How a Fangirl Became a Perky Nerd

A Perky Nerd is Born 

People come into the shop and ask me all the time, “Soooooo what got you into this stuff?”  This stuff meaning the shop and everything in it. If you don’t live in Burbank, California,  the shop is The Perky Nerd. A comic book shop filled with cute collectibles, Funko Pops, games, fan art, cold brew coffee and more. Hence, the Perky Nerd (coffee keeps you perky and comics and more for the nerdy). It’s all a whirlwind how it came to be really.  I really wanted to open a cat café since I was known for my love of cats from my one woman show, “CONFESSIONS OF A CAT LADY (with a side of crazy!).” But after much research and a road trip, that idea evolved into a comic shop that sells bottled cold brew coffee.  Then, BOOM The Perky Nerd was born. So that brings me back to everyone’s question, “what got you into this?”

Perky Nerd as Ms. Marvel By Mike Essa

My First Comic Shop Experience

I usually respond with a retelling of my first comic book shop outing. I discovered Ms. Marvel comics in 2006 when my husband took me on an excursion to find some Amazing Spider-Man issues he was missing from his collection. I’m  originally from Arizona and had actually never stepped inside a comic book shop ever. So this was a new world. Shelves full of bright, pretty pages was overwhelming to this newbie. I didn’t know where to start and definitely didn’t want to ask the dudes at the counter and reveal I was a first timer. Then I saw a cover with this strong badass woman in a black leotard with long flowing blonde hair and I thought, “stop the presses, who is that? Vicki Vale.”   Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t into comics, but I definitely knew of the greats, cinematically at least. For the record, Michael Keaton is the best Batman. Michael Keaton IS Batman.  OKAAAAYYY 😆 

Carol Danvers Fever

Back to the badass on the shelf. I was intrigued by this Ms. Marvel character and picked up all the available issues.  I’ll give this a whirl and see what happens. That’s when I got hooked on Carol Danvers. She can fly, she has superhuman strength, she can shoot energy bursts out her hands, and doesn’t take shit from anyone. Her human traits were my favorite things about her as former Air Force, BFF’s with Spiderwoman, and always trying to prove herself.  I wanted to be her,  so I made a costume to be classic Ms. Marvel in the black leotard, red sash, and thigh high boots. Any excuse to dress up, so that was my costume for Halloween that year, later to find it’s called cosplay when you do it for Cons.

Becoming Nerdy 

At the time, I was not well versed in this nerd world and was not up on the lingo aka correct terminology for things. For instance,  I didn’t even know what it meant when they asked if I wanted a bag and board with my comic, “do you want a bag and board” sounded like a foreign language to me. I just laughed and said no thanks pretending like I knew.  This is why I’m very sensitive to people who seemed perplexed when I ask them at my own shop. You have to understand how intimidating it is to walk into a comic book shop when it actually is your first time. I still don’t know everything about comics and I don’t pretend to either. It’s one of the reasons I think people feel comfortable coming into the shop. It’s ok if you have never been into comics and just want to check it out.  You can like whatever you want AND you can choose to know as much or as little as you want. Thankfully, I loved the first comic I tried and got so wrapped up in Carol Danvers I wanted to know EVERYTHING. My husband even surprised me with the entire first Ms. Marvel run from the 70’s. It was like discovering buried treasure. It was so cool to find a character I liked so much. My nerd flag was flying, or so I thought.

My version of Chewie & Carol

Everyone is a Nerd

Then I went to WONDER CON. An explosion of ALL THE THINGS! That’s when being a nerd took a different and more intense turn in my world. Maybe too intense. I’m more of a casual person altogether. I like things to be fun and ….fun. Being a nerd suddenly came with lots of questions when you say you read comics and you like to cosplay. Have you read the origins of Ms. Marvel? Do you know who Captain Marvell is? Did you know DC also had a Captain Marvel? Is your costume comic accurate? OMG! This was too much. Can’t I just like something? The answer is YES, YOU CAN!  And you can do it at the Perky Nerd. You can be a fan of anything you want and you can be as big or small of a fan as you like. While I admire the hell out of guys that retain information about the entire DC Universe, or can recite every detail of the MCU, I don’t have the time to research and memorize all the ins and outs of every comic ever made. And the things I do know, sometimes leak out of my mom brain. It’s a side effect of having made a human.  Luckily, Carol Danvers was my jam, and I enjoyed learning everything about her. Til they changed her!

Comics Are Paper Soap Operas

Much to my dismay, Ms. Marvel became Captain Marvel. Not going to lie, I went into that transition kicking and screaming (not literally, ok maybe a tiny bit of screaming). I LOVED Carol as she was in all her tushy-hanging-out-glory. She rocked that leotard hard in my opinion. She was the shit as Ms. Marvel, I had dreams of playing her in the movies one day. Why change something awesome? But alas, I gave the Kelly Sue DeConnick “Captain Marvel” a try, and I felt like a kid that has to sheepishly admit their mom was right, because I ended up falling in love with this version of Carol D too. It was great! Plus, it had a great storyline with Chewie. Did I mention one of my favorite things is Carol is her cat lady aspect? She has a cat named after Chewbacca, who also happens to be one of my obsessions. Two fantastic worlds collide in the best way ever.  All the C’s. Cats, Chewbacca, Carol, Comics 😻throw in Coffee. You’ve got one Perky Nerd.

Carol D to Save The Day!

And NOW is the ultimate time to be alive. Carol Danvers is finally going to be in the movies. Obviously, I’m not playing her as I always hoped. Sad face. But, Brie Larson certainly does Carol justice.  See the trailer that makes me cry tears of joy (click here!) The best part is Captain Marvel isn’t going to be just some  cameo. She’s going to save the whole freaking world and have her very own movie. The time has come for Carol to become known by all.  I’m so thankful the MCU exists because it has made it easier for people to be nerdy.

Tiny Confession

I secretly want to keep Carol all to myself.  Sort of like when you’re a regular  at a bar. It’s quaint and cozy, the service is great and they know you by name. You want to hoard all the charm for yourself. Then, it gets on a Buzzfeed list and everyone’s favorite bar. That’s how I feel about Carol. I liked her first before it was cool. She’s a strong badass woman that becomes Earth’s Mightiest Hero. She’s the leader of next generation of the MCU. A woman led film after a long line of teasing a BLACK WIDOW stand alone.  That’s EXACTLY why I need to share. Spread that Carol D love. Increase the Carol Corps numbers. Captain Marvel is MY Wonder Woman. March 8th can’t come soon enough.

P.S. If you are wondering why Wonder Woman isn’t MY Wonder Woman, join me for the next post, “Confessions of a Perky Nerd.”


Check out this extensive list here of how to catch up on the life of Carol Danvers in all it’s renditions.  These books are available at The Perky Nerd so you can dive into the world of Captain Marvel now!


And to let your Carol Corps flag fly with our Captain Marvel items!

Follow us on FB for Fashion Shows at Lunch!

Loungefly Backpack Order Loungefly Captain Marvel Mini Backpack Now!

Loungefly Purse Order Captain Marvel Loungefly Purse Now!

Bioworld Wallet  Pre-Order Captain Marvel Wallet now!

Bioworld Crossbody  Pre-Order Captain Marvel Crossbody Now!

I love supporting other woman owned businesses like Elhoffer Design. She has an awesome Corps Shawl coming out in November. Don’t miss out on all the Carol merch.  Corps Shawl Link to Order Now!

Stay Perky, Nerds!