabouts. Kids' comics - Whizzer and Chips, the Beano, such stuff, much of it inherited from my father (along with the odd Frank Hampton Eagle). Utterly unselfconscious.
7-11 (approx) Started reading the denatured, 80s Eagle, dropped fairly quickly, although Doomlord fucking kicked ass, and 2000AD. First real introduction to superheroes through the A4-sized, cheap'n'nasty Secret Wars issues. Beginnings of a truly monster crush on Nightcrawler. Note that at this stage all these are purchases made in a common-or-garden newsagent, along with occasional American imports on the newsstands for about 50p a shot. Happy times...
12-14 or so. Started reading Claremont/Davies Excalibur, although absence of comic shops in home town made consumption sporadic. See crush on Nightcrawler above. Also (I think this is about the right timescale) read Watchmen, V for Vendetta...started to appreciate Alan Moore (he knows the score). I suppose Transformers straddled these periods as well...memory...hazy....again, newstand stuff.
(CRISIS fits somewhere around here, I guess - read the first 20 or so issues)
14-19 Bit of a dormant period. Read Deadline and 2000AD, occasionally picked up interesting-looking stuff. Never really had enough focus to do the comic-book geek thing. I liked the compactness of American comics, and the pretty colours, but the quality seemed low and I was never sufficiently focussed to go big - dabbled in manga, odd issues of comics &c, but never passionately. Certainly wouldn't read comics in school, except Deadline.
19-25 Got into a relationship with one of the coolest human beings ever, whose previous boyfriend had sold her an absolute shitload of comics on a kind of pawnshop arrangement. And thus was I undone...read the back issues of the Sandman, Shade, which compelled me to acknowledge the divinity of Peter Milligan, and the Invisibles. Got vaguely talking to comics geeks on the interwebnet, became intrigued by the sheer vastness of the continuity, looked at recommended stuff like Luther Arkwright, other Vertigo things, stuff by writers from 2000AD and Deadline - the above, Smith, Dorkin...also started to reindulge long-running love of superheroes, having the good fortune to be around at about the right time for the Ellis Excalibur, DV8 and Stormwatch and the Morrison JLA. Relaised fairly quickly, thankfully before bankruptcy set in, that most American comics were utter shit, but still occasionally dragged along by affection for characters when writers leave a title. Comic consumptin tailing off now, partly because there are too many books I want to read, but I still have a recognisable "habit".
But one thing that did get me when I got back into comics was that, although some of the product was very cool, the environments were not. The only real comics shop in my university town was a classic of the genre - dark and musty and ugly. And the only people I ever looked at in that shop and thought, "hey, I'd like to know that person better" were people I was there with.
Same experience in London, basically. Although comics and their adherents may not be entirely dorky, they are certainly not (for me) aspirational, and I don't feel any desire for a sense of community - the only conversations I ever have about comics really are with the people who talk about them here. Maybe it's just London, or just particular shops (Gosh!, which I rarely get a chance to go to, is held up as something of a holy grail), but I am becoming acutely conscious of how...wrong comics shops feel, and how odd the structures of "fandom" seem to be. And who the hell arranges product according to publisher, and then according to title? Madness, I say...