I know I'm way late to the party on this, but I just discovered the graphic novel Transmetropolitan, on the advice of my friend Ryan. As an added bonus, we saw it in a comic shop with our friend Alan, who it turns out had never read Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns. We convinced him to pick them up and read them, and I was reminded of the excitement and wonder I felt the first time I read Dark Knight, and how profoundly Watchmen affected me the second time I read it, and saw all that stuff you miss the first time through.
In my limited free time this week, I've been re-reading Neuromancer, and all these new (to me) graphic novels that I got over the weekend. There's Transmetropolitan, Proposition Player, and Hopeless Savages, which are all outstanding, and I haven't gotten into Scott Pilgrim, Planetary, WE3, or Ex Machina, yet.
These graphic novels and the trip to the Comic and Game shop (Metro, in Santa Barbara) brought on such a hypernostalgic geek jones, it's sick. I've heard stories of recovering addicts who see a movie about junkies, and feel a throb in their veins, like their arm's longing for the pinch of the needle, and I have some sort of geek version of that.
It's a very tangible longing, an insistent yearning, to sit on Darin's floor in 1989 and play Illuminati, watch Holy Grail, listen to They Might Be Giants, and then paint 40K armies while we argue about plot holes in Aliens before we head off to a comic convention at the Shrine Auditorium, hoping the newest Sandman has come out.
It's watching The Prisoner for the first time, networking Mac II computers using Appletalk to play NetTrek and Spaceward Ho!
It's walking into an empty engineering set on Stage 9 when I was 15, so I can stand behind the pool table, look at the engine lights pulse with their nearly-silent neon click, and pretend that the ship was real.
It's watching a VHS bootleg of Akira, having no idea what's going on, but still loving it and wanting more and more and more.
It's music, too: Squeeze, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, The The, and Oingo Boingo.
It's movies: Batman, Blade Runner, Back to the Future, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Dawn of, Night of the Living, and Day of The Dead.
It's not talking to girls, but spending an awful lot of time talking about girls.
It's a longing for the uncomplicated simplicity of those years, years which we were convinced were anything but uncomplicated or simple at the time.
I get like this a few times a year. I can never pinpoint the exact reason, and I sort of hope I never do; I enjoy these hypernostalgic trips, even if a certain amount of sadness and longing is the price of admission. If I figured out why these feelings well up from time to time, they probably would stop coming, and I'd lose touch with my formative geek years: the most complicated and uncomplicated -- and most important -- years of my life.