Four Color Comments: Raising A Geek Child

You can’t fight genetics! I’m a comic geek, and I have no shame to admit it. But when I found out I was going to be a father, I wasn’t […]

You can’t fight genetics!

I’m a comic geek, and I have no shame to admit it. But when I found out I was going to be a father, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to introduce my child to that world. I know it sounds silly, but all I could remember is the bullying and the attitude from some people that I loved comics. My anxiety got the better of me, and I asked friends and family for no superhero stuff for my unborn son.

Then came the other horror. I had a room full of collectibles…..OK toys. But expensive and rare toys. I started stressing about that too. What if the kid wanted something from MY collection. How the hell would I deal with that?

My son came into the world in June 2012, and no one listened to me about the “no superhero stuff” clause. Looking back at it now, it was silly. I eventually ended up buying him a Robin onesie. 

Many people told me that there was a good chance that he would have interests in things I have an interest in.  Boy does he ever! The kid loves superheroes. Though that’s not the only thing he likes, it is a big thing he likes. Especially Spider-Man. Ask him yourself who is his favorite superhero is and he’ll tell you.

And because I’m his father, his knowledge of comic book character has surpassed the average 5-year old’s. Back in 2015, I took him to New York Comic Con. One of the main things I wanted to do is show him off to my friends and colleagues in the comic industry. I took him over to the DC Comics booth and ran into a couple I know who work for DC. The first thing they do is ask him who is his favorite superhero. Naturally, he says Spider-Man. Yeah, I got the stink eye for that one.  Then they ask him who is his favorite Justice League character is, and he says, Batman. But then I really shocked the folks over at DC. I asked him who is Daddy’s favorite super-hero. With a large grin on his 3-year-old face, he looks at the people at DC and says the Question! The gang at DC mouths dropped open. They ask him if he knew who the Question was and he told them he has no face. That’s good geek parenting.

That same year, he dressed up as Robin with, as he said, with the muscles, for Halloween. He told me I had to be Nightwing (Like I’m going to fight that one). And my wife had to be Batgirl. We were a bat family.

It wasn’t always easy at times though. Because of the website, I get all different things from the world of comics. One of those is DVDs. Most of them I don’t feel are appropriate for a kid his age. Let’s face it, I’m not going to let him watch the Killing Joke. Don’t want to scare him at an early age. Luckily there was Teen Titans GO, and LEGO DC Comics movies. I still had to explain to him that some things, even though they have characters like Batman, are for Daddy and not him. At least until he gets older. He’s slowly understanding it. Doesn’t like it, but he understands it.

He is now at the age where I’m able to take him to the super-hero films. The first one we saw in theaters was Spider-Man: Homecoming and he was blown away. It’s nice to have someone to see these in theaters with again! He’s even getting the concept of sitting through the credits to wait for the bonus scenes. As the audience is leaving during the credits of Thor: Raganok, he’s yelling: “Don’t leave yet. There something after. You need to stay!”

He’s so inquisitive too. He sees a comic book character and he wants to know all about him. What’s his real name? What’re his powers? How did he become that way? With my Wikipedia knowledge of this world, I have to rack my brain sometimes and tone things down for him. It’s not always easy, but it’s a blast to watch his reaction. 

The one thing I haven’t mastered yet is the “loss” of my collection. I’m finding myself giving him more and more, and my collection shrinking. Yes, there are some things you’d have to pry from my cold dead hands, but for the most part, I find myself giving it to him. 

We go to comic shows together, and he’s a hit! He doesn’t want to cosplay, but he does do geek wear, which is usually something Spider-Man. Everyone at the con calls him Spidey, and he insists he’s not. It’s a hoot!

He’s just learning to read, so I haven’t really given him too many comics books. The ones I do give are for kids and he mainly looks at the pictures. But like the DVD’s, there are some comics I read that I need to shield him from. 

At this moment, he loves the geek world I’ve introduced to him. But who can really say if it will hold his interest forever? He might lose interest and find something else. The future isn’t written in stone. 

For right now, I’m just truly enjoying having a sidekick on this ride.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon’s Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don’t forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife’s chagrin.