"I call this meeting of The Eltingville Comic Book, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Role-Playing Club to order!" Well, it's probably a good thing that such a club doesn’t exist as far as I know, and I'll explain why. Only a true comic dork could write something so foul, so vile, and so on the mark on the worst side of fandom that it could be translated so well to the fanbase it's commenting on. Look no further than the true Eisner Award winner dork himself, Evan Dorkin.
In 1994, Evan Dorkin was already a few issues into his comic series Dork!
before he decided to say something about the vile world of nerd fandom, but in a unique way. He took everything out of anger and what he loved about fandom and morphed them into four separate beings on the comic pages, and gave them a club of sorts. These characters are Bill, Josh, Jerry and Pete, the four horsemen of the nerd-ocalypse. On the outside people can view them as a close-knit group of friends, but within that nerd circle is a dysfunction of over inflated egos, close minded ideas, ruthless dishonesty, criminal acts and just pure hatred crammed into every biological fiber of these super nerds. If you thought your group of nerdy friends acted bad at times, then they’re boy scouts compared to The Eltingville Club.
There is only a handful of stories done about The Eltingville Club, but each story will hold its own for years to come. These stories should hit to the heart of every person reading them because it's easily self-identifiable to the reader that they either know people who are like this or are those people. They serve as a good warning sign to those who read this comic and might even offend them with Dorkin commentary on nerd culture the way he sees it, which is really apparent if one were to be truly honest with themselves. At the same time, they are the most entertaining stories you will ever read.
The adventure of the club consist of the members getting in physical brawls over trying to seduce women in Dungeons & Dragons while missing their own prom (I missed mine as well, but it wasn’t over D&D), fights over not seeing Tasha Yar naked, fighting over controlling a comic book shop, starting fights at zombie crawls, starting fights with QVC hosts on the air and fights over who gets to own a Kenner Boba Fett figure through the ultimate form of nerd rhetoric, THE TRIVIA OFF! That’s just the fighting part, because we can’t forget the two counts of arson, starting riots at San Diego Comic Con, home property damage over a Twilight Zone Marathon, getting kidnapped by anti-nerd groups to deprogram your nerd ways and countless offenses against today’s social justice warriors ideas with insulting sexist remarks towards female fans. And guess what, that’s not the worst they can do.
I should go back and mention that this comic is pure fun because it really is. Dorkin making social commentary this blatant in how the characters act is just having a face in reading offensive Tumblr, Youtube, and Twitter responses, but now you have an actual face to go with the words. And to me, that is what makes it so intriguing to enjoy about The Eltingville Club. It takes it self-serious enough to get a message across, but at the same time makes it fun that these nerds always get what's coming to them. They’re never meant to come out on top or to be better people, but to see just how low can these nerds go. The answer is quite simple, they go as low as the fandom will let them, and that hole gets deeper and deeper each day.
The other commentary done by Dorkin is the world of the comic shop, the local mecca to nerds who are within commuting distance to one. One of my other favorite characters is Joe, the owner of the local comic book joint that the group frequents too in order to complete their collections and feed their fandom. Dorkin takes all of the comic shop owners he knew and bundled them into Joe, who runs his shop like most comic book places still do. Joe is someone who is too cheap to fix the ceiling and puts in a kiddie pool to collect water, one to use a laser pointer to assist a customer to find something so his fat ass never leaves the counter, and one who over prices items to nerds who really want whatever they want in order to keep his business surviving.
Joe also has some good insight knowledge on the world of comics, and why discounting items is like “giving away unscratched lottery tickets.” The way the comic market is going, things that have been cheap for years will go up in value whenever movie studios want to use a comic book character, and that means that demand for the comics will go up. This means comics that have been worthless for years are now getting someone like Joe making bank, which helps someone like me really understands the inner workings of why shops are run the way they are. It's little things like this is why I love this series so much.
Eltingville is done out of so much love that it’s still one of the most entertaining comics I have ever read, and I have been a fan for many years. I actually didn’t know about The Eltingville Club through Dorkin comic series, but through the animated pilot that aired in 2002 on Adult Swim. I actually didn’t watch the pilot till months later when I found a rip of it on the internet, and that’s where this show captivated my attention.
Now you can watch it with a Japanese Dub!!
The pilot adapts one of the stories were two members of the club Bill and Josh battle it out for a collectible Kenner Boba Fett figure, in the ultimate showdown of verbal Thunderdome that is The Trivia Off! It’s safe to say that either the questions and answers in the trivia off were stuff Dorkin knows personally or witnessed one in a comic book shop between two basement dwellers over a figure one time. The only answer to that lies in the head of its creator Dorkin himself. The only physical media the pilot has ever been released on is the Adult Swim in a Box set that was released in 2009.
As for recently, Dorkin was able to conclude the club in a two part issue having the group finally break up and then reuniting a decade later. The running joke in the comics at the end of every issue would ask “Is this the end of The Eltingville Club?” Based on how this final issue went, they are official done forever. I say its a good end to a fantastic series that has lasted over 20 years in comic form. Eltingville didn’t go out with a bang, but a mere somber whimper trapped in the Echo 1 surrounded by nerds at San Diego Comic Con, with its last words about how they’ll “Fuck it up” with a remake on Basket Case. It just seems to be the best way to end it all, them still being bitter fans till the end.
As much as I want to have an Eltingville Club show be brought to life, I’m not sure how long it would last on TV without today’s current fandom just not “getting it.” It will be more offensive than enjoyed, especially when you got today's millennials crying wolf on how every little thing offends them. If they really read Eltingville Club, they would demand Evan Dorkin head on a platter, because the world has become viler since this comic was first conceived. Just goes to show the world hasn’t really changed, but its the small things like this comic that brings joy to my heart, because I get it.
If this article has peaked your interest into reading about Eltingville because you wanna “get it”, then you can get the hardback with all of the stories plus bonus material from Dark Horse. And if you are a collector of lunch box tins, then they got you covered there.