Nerds once had the somewhat negative stigma of socially inept bookworms who are addicted to computers, video games, Dungeons and Dragons and Monty Python. It’s not the case anymore. Nerds are now cool thanks to TV shows like the Big Bang Theory and the resurgence of Dr. Who, not to mention the face that everyone relies on computers today.
“Nerd culture is no longer taboo than it was even five or six years ago. People now think it is cool,” said Chris Roedler, who is helping organize Nerdfest along with Leslie Hall, at Galt Museum, March 21-23.
The Galt Mueum is celebrating all things “nerd,” with a variety of activities happening including a talk with Canadian neuroscientist and astronaut Roberta Bondar, an all night gaming session and a talk with comic book expert Scott McCloud. Unfortunately a superhero dance at the end of the weekend for which you can dress up as your favourite superhero, has been cancelled due to slow ticket sales.
“ A nerd is anybody with a penchant for one specific thing,” Roedler continued adding in addition to nerds now being cool, the Galt Museum is also hoping to attract a younger demographic, though the events are open to everybody over the age of 14.
“We’re all nerds. You can be math nerds or music nerds. There are even sports nerds. Basically if you are enthusiastic about something and can’t wait to tell everybody about it, then you’re a nerd,” said Los Angeles based comic book expert Scott McCloud who wears his nerd badge with pride. He also described himself as a movie nerd and a chess nerd.
“I’m also a nerd for my family,” he said.
He will be a highlight of Nerdfest kicking it off with a lecture about comics.
It will be the lead in to his renown two-day comic book seminar — the only one in Canada‚ which begins March 22 and continues March 23. While the workshop is sold out with people buyng tickets from as far way as Vancouver and Toronto, there is still room at his opening lecture.
“It (the workshop) is more about the nuts and bolts of comic books. The lecture is a lot of fun. There’s 100 slides. It’s very fast paced,” he said.
McCloud has a five day seminar at a literature fair in Germany before he comes to Lethbridge.
“I have about a day to catch my breath, then I’m off to Lethbridge,” he said.
He is best known for his comic Zot!, which he did from 1984-1991. And has since become an expert in the comic book world and a much in demand speaker. But it wasn’t always that way.
“I got into comics when I was 14. I wasn’t into them before. I thought they were just for little kids. But a friend of mine gave me a big stack of comic books and about a year later I decided I wanted to do that for a living,” he said.