The 1970’s brought the world a revolution it didn’t know it needed.
46 years later, it’s still running stronger than ever, with attendance hovering around the 160,000 mark annually.
- 1970’s drew 145 people
- 1980’s drew 5000
- 1990’s drew 13,000
- 2000’s drew 48,500
- 2015’s drew 167,000
Now in 2016, Comic-Con, coupled with new movies, comics, toy lines and television shows has brought together a generation like never before. The world has embraced the wholesome goodness of my love and turned it into an unstoppable tsunami. For this once geek, dork, and weirdo, I couldn’t be happier.
If you have never walked through the halls of these events, you might be in for a surprise. On any given day you will see a collective of people dressed up as their favorite characters:
There is no place on the planet where it is cooler or more socially accepted to see people walking around like this.
For just a moment, the people dressed up who have spent their lifetime covering up their passion, are able to put it on full display without fear of ridicule, objection, or rejection.
Comic-Con provides a way to escape the everyday grind and reality of life to a world that does not exist. If you have had the chance to attend one, you know that it is like the family that you’ve been looking for.
This past weekend I attended the C4 Comic-Con (it’s what it is called in Winnipeg). As I walked around I couldn’t help but be overjoyed with what I saw. Everywhere that I looked, I saw adults, teens, and children all parading around proudly showing what they were wearing or what they had purchased.
Comic-Con has become such a large part of our culture that fans spend a year preparing their costume, saving their money, and mapping out exactly what they plan to do at the next one.
It is a beautiful thing.
Don’t fool yourself. It isn’t just for fans. Celebrity’s (who are actually fans at heart) take in the shows on more than just an appearance level. Ryan Reynolds, Chris Evans, are obviously big draws, and they should be, but it is when these ‘stars’ walk around that fans begin to cry. A word of warning, bring your earplugs to deafen the shrieks and shrills.
On my home base, I can’t begin to describe the atmosphere of the room as people lined up to meet one of the most beloved members of Star Trek, William Shatner.
Yes, William Shatner.
He led a long list of pop culture heroes that attendees are able to meet and take pictures with.
Over the years, the ‘Con’s’ have become a platform for mega announcements.
- Video games
Because there is no place in the world where more people will go crazy for these types of announcements. It is literally like a child waking up on Christmas day.
Even television shows are making it known that the Comic-Con’s are something to be aware of.
Arguably television’s most popular show, The Big Bang Theory, does not dance around the fact that its characters live and breath for Comic-Con. Multiple episodes have been created based on their fascination with pop culture and in my opinion, these shows are some of the best that they have to offer.
Personally, I have spent the last two years volunteering at the event so that I may get a behind the scenes look at exactly what is going on. From the setup to the takedown, I want to see and experience it all.
From what I can tell, the vendors are just as excited as the patrons to be there. Not because of the money they will make – and they will make a lot- but because of the atmosphere, they are in. The smiling kids, the over-anxious teenagers, and adults who get to become kids for a day.
For me, once the initial excitement subsides, I do what I love to do. I walk over to the artists, writers, and colorists and talk to them about their craft. Words can’t describe the feeling that comes over you when talking to the person that created your favorite character.
Typically, I want to know:
- how they got into it
- why they got into it
- is it as fun as it looks
- what is the best part about it
- who is better to work for, Marvel, DC, or one of the smaller companies
Finally, I ask them about buying their art, finalized with a “can you sign that?”.
Yes, a “can you sign that?”
If you get the chance, go and experience one of these events. You will see that it will be the one thing that should be on your bucket list, that isn’t.