Imagination Connoisseur, Joel Sommers, shares his geek’s journey with other members of The Post-Geek Singularity.

Hi Rob,

I had occasion to recount the origin story of why I love comic books to a good friend and after I told the story, it occurred to me that you and your community might also find it germane to the spirit of your channel.

It goes like this:

When I was four years old, I suffered a traumatic eye injury. I lost the vision in my left eye, and remained hospitalized for another three weeks while being evaluated for potential brain injuries. In that time, my mother stayed with me during the days and when he got off work, my dad would take over night shifts. Each evening, he would show up with a different comic book and he would read it to me. By the time I was released, both me and my dad had kind of gotten hooked on the serialized nature of comic book stories. More over, this marked the beginning of my lifelong love for the medium. I particularly remember how taken I was with the Mantlo/Golden issues of Marvel’s MICRONAUTS.

I recovered. But since then, my dad never took any vacation days, except for the month of July, when he would take almost all the time he had saved up over the year. This is the month of my birthday and we would spend it going to see every cool movie that was in theaters. I turned 49 this year, so if you do the math, that means that my dad and I saw the original STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE together. And as the years rolled by, we saw E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC, SUPERMAN, and every other summer blockbuster of note.

This is how to forge a fanboy.

I remember the year STAR WARS: EPISODE VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI came out. By then I was 13, and getting to the point where maybe I didn’t want to spend all my time with my dad during the summer. But for that movie, he and I were so there, together. It’s one of my best memories, and according to him, it was also one of his.

Both my mom and dad are gone now. I’m an only child and not a day goes by that I don’t think about them. That fateful time after my injury crystallized a love of reading, of scifi and fantasy, of comic books–it was a genre mix that blossomed into a passion for books, movies, TV, and all speculative fiction.

Today, I do technical writing and technology consulting, and there is no doubt where the seeds for my life were sown. I hope you and your viewers find this little story as uplifting as my friend did to whom I told it a few days ago.

I’d love to hear any stories that you or your viewers have about seminal events that foretold their lifelong love of genre fiction.

Thanks for what you do, Rob~!

-Joel S.