The latest sign that the geeks shall inherit the Earth is the arrival of the first Rhode Island Comic Con November 3-4 at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
As a grown man with a sleeve of Spider-man tattoos, I'm more than a little excited for this thing. But for the true diehards, even my geekdom is of the hobbyist sort.
With that in mind, I turned to Providence pop culture expert Stefan Blitz, editor in chief of forcesofgeek.com, for some insight on what the locals can expect when the mother ship lands next weekend.
"It's the largest show of its kind ever to be held in Rhode Island," he says. "There's a little bit for everyone from comics to wrestling to science fiction celebrities to gamers. I think the show will be a tremendous amount of fun and hopefully the beginning of an annual event in Providence."
As for the booked celebrities, one definitely has my spider sense tingling: Lee Meriwether, the first Catwoman. Although there are younger, firmer nerd crushes coming to the show, I'm looking forward to meeting the still-hot woman of my youthful dreams.
Other notables scheduled to appear: Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek), Dirk Benedict (Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica), and the great Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers). RISD alum and comic book legend Walter Simonson is the hometown hero of the bunch.
"I think it's long overdue," Blitz says. "As a prominent college town with close proximity to Boston and New York, I think Providence offers a cool little niche location. For genre fans visiting Providence for the first time, there are lots of neat places to check out from Lovecraft and Poe to the erroneously credited, but pretty close looking, Superman Building downtown."
The schedule is enough to send a sci-fi geek into warp drive. Jedi Lightsaber Training is at 11 am on Sunday. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Musical is Sunday at 3:30. An after party is set for the Whiskey Republic on Sunday night.
Attendees, no doubt, will face a bit of snickering in a state less than tolerant of the fanciful. But Blitz says it's all a matter of perspective: "It's funny, people will wear a Patriots jersey, yet scoff at someone wearing a Star Trek T-shirt."
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ricomiccon.com.