The Truth Hurts: True Confessions of a Fanboy

A column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: Martijn Form

Several weeks ago I got a belated Christmas present, the book True Confessions of a Fanboy by James and Johnny Jacobs, a hilarious social study of the fanboy and his habitat. This book got me in a philosophical mood about my own comic addiction and its disastrous influence on my life. Maybe True Confessions of a Fanboy can change your life, just like it did for me.

1. Fan (fan): a flat implement used to cool the face by agitating the air; an instrument for exciting a current of air.

One of the perks of being a ComicsBulletin reviewer, besides the obvious hordes of girls at your feet, is the simple fact that I can call you a Fanboy. That’s right. I called you a Fanboy; you behind the 17 inch monitor, still blushing from that nudy website that you happened to stumble over…

The English language is filled with wonderful curse words like f^&k or ^%$& and my absolute favourite for when I overslept, again, G$%^&*@^%!@#$% (editors note: Some words or not meant to be in cyberspace.). But in the sweaty world of comic cons, moist comic stores, smelly Warhammer attics and dark cellars with miles of long boxes, there is even a better cursing word…

Fanboy. [echo, echo, echo…]

This simple word can not be traced back to ancient Greece or the realms of dead Latin. No, this phrase must have been given birth at a comic convention, sometime in the late 20th century.

2. Torn Meniscus: From awkwardly positioning self to reach an autographed trade paperback.

There have been more social studies about Chimpanzees living in the wild than there have been about the 35 year old fanboy still living in mom’s home. But the book True Confessions of a Fanboy by James and Johnny Jacobs is going to change all that. The writers are brothers and experts when it comes to the term “fanboy.”

James is the True Fanboy. He collects everything from comics, toys to cards and everything in between. His room is stacked with collectibles, so much so that he can barely manoeuvre between the stacks, let alone sleep in his room.

Johnny, on the other hand, is more your average joe. Sports, money and girls are his things. Especially girls. Because Johnny has the social life that James doesn’t have, Johnny wears a paper bag in the book to hide his true identity.

This book is an in-depth, up-close and personal study about the fanboy and his habits, from both the fanboy and the regular guy perspective.

A slugfest between good and evil. A battle between two brothers. A mayhem between yellow undies vs paper bags…

3. Broken Nose: From losing a fight to an eight year-old girl over a rare collectible toy.

Let’s talk about James’ sweaty balls. Yeah, I’d prefer not to but we have to because Johnny does. He mentions in the book that his brother is more than overly protective about his collectibles. Johnny says about his fanboy brother : “James, my brother has 28 stitches in his belly from that time he was starting to fall on some of his precious collectibles and chose to jump through the window instead to avoid harming them,”

The book is divided into several chapters in which James passionately tries to explain what it is like to be obsessed with collectable toys, cards and comics. James says, “When fanboys think of sunlight, they think of death. They think of destruction. They see a dire threat to that comfy little existence they’ve crafted for themselves, and they are prepared to take any and all means to avoid the pain and sorrow they know awaits for them just past those thin shades in the room. The reason that sunlight needs to be avoided at all costs is because the UV rays that serve the world in so many other ways are the number one source of discoloration that occurs over time on the plastic boxes of every action figure produced in the last quarter century.”

In the other part of the book Johnny reacts to James passionate display: “My bro starts harassing me over the phone, begging me to open his door and put a fan on whenever it’s a hint over 65 degrees out. I mean, what the hell is this guy’s problem anyway? Doesn’t he realize that all those reports of G.I. Joes falling apart during the 15th anniversary celebration were simply part of a brilliant conspiracy plotted out by air conditioned manufacturers the world over? Doesn’t he realize that toys age in their boxes because they were never designed to actually stay there? Doesn’t he know that dice toys are SUPPOSED to be for kids, they’re just not made to last past every person’s childhood?

Well you can decide for yourself who makes the best argument. And by doing so, you also know if you are in the fanboy or regular guy camp.

4. Severely Pulled Groin: resulting from death-defying manoeuvres to access Mint-On-Card treasures from the furthest reaches of room.

True Confessions of a Fanboy seems to be self published and is close to165 pages. James and Johnny Jacobs wrote a book that is funnier that your average night at a Stand-up Comedy club. The wit and humour reminded me of some old Woody Allen books, and I dare to say that with the right comedian this would make an excellent comedy show.

The Jacobs brothers don’t seem to be the best of friends but they managed to produce a book that should be picked up by a (larger) publisher. What Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics did for comics, True Confessions of a Fanboy should do for those boys living in mom’s cellar. This book -- which you can find at www.truefanboy.com - -deserves your support.

Anyway it’s time for me to head out to my comic store because I have a feeling there are some fresh, new comics awaiting for me. If I’m lucky I’ll even see some fanboys roaming around the wild…

I will take my deodorant can with me. To kill the fanboy body odor.

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