By Carrie Lynn
What’s a comic book convention?
There are many different names, for example, San Diego Comic-Con and Wizard World comic con. When you get right to it, they are all the same. The only difference is the company that puts them on.
Comic-cons focus on comic books and comic book culture (although that has changed significantly over the years as it has also become a place to celebrate movies and video games as well).
It’s a place for fans to gather to meet creators, celebrities and to meet each other. It’s also a place where people love to cosplay as their favorite comic book character, game characters, and their favorite movie characters.
At comic-cons, people can experience workshops, costume contests and panels with their favorite actors.
A Comic-con can mean something totally different for each person. I remember my first comic-con. It was Wizard World. I always hesitate to go to comic-cons because I don’t do well in places with a lot of people. I sucked up my anxiety and went with my sister.
When we walked into the con, the sight was overwhelming. There were booths everywhere with so many different collectibles. I felt like a kid in a candy store. My sister and I walked for what seemed like miles. Every time I turned around I would see something new. There were so many cosplay people! It was exciting, the time and effort people put into their costumes is pretty amazing.
I got to meet a celebrity that I watched on TV all the time. Remember Superman from Lois & Clark? That’s right, Dean Cain!
For a moment it didn’t seem real. I can remember as clear as it was yesterday. When it was time for my photo with him I walked in and was standing right in front of him.
I was feeling so many emotions! Then he reached out to shake my hand as he introduced himself. It was about a 1-minute meet, snap, and go, but it felt much longer.
They snapped the photo and I ran out and started crying. My sister followed me out and so did Dean. He asked me if I was ok and that I didn’t need to rush off. I couldn’t get any words out. However, it showed me that this celebrity that I have watched in so many different roles on TV was actually a real person who truly cared for his fans.
When the day was done I was ready to go home. I now could say I went to a comic-con and I didn’t need to anymore.
It’s funny how we make plans but then something will come along and change that plan. I planned on not going to another comic-con. With the emotions and all the excitement that goes on, I was ok with not going again and I believed they would all be the same.
Like I said, plans change.
I was informed that 2 people would be at this comic con in Salt Lake City. This time it would be another Superman, Tom Welling! But not just him, he was going to be with Michael Rosenbaum too! Now, when I met the celebrity at Wizard World I thought that would be enough. Boy oh boy, was I wrong.
This time I knew what to expect. I promised myself I would not cry. When it came time to meet Tom it was like my first comic con all over again!
I could feel the tears coming as I handed about 7 items to him to get signed. I was totally shaking like a tree in a wind storm. But then I remember that these celebrities are just like us. So the tears got turned off. I started talking and laughing with him.
I had my service dog with me who I dressed up as Clark Kent. Even though I was still shaking and probably looked like a weirdo, he took his time with me. This made the experience mean so much more.
Now, I know that not all celebrities are not the same and they treat their fans differently. I had a not so pleasant interaction with one but I was lucky enough to meet 3 that love their fans and treat us equally. Plus, there were plenty of new experiences to have at the new comic-con.
So, what does Comic-Con mean to me?
Comic-cons have shown me that there are other people out there who enjoy the same things as I do. I’ve gained respect for the cosplay people. The passion they have is amazing!
I also love getting to see celebrities that I never imaged I would meet in person. It made my love for comics and art grow.
But most of all, it taught me that nothing is ever set in stone.
Here are a few things you don’t want to forget when you go to a con.
1. A Camera. You will likely want to take pictures to remember that day.
2. A cell phone and charger. The event you are at may have updates for the audience with times that certain events start, etc… if you forgot your camera, you will have your phone to take pictures and videos. If you get lost in the crowd, you can call your friend or partner to find each other.
3. A Big Bag. You will leave with a lot more stuff than you planned!
4. Comfortable shoes. It’s a must to put on your most comfortable pair of shoes! You will be walking and standing in line for a long time. It makes it a little easier, especially when you attend a 3-day con.
5. Cash. Although many venders will accept credit cards, you don’t want to take a chance that if you see something you like and they only accept cash. You don’t want to be searching for an ATM.
6. Sharpie/Paint Pens. If you want a certain item, for example, a Funko pop, most of the celebrities’ booths will have pins, but if you want a certain color don’t take a chance that the booth will have it. Paint pens are the best for them to sign Funko pops.
7. Water! You don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a bottle of water on site. That also applies to food.
So what are you waiting for? Go check one out!