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Raising Geeks - Past & Present!!!

Hey folks, Harry here...  In the past couple days, I've received a trio of emails from folks, documenting the cool at home geekery that we as kids growing up were treated to - and how we treat our own kids today.   I'm going to call the column, RAISING GEEKS.   I was raised by Father Geek to be exactly what I am today.   We all feel a certain degree of attachment to the cool shit that shaped us.   We owe a great deal of thanks to the creators of that stuff, but also the parents that allowed us to wallow in it.   This column is dedicated to our bedrooms, costumes, backyard playsets, birthday celebrations, toy collections and just the geeky cool stuff that makes our lives the better.  First up is a letter from the geek that kind of kick started my desire to create this column, I hope you enjoy...




Hi Harry – I loved reading your article about your experience in Toronto while premiering your ComicCon Film – particularly where you framed your ‘geek’ life through the experiences your father provided you with.   I feel the same way about my dad.  Given that we’re almost into October - I thought I’d share a few of my Hallowe’en costumes that he made for my brother and I over the years – and now continues to make for our kids.  Hope you enjoy.


Captain America (Me) and My Brother as Twiggy from Buck Rogers

And my Captain America Birthday Cake

Lone Ranger and Tonto (everyone thought my brother was  girl that year – so this costume stings a bit for him)

The Caped Crusaders – Obviously based on our then heroes Adam West and Burt Ward.  My dad kept us on the right track by having his friends call us pretending to be Batman and Robin – “be good and listen to your parents young crusaders”

Don’t ask me how he did it – but in Grade 3 – he turned me into ‘T’. (I was a huge A-Team fan)

Grade 4 – Spidey.

A behind the scenes shot for Quint.

Bugsy Malone and Bugs Bunny.

And even though he’s been battling Cancer for last few years – he still breaks out the sewing machine every year and makes them for our kids.

Sure do love being a geek.

Michael Attard


Don't you love that story?  And that MR. T costume might very well be the most hilarious childhood geek costume that I've ever seen.  I salute Mr Attard's father for his amazing costume work for his son and granddaughters.  Excellent.  

Mere hours after I received the above, Brian Day sent me the following:


My 8 year old son broke arm last week and when they knocked him out Tuesday to set the bones and cast him he woke up to find he was America's hero.   Ain't it cool?!

Brian Day

I love that - I mean, that's an awesome cast for a kid!   

The next thing that I received came in today...  Here...  a father decided to show his son EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for the first time, so that he could discover the SECRET that was contained within.  He then took that key moment from the film and recorded his son's reaction.  I think it is total gold!

Hey Harry

Not a normal news item but i thought you might like this - Our 4 year old Faris watched The Empire Strikes Back for the first time and this was his reaction to Vader's secret....

best regards


SO - if you have some cool moments from your childhood - be they vintage, or of the kids you're raising today - doing something awesome and geeky cool.   Let's see em!   This stuff rules!

Readers Talkback
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  • Actually gave me a giddy chill. So cool to see fresh eyes watching the classics.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Awesome photos

    by Jared

    Great "Empire" reaction video, too.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6 p.m. CST


    by Kiwi Dono

    That kids reaction made my day. How cool.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:01 p.m. CST

    What about the reveal that Luke and Leia are kissing siblings?

    by wackybantha

    I'd like to see those kids' reactions to that yuckiness. (Blech!)

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST

    this made me smile

    by john

    nuff said

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST


    by leisuredrummer

    Awesome stuff. And why would that Mr. T costume be offensive? I think it's awesome.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:10 p.m. CST

    It's Twiki, not Twiggy.

    by F-18

    I'm not even a big Buck Rogers fan and I know that.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:18 p.m. CST

    dont have any pics of my geek upbringing

    by john

    but my dad would take me every sunday to downtown oakland, where a former hell angel owned a used book store the guy had boxes and boxes of comics long before the price guide i got comix worth hundreds for a little over face value of course...i was a them...which totally destroyed their value

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:23 p.m. CST


    by lostboytexas

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Me either

    by saintsaucey

    But I just found My Donatello Pellow Pal out in the gargage. I washed him and am sleeping with him tonight. Also there is a bit of news about Arrested developement that you all might want to get on.

  • That kid's got a solid head start in the personality department.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:29 p.m. CST

    I don't have any childrens but this is a great idea

    by CherryValance

    Love the reaction and MR. T is priceless. XD I have a pic of me somewhere in a SW tee at 4 or 5 but that's about it. I know I took a pic in front of a Bantha once. lol I dunno. But I think the aunt I hate might have it. Maybe one day I'll remedy all these situations and show the evidence.

  • GREAT NEWS! Which I suspect AICN will report two weeks after everyone else!

