Towers of Geek
by Chris Dias
Marc Bernardin is a talented writer, one that I greatly admire. Overlooking his work with the LA Times, Hollywood reporter, GQ, Wired, Empire, and Entertainment Weekly, Marc has contributed to the SyFy series “Alphas” and will be returning to television as a recurring writer for the new series Castle Rock. However, he’s most often known as the author of several comic books for DC, Image, and Marvel including Push, Static Shock, The Highwaymen, and though more critically, the series Genius, which Marc himself created.
Recently, Marc has accepted the promotion of geek figurehead—one who speaks for the masses, the channeler of nerd angst, and the trumpeter of the socially awkward. He wades through the torrent of social media and filters out the machinations of the emotionally crippled, the anonymous misogynists, and the reactionary demagogues, condemning the faults plaguing our modern media while also parading the virtues of originality, integrity, and fearlessness still present within. Marc is a conduit of essential geek news, simultaneously contributing to that wellspring of pride we take in, all the while ignoring the harmful effects of that same culture.
Marc Bernardin is coming to Northern FanCon… …and he’s bringing Kevin Smith.
I know what you are thinking. You assume the previous 194 words were a facetious play at burying the lead, of making an ironic jab at the expense of the lesser known host of the famous Fatman on Batman series of videos and podcasts. I will admit not having read any of the comics Marc is accredited with (before this writing). I’ve seen Alphas, loved that show, and I lament its departure.
I discovered Marc via one of Smith’s many outlets of expression, along with Jay & Silent Bob Get Old (which I saw in person) and Hollywood Babble-On (of which I am paid supporter of). But like those other channels (or “orifices” in an attempt to pander to Smith’s adorable childlike humor), I discovered to my surprise that Fatman on Batman is as much about Kevin Smith’s promotion and admiration of his talented friends than it is about him standing on a pedestal. Smith requires no such soapbox, preferring to push those upward for others to see. Such a statement is not meant condescendingly; more so, it is for us to see them as Kevin sees them, a pinnacle he hopes to aspire to.
As such, thanks to Kevin Smith, Marc is becoming the writer I aspire to be…but, consequently, it makes Kevin Smith the man I want to be.
Kevin Smith does not require such fanfare. He’s earned it through sheer will and talent, including his fearlessness to follow his path against the demands of Hollywood, critics, or even his fans. Kevin is proof that you don’t go out alone to get noticed and land some lucrative corporate contract; you go alone in hopes of gathering those that share your vision. Solitude is fleeting so that those loyal that gather have room to stand. It’s a fact that there are no sycophants or bootlickers in orbit around Kevin Smith (it’s a metaphor, not an implication that suggests a relation between Kevin’s mass and his gravitational pull). Marc would be one of those, a man who has never kowtowed to sniff the Smith throne. But truth be told, I admit looking forward to a potential Smith meeting, of personally conveying the significance his behavior and achievements have had on me, from his dogged determination to stick to his principles to his sincerity regarding social issues and the struggles over his weight-loss (the latter I relate to).
Recently, UNLTD (the business responsible for this very magazine), helped organize a fund-raising initiative for the Prince George Hospice society, the theme of which revolved around the fulfillment of one’s bucket list. I have mine, and Kevin Smith sits on not one, not two, not four or five, but three of those entries. I’ve already checked one involving him (the aforementioned Jay & Silent Bob get old), leaving only two. For Norm, the organizer for Northern FanCon, Kevin Smith sits squarely at number 1—the one guest desired from the very first year. It is less about the achievement, the feather in a cap, in claiming the accomplishment of snagging Smith and Bernardin, and more about the often-altruistic tendency Norm has about trying to increase the happiness of those around. Next May, there will be many of us, not just Norm and myself, looking forward to checking an item off our bucket list.