“Being prepared” is an essential skill – so essential that one of our more homophobic organizations exists solely to cultivate said skill in young boys. I myself was never a Boy Scout, but I understand the importance of preparation, even if I don’t always do the deed as well as it could be done.
In this specific situation I find myself preparing for the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International. While the event has it’s preview night tonight, the festivities really begin tomorrow, and I will be in attendance with two dear friends for the second year in a row.
For the uninitiated, Comic Con is a grand expo where all things “geek” gather for four days of fun, fanaticism and oddities galore. No where else will you find Bradley Cooper side by side with a man dressed up as an obscure anime character. Here’s the thing though, even though you or I may not recognize said character from said anime, that intrepid young cosplayer will find dozens and dozens of people at Comic Con who do. That’s the great thing about Con, everyone is accepted no matter what, and you can bet you’ll find someone with whom to identify.
SDCCI began in the 70’s as an opportunity for like-minded individuals to share their enthusiasm over media outside of the mainstream (most commonly, comic books). Since then it has grown to encompass all avenues of entertainment, including movies, television, board games, websites, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. This expansion has occurred much to the chagrin of Comic Con purists, but it has helped to increase the event’s profile. Indeed, last year more than 130,000 people attended.
That’s a lot of information to take in, a lot of things to see, and a lot of strangers to avoid. So you’d think copious amounts of planning would be ideal. Last year, my companions and I did very little prep. When we got down to San Diego on Saturday we took the floor by storm, guerrilla-style. If we saw something we wanted to do, we did it. If we saw games we wanted to play, we played them. If we saw people in cool costumes, we took pictures with them. We were the kings (and queen) of Comic Con, and the great thing is, so was everyone else. Sure we talked about going to some panels, and we really should have prepared for something like that, but we figured we’d get to it next year.
Well, next year is here. As far as practical preparation goes, I’m almost set. I’ve got a duffel bag and everything I want to take with me, it’s just a matter of putting those things inside the aforementioned bag. If we’re talking about actual Con-related logistical preparation… well, not so much. We still want to hit some panels this year, but we’re gonna play it fast and loose. Because that’s how we do.
I prefer it this way. Part of the fun of Comic Con is exploring and discovering new things. If we scheduled everything out the entire experience would be boring. This way, we get down to San Diego, we check in to our hotel, we get our badges, and then? The world is our oyster, baby. You might find us in the game room with Robbie the boardgame designer, or you might find us rushing the stage at Hall H. Comic Con is a wrapped gift, a Schrödinger’s cat. We won’t know what it holds until the box is open. And you better watch out San Diego, because when our box opens, you won’t be able to close it.