My Weekend at Comic Con

July 18th, 2012

So remember how I went to Coachella and loved it and thought, I have to be more open to new experiences?  Well, I went to Comic Con last weekend.

Comic Con, in case you don’t know–but I bet you do–is a huge annual comic book convention in San Diego. Or, at least, it started out as a comic book convention.  Now it’s a comic book/movie/tv show/graphic novel/video game/Brony convention.  And it’s crowded.  Holy cow, is it crowded. In the convention hall, you don’t walk, you shuffle. A half step this way, then a half step that way.  Then you have to stop for a while to let Ron Perlman and his entourage go by. Then you get to take another little half step.

Here are the ways Comic Con is different from Coachella:

1. There are a lot more people dressed like Katniss and Chewbacca at Comic Con, and a lot fewer sorority girls in macrame dresses.

2. There’s air-conditioning at Comic Con, which is a very good thing because you are in an enclosed space with a hundred thousand or so other people, and somewhere between “I’m kind of squished” and “I can’t see my own feet” I became nostalgic for the wide open spaces of Coachella. Sure, the sun can be brutal there, but a patch of grass to call your own starts to sound pretty nice when you’re squished against a table of comic books on one side and someone wearing a storm trooper uniform on the other. Oh, and speaking of grass–yeah, there’s a lot less of that other kind at Comic Con too.  Like none.

3. There’s free stuff at Comic Con–mostly junk, but every once in a while someone hands you something sweet like an enormous bag with a picture of NATHAN FILLION on it (see below). And, no, you can’t have it. 

4. There’s a lot of noise at Comic Con: the sound of thousands of people saying at any given moment, “Do you have any Sherlock merchandise?” (The answer to which was a steady “No, we’re sold out.“). There’s a lot of sweet sweet music at Coachella.

5. The security guards are brusquer and more impatient at Comic Con, but it must just be a tougher job, because they’re the SAME security guards who were at Coachella.  (I know this, because one of them said something about Coachella in front of me, so I said, “I was there!” and he said, “Me, too!” and we high-fived.  We had a moment. I wonder if he’s thinking about me now . . .)

6.  There are lots of couples holding hands at both, but at Coachella, you think, “Eh, it won’t last,” and at Comic Con, you think, “Aw, I’m so glad those two found each other.”

So did I love Comic Con as much as I loved Coachella?  No–the terrific music under starry skies easily tips the balance in Coachella’s favor.  There’s something about listening to live music outside that transcends crowds and aching feet. But I didn’t hate Comic Con either–despite the crowds and lines, people were happy there and I enjoyed their happiness.

So here’s to freedom of choice.  Take your pick: music, comic books . . . whatever it is that floats your boat.  Find your people and share your bliss.

Anyone want to start a “reading Jane Austen while listening to Elvis Costello” club with me?