Opinion

Monroe Pop-Fest has me questioning

A statue of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, characters from the “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is displayed at the Monroe Pop-Fest.

I’m a nerd. Or so I thought.

I attended Monroe Pop-Fest on Sept. 14 to get photos of the event for my freelance job with Monroe News.

On my way there, I thought in my head that I would fit right in. I knew games, movies and anime to a decent extent. The game “Fortnite” is huge, and “League of Legends” was sort of battling “Overwatch” for the second spot in gaming. I knew about the battle between Marvel and DC, and I had finished the entire “Attack on Titan” series.

I was running through a lot of thoughts on what I could talk about and how to show off some of my knowledge. I wanted to impress!

In high school, I rolled with a group called “The Nerd Herd.” That status was a fabric of my being, even though it has been five years since graduation.

When I arrived, I parked my dirty, rusted, cobweb-covered truck and got my camera ready. Looking in the side mirror, I noticed a couple getting into their cosplay costumes.

Immediately, I realized I had no idea what they were dressing as.

In my mind, I figured it was just something new that slipped under my radar of nerdy news.

It’s easy to miss a new character, right?

Strolling to the door, I waited in line, snagged my media pass and began my adventure into Pop-Fest.

I must’ve bumped into five people at once when I took my first step, but when the crowd shifted, the sight was revealed to me.

It was an expo center filled with comic vendors, graphic artists, celebrities and fans.

From young kids raised on “Minecraft,” to old heads sporting Ghostbuster jumpsuits, it was a warping blend of the 80s to present.

I took a lap or two around and realized, however, a lot of what was there were shows and characters I either knew of and never watched or knew nothing about.

As I wandered around, I began to wonder if I was still truly a nerd.

Growing up, I didn’t watch “Power Rangers,” which seemed to be a big center of the event, due to Steve Cardenas, the Red Ranger from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” being in attendance. Nor did I ever get into comics or collectibles, the other big part of pop fest.

I took my photos for work and walked around aimlessly, gazing at random costumes — only some of which I recognized — and tables full of stuff I had no idea about.

In all honesty, I felt out of place. I dropped most of my gaming after high school and fell off on concept art and voice actors for shows.

There was so much I didn’t know and even more that no longer held my interest.

From that event, I came to realize: I lost the right to consider myself a nerd.

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