Get to know your local fanboys and fangirls

Fan boy/girl confessions from local musicians and other peeps around town.

I've known people from all walks of life and so many are not-so-closeted obsessives of comics and other geeky, netherworld entertainments. When we were working on our "Geek Out" issue with a cover feature on Emerald City Comics by Anthony Salveggi and stories about the store's recommendations, free comic book day, the recent Star Wars "May the Fourth Be With You" hoopla and Joe Bardi's Avengers review (and a bonus feature on Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, also by Salveggi, online only), I asked some friends via Facebook to reveal their inner fanboy and fangirl.

Here are some of the responses local musicians Sam Williams, Shae and Derek from ... Y Los Dos Pistoles, Bradley Gilmore, Rise of Saturn, along with "Rhythm Vault International" WMNF DJ Jeff Stewart, Jobsite Artistic Director David Jenkins and Tampa Two-Stroke scooter club honcho Kieran Walsh.

Sam Williams, ubiquitous punk/metal musician (Down by Law, Pseudo Heroes, The Spears, Exitsect): I've been collecting comic since my earliest memories. For whatever reason, the aesthetic has always appealed to me. But comics have always served a different purpose for each phase of my life. When I was very young, I'd go to the flea market with my dad and hit up the used book store that always had a ton of beat-up, cheap comics. When I got a little older, I started collecting seriously and attending conventions. The comic subculture and it's surrounding relatives are totally fascinating to me. At this point I have several thousand. Now that I'm older, I still attend conventions when I can. And I still love getting comics, though not as rabidly as I used to.

There's a big nostalgia trip involved. But I've also come to see comics as a valid, purely American art form that I respect deeply. Very much along the lines of horror movies I grew up watching or punk rock and metal that I've grown up loving and playing, comics give a quick rush of entertainment that's somehow sophisticated and low brow at the same time.

Watching the trend of comics being made into successful blockbusters is very amusing to me. Much like pop punk, I always knew that a comic translated onto the big screen would be something sort of universally enjoyed if done right. But it really took film makers forever to catch on. I remember the older attempts were always terrible. They would always try to change fundamental aspects of the characters (mainly toning down the costumes, which is essential to super hero stuff) because they couldn't fathom that the buying public wanted to see dudes in capes flying around just as they are in the comics. One of my claims to fame is that I have a printed letter in one of the early issues of Walking Dead telling the creator that his comic would make a great movie or TV show.
And let it be known that I'm a DC man, all the way.