Let your nerd flag fly

Posted Nov. 17, 2011, at 9:10 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 18, 2011, at 6:01 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Scott Clavette showed up for the Nerd Rave as a bleached blond wearing a skin-tight Aquaman costume, complete with pitchfork. By Saturday morning he had transformed himself into a purple-haired Quentin, the nerdy character in the X-Men series.
Clavette was one of about 750 people to attend last weekend’s first Coast City Comicon in Portland. The three-day comic book convention billed itself as “a place to let your nerd flag fly.”
It kicked off with a rave at SPACE Gallery last Friday night. It continued at the Eastland Hotel where over the next two days many of the attendees wore costumes based on their favorite fictional characters while checking out the vendors’ exhibits and challenging each other in geeky video and card games.“It’s really fun to take on a persona of someone else,” said Clavette, of Gorham. “It’s fun to jump into a character who’s outlandish-looking — and here it’s OK.”

Darren Tilley, 33, moved to Maine from England, where he always had been a big fan of movies based on comic books. He arrived at the rave wearing a handmade Captain America costume.

“I didn’t think Portland had much of nerd scene, so I was curious to find out,” said a pleasantly surprised Tilley.

“You don’t get into comics when you’re the popular kid, you know what I mean?” he said. “When I was younger, ‘nerd’ was a derogatory term. Nowadays it’s used affectionately for anybody who likes this stuff.”