Sunday, September 8, 2013

Have We Met? BTR's Editor Reveals the Truth About Being a Geek

The latest assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers asked us to introduce ourselves and many who follow The Batcave Toy Room know exactly who I am. So much so, I feel like we're the same soul split up into different physical vessels.

However, those who don't know, it's okay. There are others just like you who don't. In fact, my own relatives I live with don't know.

This year has been a year of soul searching for me. Not only for what resonates deep within my soul, but what exactly is my truth and who is John Sholtz really.

I've always related to my childhood hero, Batman. Not because I'm a billionaire playboy that's a masked vigilante who beats criminals to a pulp with my bare hands, but the fact that I wear a mask. Not a mask like for Cosplay. Well, I guess I do, but I've come to the realization that I've been hiding behind a mask.

From the time I started high school to well into my adulthood, I've been embarrassed to let people know my interest. I was ashamed to let people know I collected toys and comic books. That I had an obsession with movies and television series that inspired the toys and the fact is I hide behind a mask.

Most people know me as:

  • A loving husband and father.
  • Having a passion for music. In an alternative reality I could be Dick Clark or Casey Kasem.
  • Everyone's phone a friend on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' for pop culture questions.
  • I love to read. I could spend hours in a book store or library.
  • A banker, financier, and entrepreneur.
  • I think retirement is wasted on the old.
  • At times religious, but tend to be spiritual and I'm fascinated with how the universe works.
  • Loyal to the end.
  • I like to cook.
  • I am interested in history.
  • Ghosts, Entities, or 5th dimensional imps are always trying to get my attention.
The list above is me, but it's more of part of my story, not my truth. The truth is I am geek and I hide behind my story and this blog for that matter. Reserving the true me for those I perceive to be like me.

Reasons for Hiding

I remember when I bought my Super Powers Batman and Green Lantern years ago. I was probably 14 at the time and the cashier at Montgomery Wards kept asking me, "Are you really going to play with something that little." She repeated that over and over. I tried to explain to her that I collected toys, which by this point was true. I no longer really played with toys by this point, but I still bought them and I had the same thrill then that I do today.

However, there was another cashier there that stood up for me. Telling the other it was none of her business what I was going to do with the action figures. That was so long ago, but I remember it like it just happened.

At this same point in time I feel my family began to question my continued interest in what was considered childish. Wondering when I would grow out of comic books, toys, Batman and Star Wars. Obliviously never. As I am the same as I was then.

I decided to share more of the real me this year with clients and associates by usually striking up a conversation about events like the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con or the Las Vegas Comic Expo to find them responding with, "Oh, you're going to hang out with those weirdo's."

It's examples like the ones above that have me behind my mask. Not to protect my loved one's, but protect myself from getting upset.

I started the Batcave Toy Room in order for me to be myself and in hopes in finding others who were just like me and this site has lived up to those expectations. I've met some of the most creative and generous people in the world through this site and I hope to expand on that even more.

Can anyone else relate to this? Or am I truly crazy?

Say it Proud and Loud!

"I'm Batman!"

"I am your father."

"I'm your goddamn partner!"

"I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you."

"I'm Iron Man."

"I'm a Jedi. Like my father before me."

The above quotes are from several of my favorite movies like Batman, Iron Man, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark and each one those characters proudly state who they are and back it by living in their truth.

I've never been bullied at anytime for liking the things I do, but I worry that my daughter might one day as she continues to follow in my footsteps. Stories of little girls being bullied for liking Star Wars and taking a Star Wars water bottle to school is absurd. Geek or not, no child (or adult for that matter)should be bullied for their interest. I have a project that I have been developing that I hope will change how "geeks" are viewed. We'll see how that ends up panning out.

However, from now on whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words, with great power, comes great responsibility. This my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm John Sholtz and I'm a  geek and proud of it.

Others making themselves known:

Grey Enders
Yelinna Pulliti
Michael Lynn
Brian Adams
Mike Gutierrez
About the author: John Sholtz is an avid toy collector and the interim editor of the Batcave Toy Room due to the abrupt death of Bruce Wayne. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter at, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin.