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:39 p.m. CST

    OMG It's true!

    by CherryValance

    *shaking and crying*

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:39 p.m. CST

    My boys in costume

    by Thomas Nord

    Here are our two boys in their costumes for the 2011 Emerald City Comic Con : These costumes aren't just for cons though as they wear them every now and then just because they can.

  • which article is he referring to? any link to read it?

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Mr.T Costume.

    by DJEagles11

    Love it! But would Al Sharpton and the NAACP have a cow over it now?????? Black Face???? Look what happened to Ted Danson.LOL!

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Gary Coleman

    by DJEagles11

    I was obsessed....OBSESSED with the TV show, "Different Strokes" as a kid, and begged my dad to dress me up as Arnold. He said no. In retrospect I should thank my father for standing his ground. Seeing as I probably would have gotten my ass kicked up and down the street, by the large African-Canadian community in my neighorhood growing up. Seeing as I was much taller then Gary Coleman at the time, I would have looked like a white kid making fun of a black guy....but what the hell did I know at the age of 7. All I knew was, I loved Gary Coleman.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I smiled, but

    by Arteska

    Personally I think it gets into really weird territory where you are so hellbent on imprinting your own experiences on your kids that you set up and premeditate a recording of doing just that. I don't mean to be a killjoy. I get the motivation and feel much the same about most of this stuff but at what point does the kid get to have the (or any) experience for himself? The internet has even made me cynical enough to believe that this moment was coached up a little. Guess I'm being crabby. I just wonder what, if anything, this generation and the next will have as any bit of pop culture that is actually their own. It feels unprecedented what is happening in that regard. Also pretty sure that Drew is on the doorstep of publishing this exact item and has been leading up to it a long time. Read both sites so the timing just feels a bit boorish - even though the basic idea is not anything new. It's still a fun idea for a column though. If anything it might show younger folks what fandom used to look like before it was reduced to what it is now.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 7:41 p.m. CST

    I don't think it's as bleak as all that

    by Thomas Nord

    I'm certainly guilty of exposing my kids to things I liked when I was growing up, but isn't that what you do with something you love? You share it because you love it and you want others to feel the same joy it brings you. However, I've raised my kids to know it is ok to not like the same things I do. Generally, they enjoy the things I do either because it genuinely appeals to them or, in some cases, they like it simply because I like it. However, it so happens that they don't like everything I've shown them. For example, my kids just aren't as in to Star Wars as I was when I was their age. Sure, I'm tempted to push it on them, but I resist the urge because I want them to like it because it appeals to them, not because I made them like it.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 7:51 p.m. CST

    As far as new fandoms go

    by Thomas Nord

    There are plenty of new things that emerge with each new generation. + New video game franchises - we had only a handful when I grew up, now there are hundreds of franchises to choose from. + New movie franchises - Pixar films immediately come to mind. + A crap ton of new comic book characters + An immense collection of anime, most of which was difficult to acquire before the internet

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Talking to Your Kids About Star Wars

    by slone13

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 8:40 p.m. CST

    jeffy is five

    by john before geek culture had a name, ellison was mourning its loss if you have never read the story...listen to the audiobook

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Isn't that the kid from The Wonder Years in pic 2?

    by The_Dark_Shite

    & Mr. T is the funniest thing I've seen in ages. I'm tempted to go to work dressed like that.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Why is Blackface so offensive???

    by jimbojones123

    Seriously, would you rather he be a white Mr. T? I went as Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo one year. You would have thought I was a burning cross.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 9:25 p.m. CST

    that costume-making father is soooooo rad...

    by Tigger Tales

    those are all quality costumes. I always envisioned that if I was in a band, I would hire a person whose sole duty was to sew costumes for our live shows.

  • I wore brown face, he wore black face. I was clearly the superior Urkel!

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Some amazing costumes....

    by Andrew Quinsatt

    Damn I wish I knew how to sew and make my own costumes, I'd be Trick Whitey Man, lol...

