I hope everyone will read this post before answering the question, because it's more complicated than that.
Lately, I've been contemplating why it's important for comic book culture to be recognized by the comics community at large.
I have been a fan, like everyone here, of comic books long before they were a part of the cultural zeitgeist. We all knew who Iron Man, the Avengers, or any of the comic book world explosion became the fodder of movies and TV shows. It didn't bother me. I can honestly say that I, for one, was never bullied for this fact, although I get that it was a part of most comic book fans' childhoods that they were stuffed in lockers as a result of their fandom.
Now that they are cool--with a lot of perks because of it, including great movies with great actors--I will occasionally see or hear stories from people looking down their noses at people who have just come along because of the movies, but whatever.
What I don't understand, however, is that we now have everything we wanted, so of course everyone finds something to complain about.
I'm not sure it's as simple as "people love to complain no matter what", so I've really been contemplating this recently.
If you see your fandom as something that sets you apart, is acceptance something people really want?
I have a lot more to add to this conversation, but I wanted to get the discussion started before I veer too far off.
What do you think?
I think I always knew that people looked down on comic books, but it never bothered me. They all knew I wasn't a natural athlete and that I was the comic book guy. I was fine with that, even back before comics were cool. I kind of liked being different--kind of an iconoclast, I guess. It never felt like I was looked down on. I remember one time in particular, a friend of mine had a bunch of his dad's old comics, and I was looking through them. He had Jack Kirby Silver Surfer and Thor comics (among others, can't quite remember what they were), and I said, "Whoa! Jack Kirby! He's like the god of comic books!" I remember another buddy of mine looked at the other two and kind of laughed rolling his eyes. I just slugged him in the shoulder and we started wrestling. When we were done, I just said, "Jack Kirby's cool and don't you forget it." We were still all friends. They all had stuff they were geeky about too. We all collected baseball cards, but that was about it that we had in common.
We weren't the kind of group of friends who played D&D, and in fact, back in those days, I probably would have thought of those guys as the nerds. Of course, during my high school days, the Satanic Panic was at its peak, so I was probably more freaked out about it than anything. But that was before college when some of my friends played, and I realized how much fun it is (and it doesn't even make you into the follower of the Lord of the Underworld, who knew?).
I think the bottom line from this discussion is that I have learned that my experience was very fortunate compared to those of most of my fellow fans.