An Ode to Comic Con

 

Before I launch into this, I want to throw out a hearty THANK YOU to the fantastic bloggers, reviewers, friends, and Twitter enthusiasts who helped spread the word on THE CARVER over the past few days. The initial love and support for this book has been unreal. It got to the point that I couldn’t “like” every Tweet I got tagged in. There were just far too many, and that’s such an amazing thing to be able to say. I’m over the moon with gratitude for you all!

On the side, I may have been spending this whole entire week celebrating in San Diego! I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a HUGE Marvel/superhero/comic lover, and it was a thrill to journey to the mecca of geekdom for my second year: San Diego Comic Con! YAY!

I have so much to say about this annual event and its special place in my heart. Some people tell me they don’t understand it, and I can’t judge that. From the outside, let’s be real: it sorta looks like a Black Friday sale on steroids. To be fair, there are people who go there and treat it that way. They throw things into bags big enough to carry me and push and shove (and sometimes get thrown out and it’s hilarious), and sometimes they don’t even know what they’re shoving into their bags. I can only speak for my own experiences and understanding, but ultimately, I feel that there’s a very beautiful side to this convention and a reason why I willingly braved the crowds a second time.

I think everybody needs something to believe in and something that they’re passionate about… the sort of thing they can’t outgrow and the sort of thing that grows with them. For me, that’s the culture that we celebrate about SDCC. It’s Marvel and DC and heroes and villains and the actors, writers, illustrators, and filmmakers who bring them to life. At its core, it’s stories. It’s the sort of life force that my mother imbued me with when I was going through chemotherapy almost twenty years ago. Superman would eat all his food; I should, too. Spider-Man would listen to the nurses; I should, too. Wolverine would be brave for the needle; I should, too. That’s where it started for me. Superheroes were role models, and as I grew, I saw the humanity in them and loved them for their flaws. For people who share my affinity for this culture, it means everything to stand in an endless line just to see Star-Lord/Chris Pratt flash the peace sign. It’s a thrill to think of Sabaa Tahir as some literary goddess and yet get to see her as a human who also geeks out over the X-Men.

One interesting thing that I keep remembering: talking to a fellow volunteer who has been doing this for 17 years and learning that at his first SDCC, there were 30,000 attendees. At the very first Con, there were maybe 100. This week, there were 130,000. I keep wondering: if I’m at SDCC in 15 more years, what am I going to be telling all the younglings about my first few Cons?

One thing I’d like to remember is the sense of comaraderie that one feels when you’re surrounded by superfans. This year, I camped out for the first time with the hopes of scoring some autographs from the cast of Arrow. The end result was that I got to spend about 10 seconds chatting with Charlie Hunnam and getting him to sign a poster for a movie I’d never heard of before. I may not remember that conversation in seventeen years, but I’ll definitely remember my first time camping out! I’ll remember how I thought I had such an edge on the other Arrow hopefuls by arriving at 1am. I’ll remember napping on the grass with a bottle of water, a blanket, and a couple of Cliff bars. I’ll remember that for about 9 hours, I was basically best friends with a few people I’ll probably never see again, all because we chose to suffer the #NotHallHLine for the exact same reasons!

Despite all the excitement, my legs feel like Jell-O. My eyes are a little red. I’m broke thanks to the corn dogs again. I’m a little relieved that SDCC is all done for the year and can’t wait to kick back and read my ARC print of A Torch Against the Night. But once my lower body strength returns, I’ll be anxiously awaiting next year’s SDCC!

On that note, who else is having a hard time waiting for the upcoming Harry Potter script book? What’s the “fandom” you geek out the hardest for, and why do you think you’re a fan?

Have a great week, friends!

 

 

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