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 9:49 p.m. CST

    ok...about the blackface-

    by Jobacca

    Blackface is only offensive when its being done to mock someone...clearly,this was done with love. And its a kid. Lets not all make a big deal out of it.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 9:53 p.m. CST


    by BarCrow

    TO you and all the people who shared their childhood with us. Brings back some memories I thought I had lost...and the video of the children's reaction to Vaders secret....classic. I imagine I looked pretty similar when I first heard back when it originally released. Again..thanks.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 10:34 p.m. CST


    by The Mighty Dev

    That's beautiful man, just beautiful.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Has it really come to this?

    by TopHat

    Has being shunned from normal human life because of your obsession with movies made you into 1950's housewives, tearing up for the days of childhood and the desperation to get back there even if it means the loss of all individuality? Must you now devote your lives to becoming "Husbands" and "Wives" and "Fathers" and "Mothers"? Is this the pinhole from which you look through to the bright glorious view of human interaction? My friends, your lives are bigger than this. Repeating the same routines you followed in childhood, only now playing the adult, will not shelter you from the harsh mediocrity of the world. You must brake free from your self-imposed chains. Children are but ignorant workers employed by their biological parents to fulfill the jobs they could not. You have evolved from this generalization many years ago. It is time to rebel. This cannot be a Renaissance. It must be a Revolution. Kill your parents my brothers and sisters. Burn down your house. Total the car. Throw out the television. Demolish these teddy bears of life. Become individuals. Become artists. Become the ebb and flow.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 12:33 a.m. CST

    That Mr.T costume was awesome

    by Zombie Vig

    Seriously. Looked like a mini Mr.T.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 1:07 a.m. CST

    My Uncle likes to have sex with ladies

    by Bobo_Vision

    Sexual intercourse.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 1:22 a.m. CST


    by CaptainBass

    Do I have to become a flaming gobshite too? One who can't understand the difference in spellings & meanings of words but who somehow thinks he has the mental agility and literary ability to type up a new gospel for geeks? Dear oh dear...

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Film nerd 2.0

    by mr_tough_guy

    Surprised Harry didn't take the opportunity to link to Moriartys ongoing blog about raising his sons on all things geek, the last one where they watch Star Wars is brilliant: Can't wait till they've watched Empire

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Those kids reactions were great.

    by Gabba-UK

    Before the Internet, before the mass media broadcasting everything, there were movies with secrets. I still remember vividly the first time I saw Empire at the cinema when nearly a thousand people mirrored that kids reaction at the same instant and with a huge gasp of shock. Priceless.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 3:50 a.m. CST


    by paul burnett

    ..ohh you're so profound and deep...and a massive wanker.

  • ...they meant well, and never denigrated the geekiness, but were also quite totally clueless. So my friends and I had to make do and throw our Halloween costumes together from whatever we could scrounge. Our ideas were just as big as your contributor in the yellow text, but we lacked the services of Yellow Text's amazing dad, so the results were somewhat, uh, underwhelming... okay, sucktastic.

  • Your dad fn rocks! My best wishes go out to him.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 6:18 a.m. CST

    The cynics have completely taken over AICN.

    by Madcapper

    Once in a while it makes for interesting reading and debate, but very often not. It's becoming less and less fun to read the TB's. Bummer. Hopefully it'll pass..

  • Every child who is fortunate enough to have loving and involved parents will learn from and emulate them. This has nothing to do with being a geek, it is simply human nature that we share and pass down our interests and hobbies to our children, and that our children happily and enthusiastically take it up because it links us. It makes the child feel even more special that they can share in their parents interests and that their parents want them to. In later years, when you look back to those special childhood times and memories, it should make you smile and be happy. If not does not, and if you do not have such special memories, then that is a such a shame. It is not your fault, but make certain that if you are lucky enough to be in a position to make a positive impression on a child, that you do so. Their is no greater reward for a grandparent than to see their child passing down what they learned to their own children. It is the greatest legacy anyone can leave. It does not mean that the child has no dreams or interests of their own, just look at yourselves and ask are you a duplicate of your parents? No. As you grow older you take parts of what you learned from your parents and mix them with your own new found interests to become what you are, but you never forget who planted those early seeds, and if you are lucky it was an oak.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Kid geeks

    by SSquirrel

    I have 2 girls, 3 1/2 and 6. I have a picture from the Halloween my youngest was 1 1/2 where a friend made her a costume out of foam latex. We dressed her as a Gnome Rogue from World of Warcraft by making a set of Bloodfang armor and he also made a couple of the dagger drops from Molten Core. My girls argue over which one gets to roll my d20 next when my wife and our friends and I play D&D. When my oldest was 3 we bought a Justice League Unlimited 3 episode DVD to see what she thought of it. Next thing you know we had the 2nd season and a few months later, I bought her season 1 for her birthday. We go to renaissance fairs together, they love superheroes. We were watching the first 4 seasons of Big Bang Theory this past summer and my oldest learned most of the theme song. My youngest was singing the chorus to a She Wants Revenge song b/c I have their latest album on in our van the last few days we've been out together and my oldest can sing along to a bunch of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. My daughters kick so much ass and while they do love their Barbies and playing dressup as much as most other little girls, there is a lot of stuff that they love that falls solidly in geek territory and it makes me happy :)

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    Hear hear, tallandagwood

    by slone13

    Well said.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 9:20 a.m. CST


    by twisted_lullaby

    More like ass-hat.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Twiggy? Anyway, on that show I really liked

    by Brian Hopper

    Brian Cox's work as Buck Rogers.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 10:02 a.m. CST

    arteska is correct.

    by MikeTheSpike

    This is odd stuff to do to your children. Let them come to it naturally.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST

    "Twiggy"?!? It's TWIKI, you ignorant f*ck!

    by Jason Soleil

  • I wish i had become something cooler, like a scientist or a good filmmaker.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Those kids reaction

    by truenotes1

    Is how everyone felt and prob felt the very first time we watched Empire. PRICELESS!

