My dear friend Earl J Woods' blog post about our recent return to Dungeons & Dragons (at www.earljwoods.blogspot.com) has apparently scared off his regular commenters, but I found it to be an even-handed and temperate account of middle-aged nerdery and fellowship. Upon reflection, however, I have begun to find the lead photo highly incriminating on a personal level. And not just becuase my wife's first comment about the picture was, "Wow, look at all those bald heads; what the hell is up with that?" I mean, I have always worn my nerd cred way out on my sleeve, but that picture is tremendously unflattering, especially when you factor in the following:
1) I am the Dungeon Master, as is evidenced by the screen before me; very hard to top that in terms of pure uncut Colombian-style nerdery.
2) V for Vendetta poster, while extremely cool, is a) a sci-fi movie based on b) a comic book.
3) Just left of that is an even cooler poster made by Mike Parlow commemorating the performance of our a) alien rock band b) at a sci-fi convention in c) full costumery.
4) In the background is the work area where I built and painted the miniatures we are using at that very moment; while this is something I greatly enjoy, cherish and value, this is not an activity that someone who self-identifies as 'cool' would ever partake in.
5) For no good reason, there is a cow-skull string tie hanging from a door pull on the bookshelf. It might be okay to have one of these, but one should at least have the common decency to conceal it.
6)The two top shelves of the middle bookshelf contains nothing but comic collections and graphic novels, including the oversized 'Absolute Edition' of Watchmen.
7) Above that are all 28 volumes of Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's 'Kozure Okami' ('Lone Wolf & Cub'): over eight thousand pages of b&w samurai revenge epic, lovingly re-mastered from the original Japanese.
8) Next to that is a Warhammer 40,000 Commissar's cap I made from a belt buckle and cap I got at a surplus store and have worn on several occasions (including as emcee of the 2007 Games Day expo in Toronto with over 1700 attendees), to the delight of many and the envy of still more.
The worst part of all this is that as revealing as these things may be, I can't bring myself to forswear any of them, except maybe the cow-skull tie. The rest of it is all stuff that is still very near and dear to my heart, and besides, it is way, waaaaaay too late for me to start worrying about what the cool kids think.