Thursday, February 19, 2009

Geek check: So, uh ... what're you wearing?

So far today, two people have pointed at me and said, "Hey, Green Lantern!"

The company I work for is pretty casual, and jeans and a T-shirt is the top of the dress code for most of the employees, myself included. Today that includes a Green Lantern shirt.

The funny thing is, this shirt brings that reaction in people a lot. I don't know if it's because people are familiar with the John Stewart character thanks to the JLA cartoons, if an older (*ahem*) generation remembers Hal from the Super Friends or what, but most people seem to recognize this green and white symbol.

The cool thing? Everybody who points it out is smiling.

This shirt has prompted more random conversations than I can think of, with the exception of the Aquaman T-shirt, but that was annoying at first because everyone seemed to think it was an Entourage reference instead of, y'know, an Aquaman reference.

Is it a Green Lantern thing? Leftover goodwill from Iron Man and The Dark Knight? Personally, I like to think it's mostly a fun thing — and people like to have fun, even if it's just in a brief moment of recognition, whether you're a comic fan or not.

I think it's also part of the whole Rise of the Geek thing , though we'll see how long that lasts. But for now, a comic book T-shirt may not make you cool, but it's not going to get you ostracized, either. And in some cases, it may even get you a wave and a smile from a stranger.

So what about you? Are you proudly wearing your superhero T-shirts to work? Putting your laptop in a manga themed messenger bag? Or do you have a comic character dangling from your keychain? Let your comic geek flag fly in the comments!


Sea_of_Green said...

Ha! :-D That's actually happened to me quite a bit, Maxo. Those Green Lantern shirts DO attract a lot of comments.

My theory is that people who like Green Lantern -- whether they watched SuperFriends or Justice League, or read any of the comics -- are often so shocked to see a Green Lantern shirt in public that they just HAVE to comment somehow. Especially since Green Lantern has never been part of a huge film franchise. It almost makes Green Lantern fans part of a secret club -- because Green Lantern isn't generally KNOWN to the public at large.

This also used to be true of the X-men. It used to be that I could wear an X-men shirt in public, and only people who read the comics knew what it was. Alas, no more. :-(

Jim Doom said...

The Green Lantern shirt has received a lot of extra exposure from the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. One of the characters, Sheldon, wears a lot of comic book related shirts. The Green Lantern shirt is one of the most frequent to appear.

Over Thanksgiving, I was with my wife at her parents' place and one of her adult cousins was wearing a Green Lantern shirt. I cracked some joke about how I should've been wearing a yellow shirt so I could defeat him. He had no idea what I was talking about (which had nothing to do with my joke being outdated) — he only knew of Green Lantern and the shirt from The Big Bang Theory. His brother, also an adult, had been informed the same way.

Khairul H. said...

This post makes me wanna check out this shop near my place called 'DC shirts' or something like that. They sell..uhm, official DC shirts. Never walked in but from what I've seen of the display they have lots of shirts with the Bat symbol, the S and the WW. Nice but too mainstream. I wonder if they have a Blue Beetle t-shirt? Did they ever make a Beetle shirt?

rob! said...

I wear my Flash t-shirt a lot, which most people point to and say "Hey--Shazam!"

Scott said...

I don't have any comic T-shirts. I have one Superman logo tie, which people liked at the office. I've always wanted some more logo ties -- Flash and GL particularly, and I'd kill for a Plastic Man tie -- but no one seems to make those.

My only other piece of geekwear is a Yellow Sign lapel pin, which never fails to make people stare at me and edge slowly away when I explain what it is.

Maxo said...

Sea: There is that sense of a secret handshake, isn't there? I think it's kind of cool that wearing a T-shirt can feed into some sense of community. And I know what you mean about fans finding fans; I tend to like superhero shirts that just use a character logo or some obscure symbol — I think it appeals to my fandom.

Jim: You're right — Sheldon does wear a lot of comic book tees! It's interesting how comic book culture seeps into the mainstream by piggybacking on other media; I just wish it would flow back the other way, too.

Khairul: You've got a store that sells nothing but DC-branded shirts?! I'm going to need a minute to wrap my brain around that! I don't know if I've ever seen a Blue Beetle shirt, but I know I'd buy one (especially if it was from the Jaime Reyes Beetle).

Rob: Ha ha! It's funny 'cause it's true.

Scott: I'd love to see a Plastic Man tie that used the whole tie — as if Plas was disguised as the tie itself — with his head at the wide end and tiny little feet at the narrow end.

And you mean people haven't heard the good news about Hastur?

Lisa said...

Personally, I like your Brown Coats shirt best. Not comic exactly but still geeky.

I have a Gloom Cookie shirt and several Lenore shirts. I'm such a girl.

Maxo said...

I like that one, too — I'm going have to replace it soon, though, 'cause I'm wearing that sucker out.

Those Gloom Cookie and Lenore shirts are awesome — and they're soooo you!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing opportunity to shamelessly plug the It's Superhero T-shirt Tuesday part of my blog!

Maxo said...

It's always a good time to plug Bob Mitchell in the 21st Century!