  • So often, people being called cynics in here is just people who see past the crap. While the real cynics, like oportunistic hack directors that AICN loves to support, get off by easy.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by mcgoocain

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    PLEASE! NO video games!

    by ZodNotGod

    I feel sorry for those kids and their idiot parents that push their video game likes off on them. How dull is that? Most of the games they play will be forgotten in five years anyway. Not mention it retards imagination and attention span. Love those costumes! I was a a-hole kid. By the third grade I had decided Halloween and costumes was "kids stuff" and didn't partake. I wish my parents had talked me out of it. Ah well, I did rebound about two years later, by the 5th grade I had come to my senses.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 11:49 a.m. CST

    It's cool to see Granddad is still working his costume magic!

    by ZodNotGod

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 11:53 a.m. CST

    My cousin's boy is 7 and he loves...

    by ZodNotGod

    Batman, Superman, Clone Wars (Star Wars) and Indiana Jones! He is constantly quoting "Last Crusade...."We named the dog Indiana." He loved Crystal Skull too....'better cover your ears..." I think he will offcially shit his geek pants when I offer him the live action triple threat of THOR, CAP'N America and GREEN LANTERN.

  • BULLSHIT! They may not find it and then they run the risk of watching and becoming a fan or team sports---the dreaded- JOCK SNIFFER! There are far too many boring people in the world, why contribute to that? I'm sure the kids had a blast! Treasured memories for years to come.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by Jon Forbing

    Don't try to pull that crap. Like we owe it to the world to call a film website out on what they cover, that's so fucking ridiculous. You speak of "hack directors" who "get off by easy" (nice grammar) from AICN. Hey, here's a crazy idea: They LIKE those directors. Considering this is an editorial site, they can report on whatever they want to, and have whatever opinions they want to. Just like you. I'll never try to deny anyone's right to have differing opinions than the writers (they're not gods), but don't act like you're doing some kind of holy work by coming on here and saying that a movie Harry likes is "gay" or whatever. Opinions are opinions, the only difference is these guys get to post theirs on a website.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Just last night,

    by Lost Boy

    while puting my 10 year old daughter to bed, she had a question about the Avengers movie. She wanted to confirm that she knew who the six members are and what they can do. She doesn't read comic books, but loves all the Marvel movies and wants to see it all come together. This led to a 15 minute conversation about powers, what about Batman, who is in DC comics, who is in the Justice League, which team of super heroes would win in a fight, and are Hawkeye and Hawkgirl anything alike. It's moments like this that fill my inner geek. Great timing for this article.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    One of the best geek questions I ever got...

    by ZodNotGod

    was from my 5 y/o niece at the time who asked me while watching "Attack of the Clones," "Does Yoda have a girlfriend?"

  • This totally taps into my current situation as a life-long geek and father. I have two lovely daughters, who while being unrepentent "girly-girls" also love comics and superheroes and the original King Kong abd Karloff's Frankenstein and H.G. Wells and Ray Harryhausen flicks, etc. Enjoying geek moments with them are some of the highlights of being a dad for me. I've gotta search through the old photos and memories. I' sure I'll be submitted something for the column in the very near future. Thanks for putting this together, Harry! Oh, and Tophat? You sound like a pathetic version of the voice overs from one of those tragically hip and pretentious Levis' ads from a couple years back. Lame.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    I am the only geek out of 4 kids

    by disfigurehead

    Non geek parents too. I make my own path.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 3:29 p.m. CST

    the kid's reaction....

    by Bouncy X

    there's no reaction, he looks at the camera and THEN reacts? seemed sorta fishy to me. i did love how bored the girl looked though, now she knows how he feels being forced to watch barbie or bratz or whatever she's into. :P

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 4:11 p.m. CST

    My 7 yr. old nephew asked me last Christmas...

    by welcometothepartypal

    "Have you ever heard of STAR WARS?" I stood there frozen, expressionless, I couldn't believe the question. I think a small 'yes' came out.

  • Oct. 3, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Show some grown women in cosplay.

    by Dennis_Moore