Comic Cons: the Mecca of Nerdom! My entire adult life I’ve seen advertisements for different cons and talked to friends who have gone to various conventions (Blizzcon and San Diego Comic Con, for example). Part of me always wanted to go, to immerse myself in the culture that I loved, be it comics, Star Trek, or Blizzard games. The other part of me was afraid that the crowds would be overwhelming, that I would walk in, do a quick sardine packed lap, and walk out.
Recently, I finally had the privilege of attending my first con! Well, technically it was my first con is decades; I did go to a small Star Trek convention with my family as a kid. Silicon Valley Comic Con (or SVCC) however was my first con as an adult. Since joining the Capeless Crusaders, it is something that I both anticipated and dreaded. Thankfully, my good friends on the Cru were there to guide me.
First reactions? It was amazing! Walking around the convention floor taking in the sights, the art, the collectibles, and my childhood on display in many places. It was a little overwhelming, but even though SVCC is good sized comic con, it is not considered one of the “big ones” in comparison to other more established events. Not being a “big con” is not at all a bad thing here: there was plenty of space to move and breath, but also plenty to see, including vendors, creators, actors, artists anything a nerdy heart could desire.
My favorite place was artist alley. So many different artists putting their spin on the characters that we love to see on screen and on the pages of our favorite comics. We also stumbled upon a few comic creators in this area, sharing their unique characters and stories. Every person in this area had something different to share; their own spin on a character or scene, a silly twist on something serious, or a delightfully unexpected crossover. I recall a Mega-man vs Alien print that caught my eye.
The artists are not the only ones that put their creativity on display. The cosplayers were out in force, and there were some fantastic renditions of so many characters. In a few cases some characters were done by many different players. The camaraderie of these costumed heroes was fantastic to see. I was surprised and delighted to see two Captain Americas, or two Wonder Womans (Women?) talking to each other, taking pictures together, and complimenting one another on their work.
In addition to the cosplay contest, SVCC also brought in a fashion show. Not just any fashion show, the Geek Fashion show, in its tenth year. Different designers taking inspiration from things like Lord of the Rings or Star Trek and the like. I’m probably one of the last people to raise my hand and volunteer to sit in on a fashion show, but I was excited to see this one. It did not disappoint. Once again the support of fans and models alike was incredible, and the work of the designers was great. A dress from the line Lord of the Seams inspired by Gondor and an octopus onesies from another line stand out in my mind.
Now on to the real reason I wanted to tag along, the comics! While the only thing I really bought was art, listening to the artists or writers of the comics we read talk about their work was humbling. Mainly because they are also very modest. David and I chatted with Marv Wolfman, legendary writer for DC comics (David did most of the talking really), and his thoughts on his work Crisis on Infinite Earths were surprising. He never suspected that 30 years later we would still be talking about his event, instead he thought what was to come after was the big news! After leaving Mr. Wolfman and walking the floor once again, we made our way to some comic vendors. On their walls were copies of issues like the first appearance of Swamp Thing, the Death of Superman, and many other old and important issues of comic history.
Initially I thought that the sealing, or slabbing, of the books was a neat idea, keeping them pristine. However, why do most of us who love comics buy them? To read them, of course! I found the books that were accessible more interesting; maybe they had a few folded corners and wrinkles to them, but I could pull one out of a box and flip through it.
Over all, what a great experience. Comic cons are a place to remind ourselves the bond that nerds have! We all love the stories that comic writers craft and the arts and colors that the pencilers and inkers create when we pick up a comic book and dive in. These stories shaped our childhood and spawned great shows like “Batman: The Animated Series” and movie universes like the MCU! Whether you are a noobie to cons like me, or an old pro, I highly recommend attending SVCC next year. If you do look me up, I’ll be the quiet guy taking in the sights with a childlike grin on my face!
-Manderson, the Son of Mander