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Like Minded People

When I was a young_DefaultJoncer man I read comic books. In grade school teachers thought they were bad for me, my parents were just happy I was reading.  As I grew older my peers thought I was weird for reading something for children.

I also read a lot of books. Teachers in grade school sent me to the office for reading David Morrell’s FIRST BLOOD, Dickey’s DELIVERANCE, HELTER SKELTER etc.  Each time my mother would explain she gave me the book.  Teachers didn’t want me reading things they didn’t assign, how screwed up is that?

As I got older I learned not to care what other people thought. When my fellow high school students listened to Styx and REO Speedwagon I was listening to Devo and the Clash and Elvis Costello. And still reading comics which they  thought was weird, and still reading crime fiction which they didn’t quite understand.  I had my own  money and was driving so I started buying comic books at a comic book shop. But of course i didn’t know anyone there so I bought my books and left.

Into college and post college I was really judged for what I read, but no one else was reading this stuff so I felt kind of alone with very very few people to talk to about it.

Jump ahead to 1995, I went into my first bookstore that was dedicated to just mysteries! And authors came to sign books and others who read the same stuff came to the signings. I had people to talk to about the books I loved.

In 1999 I went to my first Bouchercon, a convention FULL of fellow mystery fans and writers. I was not alone. I had found my tribe.

Simon Green, Jon and Dan at C2E2 this past April

Simon Green, Jon and Dan at C2E2 this past April

I also started going to a very cool comic book store a few years later where people talked to each other. And this eventually led to going to my first comic book convention. What a revelation. People proudly wearing their geekdom out in the open.

Ruth and I now go to a lot of these types of events and love them all.

It is important to be true to yourself, and I have for a long time. But it’s even more cool when you can do that surrounded by hundreds of people who love the same things you do.  People dressed up like Captain America not only don’t judge you for wearing a Deadpool t-shirt, they compliment you.  A person with a bog full of books doesn’t wonder why you spend so much money on books, they want to know what books you bought.

Bouchercon brings people together who love mysteries. The conversations of course cover all possible subjects, but it’s the love of the books that bring people together. C2E2 and other comic conventions do the same thing.

We’ve surrounded ourselves with friends who love to read, novels and comics. We watch the same shows, and if they don’t play with Lego, they at least understand why we do.

Find your tribe, embrace them. Be who you are, no matter what it is you are into, because I promise, there are other people out there JUST LIKE YOU. Find them, embrace them, become a part of your tribe.