I went to the spring Comic-Con recently. Growing up in the golden area before the mobile phone I’m grateful to have been able to develop as a human being without the pressures of Facebook, Instagram and snapchat dragging me into a bigger pit of body dysmorphia and self loathing.
Instead of taking pictures of myself with doggie filters you would find me reading a book. Or fully immersed in Hellblazer graphic novels and shows like Charmed (the original obviously), Daria, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek next generation, Knight Rider, Babylon five, The A Team, Quantum Leap, Stargate etc.
With this in mind you can imagine how excited I was to discover that we have a comic con right here in London not once but twice a year (I thought this was a right of passage only given to our American brethren). This event was like Nirvana to me so I grabbed two tickets and an appropriately ghoulish zombie cocktail to celebrate.
On the day I crossed the threshold in gleeful reverence. The Olympic conference center had been transformed into a place of pop culture worship. A cathedral of cool. A sexy, cesspool of guilty pleasures… and it took my breath away.
Towering wookies, blood-covered zombies, vampires, star troopers and even Darth Vader himself wandered among a heaving crowd of like-minded enthusiasts.
Mr Maybe had dutifully accompanied me and watched from an amused distance as his usually composed / effortlessly chic girlfriend lost her shit entirely and wandered slack jawed through the Aladdins cave before us. It took all of five minutes for him to suggest we split up (geographically) and regroup in half an hour because I was spending so much time pouring over a trove of comic books that he was likely to gnaw his fist off.
To say I was like a kid in a sweet shop is an understatement. I ricocheted from stall to stall and amassed a collection of gorgeous little items:
My personal favourite being the Charmed picture signed by Holly Mary Combes, but the ‘Sunny Dale High’ jacket comes a close second.
I will probably be buried with both.
Attending Comic-Con was a really important experience for me. Which sounds ridiculous I’m sure, but its true. When I was a child and into all the weird and wonderful things I was heavily into, you can imagine how that went down with children my own age. Fruit was flung. Names were called… and it made the things that gave me joy shameful experiences. Compare this emotional hell to today and guess what? The very same people shaming me are suddenly wearing T-shirt’s emblazoned with the same shows they ridiculed me for enjoying.
I have to agree with Alanis on this one. It is ironic isn’t it?
So, being around a huge crowd of people embracing who they are and what they love really made me feel quite emotional. To the point Mr Maybe looked a bit concerned when he finally discovered me sat in a corner, wiping away sentimental tears of nerd-joy on my commemorative Dangermouse tissues.
But it was a poignant moment. Get off my back.
All I would say is if you know a kid who is really into art or fashion or anything that makes them happy (and doesn’t involve sacrificing animals / anything harmful etc) – give them a bit of encouragement. Maybe you personally think it’s lame, but believe me when I say that hearing “wow, that’s so cool” every so often will genuinely make their day.