Pop Culture

Looking for Nerd Love in the Bayou City

Geeks are hot. They're smart, out-of-the-box thinkers who – after surviving social marginalization by the jocks, cheerleaders and prepsters – emerge from the fringes to become fashion designers (Romy and Michele's High School Reunion), billionaire inventors (Peggy Sue Got Married) and MILF baggers (American Pie 2).

Which raises the question. How best to attract the attention of a geek? Tinder, Match and Bumble are so image-centric, and there really are larger and more important issues at hand, such as Lord of the Rings vs. Harry Potter or Star Wars vs. Star Trek. So, if you can't meet somebody in the bathroom line at a frat party (Priscilla Chan) or in the workplace (Melinda Ann French), you can either call on a yenta or sign up for the So You Want to Date a Geek? event at this month's Comicpalooza. It's just one of the many awesome opportunities over Father's Day weekend, and the geeky version of The Dating Game takes place at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 17 at George R. Brown Convention Center.

But be forewarned. While it's true that like attracts like, puppy love is not guaranteed. Marvel has its fanboys, and so does DC, and devotion to both camps runs strong – almost like a religion – and can quickly become a deal-breaker for budding romance.

Some issues are no-brainers. Everybody knows that Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back is the gold standard of the Star Wars franchise and that Superman can beat anybody in a fight, be it Goku, Thor or Hulk. And almost everybody picks flying when asked to name a superpower of choice.

But diehard fans will dig in their heels when it comes to which James Bond was closest to Ian Fleming's vision. Arguing the merits of Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton or Daniel Craig can lead to fisticuffs or being sealed in a coffin full of maggots. Who was the better Superman, Christopher Reeve or Henry Cavill? Some venture to say Ben Affleck's darker characterization of the Batman tops Christian Bale's performance.

There are just so many ways that a new relationship can end up on the rocks. Which captain made a better leader, the diplomatic Jean-Luc Picard or the warrior James T. Kirk? (Though this one seems to be split along generational lines.) The Original Series or Next Generation? In regards to technology, could a Constitution-class Starship best a Carillion-class starship?

It goes on and on. What makes for a scarier serial killer, Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees or Halloween's Michael Myers? Better monster, Godzilla or King Kong? Best war game, Warcraft or Warhammer? Table-top gaming or LARP?

There's no denying that So You Want to Date a Geek? could all lead up to an interesting first date and, even if you run out of topics to debate, there's always the “which role was he born to play” question. Chris Evans's Captain America dwarfs his Human Torch, and William Shatner's Denny Crane could never triumph over James T. Kirk. But when it comes to Ron Perlman, is it Beauty and the Beast, Hellboy or the trending now Clay Morrow from Sons of Anarchy?

Is it worth it? Absolutely yes. When nerd + nerd = love, it's all bliss. There's a nerd alert that goes off when meeting a like-minded person-of-interest. Even if you can't agree on which Doctor Who was best (the fourth Doctor), you'll create your own neutral zone in the name of love. Just don't cross it, because the firepower can be devastating.

So You Want to Date a Geek? is just one of the many awesome offerings at this month's Comicpalooza, which includes 2,400 hours of programming, celebrity appearances (Kate Beckinsale, Bill Paxton and Sigourney Weaver), gaming and cosplay. Think of it as a dream curriculum, the kind of classes you'd find if Faber College, Springfield University and Starfleet Academy were actual institutions. 

Comicpalooza is scheduled to run noon to 8 p.m. Friday, June 17; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 18; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 19 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, comicpalooza.com. $10 to $250, plus additional fees for autographs and photo opportunities.
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney