How Webcomics Made Me the Nerd I am Today / by Beth Scorzato

It’s May 2008. I am a junior in college and, while I’ve flirted with the idea of being “a comic book reader,” really, I just play along with whatever my guy friends are saying and they believe me, much like my time in high school English (you can get away with a lot by agreeing or disagreeing vehemently in just the right places). On a whim, and to keep up this image I’ve built for myself of someone who knows what’s up in the comic book world, I agree to go to New York Comic Con, just for Saturday “because that’s when all the good stuff happens anyway” (or so I’d heard).

Flash forward to three years later and here I am, one of the editors of a blog about comics, having honest discourse about the medium and making it my life's goal to work as a graphic novel editor. What changed in between? One word: webcomics.

At that NYCC, I picked up the first omnibus of Girl Genius. Up until now my knowledge of comics had been that my mother didn’t like them, Tom Welling was hot, and my best friend’s profile picture was supposedly of Green Lantern but to me looked more like a radioactive penguin (actually it still does). I certainly had never heard of steampunk and it had never occurred to me that a comic could be anything other than a superhero story that came out once a month (though even the once a month wasn’t always the case according to my boyfriend). My mind was blown. I discovered a whole new world of art and storytelling (and awesome costumes with corsets) through finding that one title. I now read a slew of webcomics weekly and they gave me the confidence to think that maybe I could be an actual comic book reader, and not just of superhero titles. Some of my favorite stories (which you’ll hear a lot about here) are completely unrelated to spandex of any kind. Unless things that take place in the 80s count…

So thank you, webcomics. You have made me the nerd I am today.