No convention is like San Diego Comic-Con. I’ve been around and so far, nothing has compared to the size and circus that is Comic-Con. It’s a feeling of being home amongst friends – even though you haven’t met most of the tens of thousands of people there.
I checked into my hotel on Wednesday before Preview Night. Well, tried to check in. The room wasn’t ready so I set up my laptop in the lobby area to get work done while I waited. I hadn’t been there two minutes when a fellow convention attendee spotted my Star Wars tattoo. “You have a Rebel Alliance tattoo. You’re a good person.”
I almost hugged him – not for the compliment but because I was among people who get it. Who get me.
I spend most of my days in an office full of people who don’t understand things why I loved Pacific Rim so much and had to make a tank top in the few days between seeing the movie and Comic-Con. When others give me that askance look I sometimes I feel like my enthusiasm over something as simple as a movie or book or toy is childish. I know it’s not, and I love that I am young at heart and can be passionate about things (I feel sorry for those who don’t get excited about anything, honestly) but it can be draining to be around people who think you’re silly.
Cue Comic-Con where geeks and like-minded people invade a city. The convention doesn’t end after you step outside of the convention center. You’ll see lanyards, costumes, banners, exhibits, and themed menus damn near everywhere in a two mile radius. Some people may count not being able to escape as a negative, but I love being immersed. If I talk about being traumatized by the Red Wedding and crying over it for days, chances are good a few people around me will sympathize rather than rolling their eyes.
It’s a safe place for me.
I’m not saying I don’t get worn down. Walking the mile from my hotel over to the Hilton Bayfront for a press room and then over to Hard Rock and back to the convention center to race to Ballroom 20 is exhausting. I get tired. I get hungry and cranky. It’s still worth it though because even though it’s hard work, I still spend most of the five day marathon that is Comic-Con smiling, laughing, and waving my arms around in an animated Muppet flail. So much I see there is heartening. From cool toys to fans who pour hours into costumes to people dedicated enough to wait overnight in line for Hall H – it all lets me know I’m not alone.
Even on the last day of the convention when I was feeling completely wiped, I transformed into a giddy girl when I saw the life-sized LEGO Bag End set up by the Bayfront. I’m sure the stoic security guard thought my bouncing around was crazy, but I didn’t care. Posing on the steps of Bilbo’s blocky house fueled my day and the fun continued right up to the end when I spotted a little girl in a TARDIS Transformer costume.
On my walk over to the Bayfront that day as I dodged costume parts and people handing out free bandanas, I heard a man telling his companion in an awed tone, "They shut down streets for this, it must be a big deal.” Yes, yes it is.
Few judgments, few weird looks, kindred spirits, and awesome eye candy - those are the reasons I do everything in my power to go to this particular Comic-Con every single year. Others just can't top it.