Sarahtdl: Kidnapping Is Just Plain Wrong: Why Geek Love is a lot like “The Tick” part 2

Kidnapping Is Just Plain Wrong: Why Geek Love is a lot like “The Tick” part 2

Jul 24 2007 at 09:18am
In 1994 a grand animated series premiered on Fox, based off an even grander underground New England comic. The adventures of The Tick, and his ex-accountant sidekick Arthur goofed on every established superhero tradition and made up a few on its way. The Tick was huge, “nigh-invulnerable”, and while not stupid, he was certainly thinking in completely different ways (and maybe dimensions) that anyone else in the series.

Arthur was a nerd. A math nerd, short, pudgy, wore huge glasses with his costume; even his superhero identity (a moth suit that allowed him to fly) had no alter ego. He was simply Arthur all the time. Shy, timid (his battle cry was “Not in the Face!”) he was a little man wishing for big things, but not quite ready to really have them. He wanted to be a superhero, but he was terrified to do superhero things.

In a very real way, Arthur was many of the guys I saw at that panel. Dressed in their superhero clothes (or cosplays) they sat hoping to be the very person they held in their imaginations. Peter Parker who swings in to save the girl. The brave Jedi master who can save the universe and his true love. Amon who decided to protect Robin rather than hunt her as a witch. All grand romantic fantasies. Yet, when I looked out at these very likeable and wonderfully imaginative people, I saw Arthur everywhere. Looking back, wanting so much to be heroes, but cringing when the moment actually came.

Love is a lot like The Tick. It’s not at all what we were expecting it to be like. Sometimes, its completely whimsical, sometimes it seems crazy. Sometimes, it can make you mad and you don’t understand it at all. Sometimes it comes charging in, loud and weird and wacky, and makes us go “Huh?”

But Arthur is a hero, because he takes the plunge even when he is scared. He does heroic things, sometimes by accident, and most of the time because he’s just a good guy. And he works with the Tick like a well oiled machine (okay one that sometimes gets a spoon or two in the gears, but one that works all the same.)

The tick charges and takes down the bad guys, Arthur hangs back and looks at what’s happening to plan successfully. The Tick brings Arthur’s spirits up with his almost naive world-view, Arthur helps to ground things with his realism. The tick helps Arthur to take a leap of faith sometimes, and Arthur helps the Big Blue Bug not to go too much off the deep end.

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Arthur   Love   Tick