Though it’s hard to believe now, my late mother always claimed that I was a very serious-minded child, not prone to flights of fancy or particularly enamored of escapism.  (She swore for years that she found out about the resignation of the President in 1974 because I read it to her out of the newspaper.)  To my memory, that didn’t really change until 1979 or so: I was 8 and went to the movies with my friend to see ‘The Black Hole’, the first film that really stuck in my memory as capital-I Important.  After my first Nerdery experience, I found myself interested in things like those ‘Star Trek’ shows that only aired on Sunday mornings, the colorful “funnybooks” my cousin Elwood enjoyed and even the cartoon adventurers that had previously just been impediments to my seeing more cool ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ edutainment, leading to today’s nostalgic query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) actually saw ‘Star Wars’ in theatres, but was more interested in the cool workings of the toys than in the story of characters, asking: What movie, book, show, comic or fast food prize was YOUR first Nerdery?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. My parents read me Donald Duck comics since I was born but the one I remember choosing myself was a Skeletor action figure my grandma bought me. I became a big Masters Of The Universe fan as a result.

  2. My first memorable comic book was a reprint of Green Lantern where he fought evolved Gila Monsters. The movie that really got me into full blown ‘nerdery’ was Star Wars, seeing it with no spoilers blew my mind.

  3. I honestly have no idea what my genuine first nerdy thing was. By the time of my earliest memory, I already had plenty of geeky based toys, had several comics of my own (despite the fact I couldn’t read yet) and even had costumes and masks of multiple characters, not to mention watching several movies and TV shows (both those I chose and those my geeky older brother watched) on a regular basis.

    But the first one I can recall with any clarity was when I went to see “Return of the Jedi” with my brother and his friend back when it first hit theaters (probably opening weekend, though it may have been the weekend after). I had seen the other Star Wars movies and had so many toys, but there was something about seeing it on the big screen that just grabbed me and hasn’t let go yet. Then afterwards we stopped by the mall and I got a toy lightsaber (the ones that made a weird whoosh sound by swinging it, long before they started using sound chips and lights).

  4. My knee-jerk answer was The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but then my mind recalled hazy memories of a short hairy Canadian in a blue and yellow onesie. I think I first started watching X-Men when I was 5 and recall making myself get up way too early in the morning to watch it. And then I devoured Evolution series. And then I found out there were actually comic books! I was elated and spent hours with my friends creating our own characters and writing our own X-Men stories.

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