1001 Black Men #802

Alternative Press Expo attendee, Fort Mason, San Francisco, California.

I’m a little backlogged on drawings, and this represents my continuing effort to catch up. I still have another drawing or two from October’s Alternative Press Expo, but I have also continued to create current drawings, most of which I’ve already posted here.

This guy caught my attention because of his facial symmetry, his amazing cheekbones, his impressively full and well-groomed beard, and his unusual height and muscularity. This Alternative Press Expo shopper was, from the looks of the items in his hands, really interested in indie super hero zines and comics. He must have had about 20 different publications in his clear plastic backpack.

The aspect of nerd culture that I love most is its contradiction, and this guy was a perfect example. He had the body of an athlete and, in fact, he did play Division III football in college; but he had the passions of a geek, the focus of a nerd, and (truth be told) the social awkwardness of a total dork.

Movies like Revenge of the Nerds, aside, nerd/geek/dork culture doesn’t have a single specific look. It’s more a feeling that’s mapped out in the subtleties of body movement, facial express, and the places where we gather. Those of us who are real, true nerds/geeks/dorks can recognize our brethren and sistren when we see them. Outsiders are distracted by things like beauty, fashion, athleticism, and physical size. True insiders know that, just as nerdiness and geekiness and dorkiness have no color, they also have no sexual orientation, no gender, no body type, and no single style or fashion aesthetic. We are everywhere, and we do everything. Nerds, geeks, and dorks cannot be placed in a box. We are bigger, broader, and more diverse than our collective stereotypes. We are everything you’d expect we are and nothing you could imagine. (But almost all of us love Star Trek, so that stereotype is kind of correct.)

Ajuan Mance


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