By Charly SHELTON
“Greetings, True Believers!” Stan Lee wrote to his readers in the back of his comic books every week and always began by saying this, addressing his fans. It became synonymous with those fans who were real comic book nerds, worn as a badge of honor that only other nerds knew about. I myself am proud to be a true believer and once had the honor of hearing it myself from Stan the Man in person at a convention. I almost passed out. And while talking about this with my fellow nerds at the offices of CV Weekly, an idea rose.
There are a lot of nerds out there, on the Internet and in Crescenta Valley proper. Not ironic nerds who wear horn rimmed lens-less glasses and call themselves nerds excessively in the Facebook captions of their “selfies.” This is not a nerd. (Ask them what Superman’s weakness is and they may get it, but ask them which lantern colors work against a Green Lantern ring and which colors are immune and it is likely they will falter.)
I mean a True Believer. One who respects all fandoms except the one that rivals their own (i.e. Transformers vs. Voltron vs. Gobots or perhaps Pokemon vs. Magic vs. Yu Gi Oh). One who didn’t stop reading when the drawings were over and Stan’s Soapbox filled the page with words. One who knows that Han shot first. One who openly weeps when reading, “The Amazing Spider Man #121” (The Night Gwen Stacy Died). And one who knows that Kirk didn’t cheat on the Kobayashi Miru, he was the only one who was awesome enough to win.
And for these real nerds, these true believers, Crescenta Valley Weekly presents a new news source, one specifically for this select audience.
A web-based digital newspaper and website, appropriately titled “The True Believer,” will be launching on Friday. This is a release that can only be found online. Unlike the physical paper you hold in your hands right now, The True Believer will not be printed. It will be available in PDF format online at our new website, true-believer.net. The PDF can be downloaded for free onto your tablet, laptop, eReader, smartphone – whatever you have. If it can browse the Internet, chances are it can get this digital paper. “The True Believer” will feature stories on comic books, movies, TV shows, video games and anything else of interest to a nerd audience. And without the constraints of physical printing, it will be in full color with even more new features to come in the weeks following launch.
If you are not a True Believer but would like to be, that’s great. Every week we will feature some cool back issues and backstories on what you need to know about the characters and series that are being discussed.
For example, with the release of “Iron Man 3” this May, expect to see some cool features on the best story arcs of the armored avenger, his backstory retold and a fact card to collect and add to your digital library – just like they used to do in the comics. But just because we have backstory and some intro bits, don’t expect this to be only for beginners. For those who are fully immersed in the world of nerdom, you will take solace in the articles. Be warned: They won’t be on a normal newspaper level. If I don’t need to explain who Clark Kent is and we can jump into the article with some backstory known, that will make it a deeper, richer experience. Think of it like a trade magazine for nerds.
The digital paper will be available the second and fourth Fridays of the month. If you have any suggestions on what fandom you would like to see appear in The True Believer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And for updated news in between issues or to get the digital paper, check out our website at true-believer.net.