“You are such a nerd! Why do you like going to Comic-Con so much?”
I hear the same thing every year from so-called “friends.” Every year, San Diego Comic-Con rolls around, and for five glorious days, I feel like I belong somewhere. I get to spend my days with thousands of people who have the same interests I do. And it’s a blast.
For 360 days a year, I play the game. Sure, I let my geek flag fly on the daily, but maybe it’s at half-staff. I tone it down a lot. I try so hard to fit into society and be “normal.” You know what? It’s exhausting. I do my best to fit into a society I know little to nothing about. I lack social skills. I say the wrong things at the wrong times. I offend people without meaning to. I have zero tact. I’m not even sure I know what tact is. Sometimes, social situations make me want to crawl into a hole so deep that I can feel the heat of the Earth’s core. More often than not, I just want to be left alone. I don’t want to talk to people, deal with people’s crap, or even have people anywhere near me.
Except at Comic-Con. When I got to Comic-Con, I have no problem standing in line with thousands of people around me. I’ll strike up conversations. I’ll even jump into a conversation that’s happening around me. Want to sit next to me during a panel? Sure! I almost don’t even care that you smell like rotten onions and Mountain Dew. If I miss something, no big deal. There’s always something equally as awesome happening that I can totally do. I can turn to the person behind me in line and ask them to watch my stuff while I go to the bathroom. And when I get back, not only is my stuff still there, but the people are waving me down because the line moved, so they moved my stuff with it. There is a sense of camaraderie that is very hard to find.
Sure, there are a few rotten apples. There are some who break the rules and make it harder for the rest of us. But that’s maybe 5% of attendees. It’s the other 95% – the vast majority of nerds, dorks, geeks, dweebs, and spazzes just like me who just want to go somewhere and celebrate our nerd culture. Call it “Nerdvana” if you want, but it feels like five days of heaven where I feel like I can finally be myself and fit in. I don’t have to pretend or play games (unless I want to, and they’re video games, or maybe D&D, or Magic: The Gathering). You get my point.
This year, I took a leap and joined the SDCC Unofficial Blog, and I love it. I love the opportunities it affords me to write about things I’m passionate about. I love my fellow bloggers. I love the new things I was able to do this year because of it. I can’t wait to see what happens next year.
So, there you have it. That is why Comic-Con means so much to me. Maybe you get it; maybe you don’t. If you do, great. If not, I don’t care. Because I’m not going to stop going. I’m not going to give this up because you think it’s weird. And if you don’t get it, that’s fine. But please afford me five days to let myself go. Otherwise, it’s going to turn into all 365 days, and then none of you will like what I turn into.