Why I'm a comic book convention geek and proud of it
First the bad news: We just found out that San Diego Comic Con, the biggest comic convention in the country, just sold out of tickets in RECORD time. Now for the good news: There are a ton of other comic conventions popping up in this ever-expanding world of fandom, and each has its own special merits. For those of you who can’t wrap your head around the glory of comic book conventions, we’ve enlisted one of our readers to explain why con culture is more popular and relevant than ever, and what it really FEELS like to be apart of the community.
Darth Vader is in line with you at Starbucks. He offers to buy Sailor Moon a cake pop. No, it isn’t a dream — but it is a scene you’ll likely witness while attending a comic convention. And yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.
Conventions are the Cheesecake Factory of life: they offer so much and everyone is welcome. There are multi-fandoms and groups you would never meet otherwise. Every single person is just as excited as you are. It’s a comforting feeling to be amongst friends, amongst kindred spirits; to find a girl standing next to you at a booth, buying the exact same action figure that you are. I used to be coy about my geekiness, but conventions helped me break free of my shell.
I’ve attended conventions for the last eight years. Comic Con was my first, but while it’s the belle of the ball, there are a lot of other conventions on that dance floor. Around the world, there are conventions of all types going on; from Walker Stalker Con in San Fran, to Comikaze in LA, to many other fandom-based ones. In the past few years, I’ve dove deeper into the geeky pool of cons, and have yet to come up for air (I brought a snorkel).
When I first attended Comic Con, I was a bit overwhelmed. There’s a pulse to the crowd, and it’s a lot like Christmas morning, when you know there are incredible gifts waiting for you, and you’re already halfway down the stairs. And conventions truly are a holiday. You’re celebrating fandoms, pop culture, and so much more. Surrounded by a make shift family of those dressed up, young and old, you find that conventions become a day you look forward to all year.
Some people tend to have a pre-conceived notion brewing about cons and the type of people who attend them, but put your eye of newt down and stop boiling. I’m here to tell you that conventions are a hub for fandom families and passionate people. There are artists, writers, creators, fashionistas, and many more talented and glowing people walking the aisles. And we are passionate, be it about video games, movies, comics, or T.V. shows. We are a collective family who wants to geek out over the latest Pop Figure, or meet the cast of Supernatural. Conventions are a hub for finding those who share your passion. And the feeling of finding them is even better than seeing Jake Ryan waiting outside for you on your birthday (a bold statement, I know).
After seasoning myself in convention culture, I’ve learned to navigate conventions to a tee. It’s like Black Friday: there are going to be crowds and you’re probably going to end up purchasing a slew of new items (keep an empty backpack close by), but it’s always worth it. Comfortable shoes are key, and also needed, in case you hear your favorite star is across the convention floor signing autographs. And you just might find yourself eating lunch next to Iron Man, so always come prepared to put on your biggest childlike grin.
Conventions, which happen all over the world, are celebrations of our loves, our obsessions, and our fellow fans. Being a part of the convention lifestyle has truly shaped the geeky girl I am today. Life is too short not to wear your favorite movie t-shirt, to dress up like your favorite character, or simply to attend an event you have never been to before. No matter who you are, there’s a memory to be made by attending a convention. I have waited in line for the little girls room with zombies and a female Doctor Who. How often can you say that? If not for the swag and the geekery, attend a convention for the people watching. Conventions are a constant catwalk of superheroes and characters from all genres, and it’s always a sight to behold.
There are conventions constantly happening all over the world. Do a little research, and you will likely find one near you. Don’t be afraid to attend. You don’t have to cosplay — all you have to do is be passionate about anything! Even the most obscure fandoms have a home at conventions. This year, I’m attending both WonderCon and Comic Con in California. I can’t wait to see old friends, and make new ones. And although these conventions are still a few months away, I can already feel the excitement building as I plan what new action figures I’ll be scoping out.
We’re all limited editions, whether we’re thinking inside or outside the box. Let your geek flag fly all year long. Convention life is something everyone should try once. You’ll probably find yourself liking it after all these years of denying it. In the end, conventions are a lot like a first date. You’re picking out your outfit, you don’t know what’s going to happen; but you may end up having the most magical night of your life. Who knows? Might as well say yes and find out. I’ll see you there.
Cassie Brown is a full time geek and a part time entrepreneur of cats. She’s a writer, living in Los Angeles, constantly updating her instant Netflix queue. You can follow her on Twitter or read about her geek adventures on http://geekingbitch.tumblr.com/.