Friday, May 8, 2015

What the Fuck Happened to Comic Con?

Some of you may be too young to remember, but once upon a time, there were comic book conventions that would pop up every now and then for like-minded fans, or “nerds” if you will, to get together, have fun, bullshit about comics, and even meet and greet writers and artists that work in the industry, and ever so rarely, meet a few lower-tier celebrities that somehow had some kind of ties to the comic book world. Hell, some people would even dress up as their favorite characters, which helped make going to these things even more fun. Sometimes these conventions, or “cons” if you will, would range from a whole day, to a whole weekend, and wouldn’t break your bank either. What an awesome time these cons proved to be; even going so far as to group like-minded people together and inadvertently form lasting friendships and even relationships…all founded on their respective fandoms.

Fast forward to now, and these little cons are barely what they used to be. Instead, the comic con business has turned into just that: a business. While everything I said in the above paragraph still happens, it doesn’t feel that way anymore. Instead, if you go to the big cons especially, you’re bombarded with people trying to sell you shit. Whether it be from cosplayers that know they’re hot and know little about what they’re cosplaying (note: I’m not calling out all cosplayers here, I know for a fact that there are quite a bit that are passionate about what they do and thoroughly enjoy doing it with their endgame not being making a few bucks) to D-list celebrities telling you for 30 bucks they’ll give you an autograph, the fun of comic cons has been lost on me.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had some bad experiences at the last few cons I’ve gone to. Maybe it’s because as the older I’ve gotten, the more jaded I’ve become. Maybe it’s because I get sick of seeing all the media coverage given to them now, which have helped take this thing which was primarily a gathering of like-minded nerds and blown it up so much so that now it’s only another super-commercialized event.

I don’t know, I honestly don’t.

I remember in my youth going to these things and meeting writers and artists in the industry. That was, and still is, my favorite part of cons. Getting to meet and greet the people behind some of my favorite comics. I never had a problem laying down cash to get an autographed print from someone whose artwork I would fawn over…and I still don’t. Those kind of people are who I believe should be the main attraction at comic cons, not an ex-pro wrestler living out of his car or a washed up NBA player looking to make whatever money he can because he blew it all in the past (side note: Allen Iverson at Philly Comic Con? Really? I know he’s a Sixers legend, but come the fuck on…that has nothing to do with any fucking thing associated here at all). If you go to cons quite a bit, the people that actually work in comic books are the ones that deserve your time, attention, and even a few bucks, because they work in the industry and put their blood, sweat, and tears into it.

Like I said before: maybe I’m getting old and jaded and have just fallen away from the audience these things are catered to now. That very well could be. Doesn’t change the fact that I’d take meeting Neal Adams, Grant Morrison, or Ethan Van Sciver (yes, even Ethan fucking Van Sciver) over James Marsters, Virgil, or even Nathan Fillion. Those guys mean more to me than any celebrity charging you 200 bucks for meeting them and pictures.

In closing, all you cats going to the cons this year have fun and all that. I’ll be staying home reminiscing about the glories of yesteryear. Or jerking off to Jessica Nigri (maybe…probably).

Get off my lawn.

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