Have you ever seen such a hard-working group of individuals? Nerds are amazing, they are kind-hearted, they are vibrant, and colorful. They come in all shapes and sizes. Especially us! ALPHA Nerds. Alpha personalities, which are not generally associated with nerdy things, but instead generally looked at as athletes and unfortunately jerks! But here at Alpha Nerds Guild we work hard at helping others, we combat that negative stereotype that comes with an Alpha personality. Alpha personalities are also the ones that typically serve in the military, the police on our streets, our firefighters and our EMT’s.  Alpha does not generally mean extroverted, per se, but it does mean they are the one that you are looking up to on a regular basis. And here at ANG we look to help those people that have been hurt, and now can really enjoy their “nerdy” things.

The People

The people that come to comic conventions are not in any way different than your average American. As a matter-of-fact, I would call them your average American.

The average American is hard-working, enjoys to entertain themselves in one way or another, be it comic books, movies, video games, sports, reading or whatever it is that they love.  This is what you see at comic conventions. You see the average American, the average nerd (if you will), there, those with children, those without children. The average con has everyone there. Some dressed to impress others to wow, and then more to whoa!

Dallas Fan Expo, I read somewhere is the third largest convention of its kind in the United States. They are absolutely instrumental in the helping of comic book culture thrive and give credit to those that are “nerds!” Especially for those here among these pages and those that we service on a daily basis. Nerds!

The Convention

This year the Dallas Fan Expo raised for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and raised in upwards of $158,000, according to the media director of the Fan Expo! This is amazing! The Dallas Fan Expo is making it cool to be a nerd again! I mean, not that it was ever not cool! Americans’ love their nerdy things, and we love our nerdy people, and we love our nerdy pop-culture icons – ie. Michael J. Fox, and his foundation that has made extraordinary leaps and bounds in medical science.  The people love their pop icons, and he is no less different, but the more important thing is the people of the con love to support their friends and their nerdy obsessions.

On the surface of these conventions the stereotypical nerd is The Big Bang Theory nerds: a little quirky, weird, not nearly as attractive (put together), fat, skinny, pimply, etcetera… The truth of the matter is that this stereotype has been shattered recently. This isn’t Revenge of the Nerds, rather, this is something more. This is people finding camaraderie. This is people finding hope and friendship in places that they would never have dreamed it possible in the past.

The People

Think about high school for a moment… Now that you have that image in your head, add the students that you went to school with… Were there cliques that you would go to? Were you a jock, nerd, preppy, gothic, or were you something else? You saw the cliques, but did anyone ever really socially fit in to just one group? I would hypothesize that to be a resounding “No!” I believe that we all had friends that were from every walk of life. I had friends that were “jocks”, I had friends that were “emo” (modern day goths), and I had friends that were just like me – friends with everyone. I believe that everyone was probably like that. High school was full of different clichés that were normal because the media made it normal.

The breakdown comes in to play when the media started showing that people could actually be friends based off of common ground. I think about the role-busting movies like Can’t Buy Me Love, with a then nerdy Patrick Dempsey, and how he had to overcome being a nerd with a standing poker game with his equally nerdy friends, and ended up “buying” his way into a crowd. This was an amazing thought, but the reality of it is that commonalities are what bring people together. We go after what we like and those that like it to we become friends with them.

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Who Nerds Are

A lot of times it is hard to be friends with people that do not have the same personality traits as you, but let’s think about that for a second. If you are in a pack of Alpha’s does that mean you are a jerk? Or does it mean that you are someone who takes charge? The actual only empirical evidence of an alpha personality is that said person takes charge, or has an open personality, and easily engages with others. This does not by example make him/her a “bad boy/girl”. It literally means that they are the ones that will take charge.  However, it can be noted that the Alpha does typically clash with other Alpha’s because of difference of opinions. This can be rectified by doing some growing, adapting your personality to help others, taking charge in different ways where things need to be done. The Alpha Nerds Guild, is certainly comprised of many alpha personalities; however, we are made up of more than just that. And we were brought together in a common goal: help Veterans, LEO’s, and First Responders with getting connected to others. Since then we have grown into a very large group of people that equally treat others with overall mutual respect. And we ALL love something that is nerdy!

Nerdiness doesn’t have a rise and fall point. It is everything that you can obsess over: from comic books to cooking and everything in between! You can see this in the Guild, but you can also see this at the fan conventions.  Dallas Fan Con is no different.

There were people from all walks of life. If I was made to say what the commonality that was at the Dallas Fan Day’s it was their love of the people. I wouldn’t be able to tell you socio-economic status, I wouldn’t be able to tell what their home life was, but I would be able to tell you that they are all there for the love of the culture. They were there making new friends, and the environment that was provided was fantastic. Don’t get me wrong there are nerd wars, ie. Star Wars versus Star Trek versus Battle Field versus Firefly, DC versus Marvel, and so on and so forth… But overall people love it all, which brings us together.

Another huge thing that is socially acceptable at comic conventions / fan conventions is cosplay. For those that do not know what cosplay is it is a condensed version of costume play.  Fans will dress up as their favorite superhero or comic book character and live that role for the day. And you see many awesome adaptions of these, some more creative than others, sometime mixing genre’s like conventional comic book characters with steampunk intertwined! They are amazing arts. Sometimes watching you are wondering how they are wearing something so revealing, but the fact that they really love the characters. Some of the cosplayers, being that I am a father to a wonderful little girl would never be let out of my house dressed that way, but hey, who am I?

Overall, conventions are fun to go to and people watch, especially if you have a nerdy bone in your body, and I would certainly suggest that you do, for something. I would continue to encourage you to love what you are doing and show your support for this. If nothing else it takes us out of the real world for a little bit, and brings us closer together and gives us something to unite over. Even if Firefly is the best show out there!

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