To some people, yearly comic conventions are like Christmas, the most wonderful time of their year. Then there are others who, let’s be honest, just don’t get it. It’s understandable. There are things about comic conventions that may seem a bit unappealing. There are the cosplayers who make some rather questionable wardrobe choices. It’s a huge crowd and the whole place is lined with venders just aching to take your money. Then there are the long lines for everything from food to the restrooms and the astronomical cost of the VIP passes.
Having been to a couple comic cons in Philly, I can tell you that there are some wardrobe choices that I can’t unsee no matter how hard I try. There were definitely some tutus that should’ve been four-fours. Huge crowds can be off-putting and retail temptation can be tough for people to resist. Long lines suck, especially for the restroom and the cost of the VIP passes can be prohibitively expensive and makes it seem like the whole event is all about money. But…
While comic cons may not be for everybody, they’re still an absolute blast to go to. I had an awesome time at Philly Comic Con for the following reasons:
1) The cosplayers. Yes even the ones with rather questionable wardrobe choices that I can’t unsee. People show up in some really awesome stuff. I’m always amazed at the level of creativity that goes into it. Even the questionable wardrobe choices show a certain level not just of creativity but of sheer gutsiness and I admire that. Do your thing, cosplayers!
2) The huge crowds because that means there are loads of people around who share the same interests I do. It’s a great feeling belonging to such a huge community. The vendors are actually really cool and happy to help you find what you’re looking for without a high-pressure sales pitch. You can find trade paperbacks dirt cheap especially on the last day of the con when the vendors slash their prices just so they won’t have to haul them back. Speaking of vendors, Yards brewery was one of them this year and getting day-wasted at Philly Comic Con is a somewhat fuzzy memory that I will cherish forever.
3) The long lines only suck if you make them suck. It’s all about changing your mindset. Think about it: you’re in a huge convention center filled with people who are into the same stuff you are. You’re waiting anyway, so why be bored? Strike up a conversation! Crack some jokes! Just be careful with your laughter if you’re in line for the restroom to avoid any potential embarrassment. I hear urine stains are a bitch to clean out of Lycra.
4) Yes, the VIP passes are expensive, but here’s a little secret: the thing about VIP passes is that you don’t really need them unless there’s someone in particular that you absolutely can’t live without seeing and you do get a lot for your money. You get a photo-op, an autograph, cool swag, and admission to a Q&A session with one of your favorite celebrities. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and you can’t put a price on that. A wise person once said collect experiences, not things.
Money can’t buy good times with friends or cherished memories, but both are things that can be found at a comic con. The experience is absolutely worth it. Comic cons have a little something for everybody. There’s a spectacle for the voyeur in us all. They provide a nice excuse to pull out the sewing machine and get busy and creative. You can find a crap ton of back issue comics and trade paperbacks if that’s your thing. If you’re a social butterfly there are loads of people to talk to. If you’re not really that social, trust and believe that there are loads of people who feel the same way you do. No matter what you’re into, you can be sure that you won’t get bored at a comic convention. There’s just something really awesome about a group of people getting together to share the things they love with each other. Even if comic cons aren’t really your thing, I think we can all safely agree that there are much worse ways to spend a weekend.