  1. John i salute you my friend and remember you are not alone you are in a vast army of the geek(with me being in the dork division) keep on collecting my friend and being true to yourself.

    1. Thanks John Boy. I know you are right with me until the end.

  2. Great writeup John. You're in good company here. I think us old guys are just leading the charge for the youngsters that are rising up, living and breathing this culture. We're leading the charge and making this lifestyle "socially acceptable!" ;)
    I've actually recently had an experience where I met a fellow parent at my kids' school and after a while, I learned that he was as big a pop-culture fan as I was. We're not alone, we're just keeping a low profile! Soon, we'll rise up and take over the place. ;)

    1. Thanks Brian! I agree and it is my goal to make our lifestyle "socially acceptable." We are the Godfathers of Geekdom.

      I recently had an associate approach me and asked if it was true that I collected toys. I guess my secret gets leaked once in awhile, but he proceeded to tell me about his toy collection. My impression was he was a closet toy collector too and he felt comfortable telling me about it once he found out about me. Sad thing is he has a pretty sweet vintage toy collection. It's a shame to keep it a secret. I ended up turning him on to Figures Toy Company's Mego replicas. He bought the whole line. It was cool to share our collections and pass on some knowledge too.

  3. Hey there John! I've been popping around to other Leaguers blogs that I haven't said hi to yet, so here I am! And as I'm writing this I remember I forgot to submit my link for this week!

    I haven't really thought about it, but what Brain said is so true! We are the forefathers (and mothers) of pop culture geekdom. Loud & proud!

    I'll forgive you for misquoting the Raiders line and presume it may be self-censorship hehe.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Dex!

      I agree. I like to think we are the "Godfathers" of Geekdom.

      Great catch. I went back and forth about that. Since the movie is PG and at times I think this site is as well, I will correct it. I guess technically it's a misquote instead of a quote. ;-)

  4. Great post John.

    Since leaving Denver, I don't run into many people with the same interests as I do and this can be discouraging. In a sea of red Nebraska Cornhusker t-shirts, I am wearing the lone gray Batman shirt.

    1. Thanks Corey!

      You're always welcome here sir. Where everyone knows your name and they're always glad you came.

  5. That was great to read. I love these kind of interviews and we don't do them enough. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and their collections and I am fascinated by that.

  6. Thanks Kal. I agree. It's great being able to share my collection.

  7. Great post! My Ninja Turtle and "stuff" collection takes people by surprise but generally is accepted it seems (though some do find it odd). Finding local people with similar interests though? Impossible. Good thing we have the internet.

    Cody AKA Crooked Ninja

    1. I think local people are there, but they're in the closet. The Internet works for now, but it's time for the revolution.

  8. Agreed with comments! I love things from the league that deal with more personal things. And I think your blog is pg rated right? Because isn't the Raiders comment off?

    Nice to know you!

    1. Definitely, It's always interesting to read about everyone. I decided to correct it. It's fixed now.

  9. Great write up John. We have so much in common, it's a shame that we are on opposite sides of the country. I would love to go toy shopping, conventions or just hang out in the batcave, talking toys.

    I used to be shy about my toy collecting hobby. Espeially since my divorce 11 years ago. The ex wife hated the toy collection and let her dad convince her I was a loser. But really, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I realized that if I could survive a divorce, then anything anyone can possibly say about my toy collecting is meaningless to me. I get funny looks when I go to Toys R Us and walk out with a bag full of Batman, Spidey or Skywalker goodness, but I really don't care. It makes me happy and that's all that matters.

    Being a geek rules!

    1. One day Mike. The Batcave might be making a transformation that will be perfect for talking about all that is Geek. Stay tuned.

      We do have a lot in common. I was divorced 13 years ago and my ex had the same problem. Ironically, she always bought me stuff and yet would turn around and put me down for it. Things are a lot different the second time around.

      That's what I am all about...Being happy.


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