July 17, 2013 – San Diego, CA (almost)
For those of you who follow the show, Comic Book Guy needs no introductions. But for those of you who don’t, here’s a little bit about him.
His “real” name is Jeff Albertson, and he is the proprietor of The Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop in the fictional town of Springfield, somewhere in Middle America. He is based on “every comic-bookstore guy in America,” which along with many other characters on the Simpsons, is highly stereotypical.
He’s 45 years old, portly, lonely, has no friends, is balding but wears what hair he has in a pony tail, and has a special fondness for marshmallow peeps. He and his comic shop cater to geeks and nerds of all ages, but seems rather more suited to dealing with those patrons who have the emotional maturity of an eleven year old boy. However, despite his looks and his penchant for fast food, Comic Book Guy has an IQ of 170, is a member of the Springfield Mensa group and he holds a masters degree in folklore and mythology (having translated The Lord of the Rings into Klingon as part of his thesis).
He’s the Comic Con “Everyman.” I mean without the stereotypical guys like Comic Book Guy, there would be no Comic Con for us new and shiny chic geeks to get all frenzied about, right?
Brilliantly voiced by the amazing and talented Hank Azaria, Comic Book Guy made his first appearance in the second season episode “Three Men and a Comic Book” which originally aired on May 9, 1991.
Needless to say, the comic book geek has changed over the years, drastically. And then, not so drastically. I can guarantee you that while you’re walking around San Diego this weekend, you will run in to quite a few guys exactly like Comic Book Guy. The great thing is, you will find so much more variety of geek and nerd at Comic Con now, than ever before. But, to the guys like Comic Book Guy, we owe you for making cons like SDCC happen, and keeping the geek alive for the rest of to get involved in.
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, has said about Comic Book Guy, that he was partly inspired by a clerk at the Los Angeles Amok book shop. There was apparently a clerk who worked there who would sit on a high stool at the counter, lording his position over the store with a haughtily disdainful attitude, while eating out of a huge styrofoam container. Matt Groening is quoted as saying:
I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and said, ‘I know who you based that comic book guy on. It’s that comic-book guy right down the block.’ And I have to tell them, ‘No, it’s every comic-bookstore guy in America.’
So, dear readers, I would simply LOVE to hear about your own experiences with “Comic Book Guy,” since it seems almost everyone knows that guy! Even if he’s not a comic book proprietor, he could be the rare book dealer, the sci-fi museum docent, and especially any one of a number of guys at any con around the world — Especially San Diego Comic Con!