I first started going to Comic-Con in '08 - it was my present to myself for my 40th birthday (figured I'd kick off the mid-life crisis in style). And I must admit that walking into the San Diego Convention Center that first time was a life-changing experience. In the midst of all the crowds and sensory overload and adrenaline was a feeling of calm. Knowing that everyone here got it. It didn't matter what "it" was - specifics didn't matter. But everyone understood the enthusiasm, and supported it. I realized that for once in my life, I didn't have to explain myself or the things I liked. This was a great feeling, because I'd spent most of my life apologizing for my taste in things. Since then, I've resolved to never apologize for liking what I do, whether it be some weird art-house movie or a Regency romance novel. I'm not always successful, but at least I try.
Yes, Comic-Con is way too crowded these days. Yes, getting tickets is such an utter boondoggle that I operate under the assumption that every Con might be my last one. Yes, it's an exhausting few days. But it's something special. There's nothing else quite like it.
I will turn the mike over to
"Comic-Con is more than comics. More than the merchandise packed into oversize shoulder bags. More than the cosplay enthusiasts and doodad collectors. It's not the sneak previews, the special surprise guests, the actors or enormously talented writer-directors of the third-grossing-highest movies of all time. It's the freedom to geek out in wild abandon, to enjoy freely and without judgment. It's the best part of fandom. It's the best part of excitement and dedication. It's generosity of spirit. it's the best part of thousands of people in one place at one time."
So I'm getting ready. I've got my nerdy t-shirts picked out. I'm debating which hat (a chapeau is my trademark) to wear. My Phantom of the Paradise cape is being hemmed at the cleaners (people kept stepping on it last year). I'm researching restaurants so Karen and I get at least one good meal in each day. I'm bringing swag for friends' books to leave on the freebie table. I'm getting ready to dance at the nerd prom.