Comicon.com’s The Pulse has an interview up with the creators of a comic book called SubCulture, a story about media fans.
KEVIN FREEMAN: The primary focus is on fans of comics, gaming, anime, science fiction, and the like. As a group, we’re an interesting lot, and deserving of a closer look. But we wanted the book to be more than a series of jokes. Yes, there’s humor, but it’s set within the confines of a more serious story. […]
THE PULSE: Do you think people like to laugh at themselves and see comics like this? Are you worried you might be offending your target audience with their portrayal in SubCulture?
FREEMAN: I like to think that most of us don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re an odd lot, but most of us embrace that fact. We like being different. I admit, the book does take a dangerous path. But I think the story is written in such a way that it ultimately portrays fans in a positive way. Sure, we’re all a little strange, but we’re also genuinely good people. I hope that’s what the readers get out of it.
STAN YAN: Honestly, I think that many of us that do take ourselves too seriously might not be able to see ourselves in the characters that share our “quirks”.
Mostly I’m just linking this because I like to keep track of when people specifically link the audiences of what are ostensibly diverse media (what do games have to do with comics?). It’s also interesting to note how the people involved in this interview all fancy themselves as part of the group being poked fun at here, but are still aware that some people might not find it so funny.
I’m inclined to agree with Freeman that the kind of folks who would even pick up a (somewhat harder-to-find) comic in the first place are also probably used to making fun of the stereotypes associated with fandom, especially as the creators are clearly part of the in-group. Certainly enough people can get behind that sentiment that you can sell t-shirts about self-deprecating geek humor. Maybe it helps to go the extra mile by portraying an avatar of yourself as the demented nerd in question.