Nerd Family: Assemble!

When you have a large family with people at different ages and stages, it can be challenging to find interests and activities that appeal to everyone. However, there is one passion all seven of us (including the toddler) share.

Our family is a proud group of sci-fi/fantasy/comic book nerds.

Just how nerdy are we? Here’s a partial list:

Our oldest child is named after a wizard (also his great-grandpa, who was born long before the famous wizard) and our second oldest is named for a Hobbit.

We own a Klingon dictionary.

My daughter spent her birthday money on a Groot action figure.


One of our youngest child’s first words was “Doctor” and his favorite comfort toy is an Eleventh Doctor plush.


Need to find your way around Westeros? You can borrow my maps and brush up the history of each location.


This is our family on Halloween. In case you need a primer on the nerd quotient here, we have two incarnations of the Doctor (the 3rd & 7th, from the classic series) Commander Riker from Star Trek, Danenerys Targareyn & her baby dragon from Game of Thrones, and Falcon, a Marvel character. (My nephew is the Ninja Turtle and my daughter is the zombie.)


We’re a busy family pulled in lot of different directions, but our nerdiness is the tie that binds. When a new superhero movie comes out or when a new season of “Doctor Who” airs, it’s a family holiday. One of our favorite family outings is taking the kids to Daydream Comics in downtown Iowa City.

The conversations that swirl around our dinner table are nerdy. Kirk vs. Picard? (Picard all the way!) Will JJ Abrams do right by “Star Wars?” How much does the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie deviate from the original comic?

There are piles of comic books and graphic novels all over our house. And the kids know they’ve reached a high level of trust when I place a copy of one of my books in their hands, or if my husband and I allow them to play with one of our old action figures.

“Take good care of it—it was mine when I was young.”

These stories and characters light up the imaginations of our kids. Countless hours have been spent in the back yard playing superheroes and “Star Trek.” Our young filmmakers have created stop-motion movies with their action figures. They’ve carefully practiced drawing their favorite characters and been inspired to create their own stories and comic books.

And although these stories, worlds and characters are a lot of fun, when you take a closer look there’s more beneath the surface. Like all great stories and myths, we can draw important lessons from our favorite sci-fi/fantasy worlds and comic book characters.

We conjure their spirits and their words when we need a dose of confidence, inspiration or bravery.

“Fear cuts deeper than swords.”

Sometimes, these stories have helped our kids understand difficult situations.

Luke and Leia were adopted.

Superman was adopted.

Their favorite characters can teach them about their behavior, and how to manage the tumultuous moods of childhood. After all, Bruce Banner has trouble controlling his emotions too.

When you’re a kid that doesn’t quite fit in, you empathize with the mutants.

Sometimes when you have a bad day at school, you need to imagine a big blue box that travels through time and space can carry you away from your problems.

When you’ve been picked on for being shy or when you feel invisible, you need a reminder that you truly are gifted even though others may not see it.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

These stories teach what truly makes someone a hero.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.”

Our passion for sci-fi, fantasy & comics is more than a hobby. It’s an important part of how we stay connected, and it reminds us that we are team that is supportive, strong, and can do anything as long as we work together.

Just like “The Avengers.”

Meghann is the mom of 5 kids. She is a Lecturer at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and an Owner/Partner at Brand Driven Digital. Meghann was elected to the Coralville City Council in 2017 and is currently serving her first term. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coralville Community Food Pantry (Vice-Chair) and on the DVIP Board of Directors. She is also a member of Johnson County's Juvenile Justice and Youth Development Policy Board. Meghann is passionate about her family, her community, and is a proud pop culture nerd.



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