Debunking Con Categorizations
Comic cons have a reputation. You know of what I speak. They suffer from the misconception that their attendees are all social outcasts that fill their elaborate costumes with the overpowering stench of their rancid BO and couldn’t find a date even if their cousin were a Habsburg.
While these stereotypes aren’t entirely undeserved, they are at least largely inaccurate. Since I have been asked several times lately, in a condescending manner, what one does at a comic con and with whom, I feel like I should set the record straight. Yes, mostly because I love telling people how wrong they are.
Below you will find the most common comic con myths I have encountered and the reasons for their erroneousness.
Myth #1: You will detect no hints of hygienic products at comic cons.
Incorrect. While you will come across an attendee now and then that is little too ripe in their Batsuit, most smell at least tolerable. Honestly, that’s about the best you can hope for anywhere.
Myth #2: Unless you wear a Wolverine costume to bed every night, you aren’t a serious enough fan to enjoy a comic con.
Not true. There is a little something for every type and level of fan at comic cons. And, frankly, it’s fun just to observe the rampant enthusiasm of others.
Myth #3: If you tell your associates that you went to a comic con they will think less of you as a human being.
False. Apart from those that suffer from what I call “too-cool syndrome,” you will find that most of your acquaintances are either envious of your attendance or have been to a comic con themselves. As for the too-cool kids, they are in fact the most uncool people you will ever meet because they care too much about what others think of their interests to pursue hobbies out of their comfort zone. You are already cooler than them.
Myth #4: If you don’t have a shrine for your life-size Asuna doll built in your closet, you will have nothing in common with the patrons at comic cons.
Wrong. Most of the people at comic cons are just regular folks. Well, regular folks that like to wear spandex or collect functional lightsabers. Don’t worry, if you do have a shrine in your closet, you can find friends at comic cons too.
Myth #5: Your friends wouldn’t be caught dead at a comic con.
Bogus. I’ve seen your friends at comic cons. And, need I mention the obvious, I’m your friend and I’m at comic cons. We see so many of our buddies at comic cons that we regularly set up lunch or dinner dates with them during these events to catch up and discuss our fondest con experiences. It’s one of my favorite parts of these conventions.
Myth #6: A star panel couldn’t possibly be interesting unless you are so obsessed with the celebrity that you named your oldest and second-oldest kids after them.
Untrue. While celebrities are hardly heroes, they are entertaining people with amusing stories about things you will find fascinating and funny. You don’t have to be a hardcore stalker to appreciate a captivating talker. (Yup, I just made that up.)
Myth #7: The types of people that go to comic cons have no social skills and are therefore impossible to mingle with.
Wrong. We’ve met many intriguing and outgoing people at comic cons. Troy, how’s it going buddy?
We had a great time at Salt Lake Comic Con this fall. We listened to Mark Hamill, Will Shatner, Arthur Darvill, and Evanna Lynch. We learned about the ways sci-fi has addressed society’s woes. I even got the face of a green-blooded Vulcan tattooed on my arm. And, of course, we grabbed a meal or two with friends that we hadn’t seen in months. It was an entertaining event.
You must let go of your preconceptions, pride, dignity, ego, and “coolness” to experience the true power of comic cons. Will you meet an occasional fan that is eager to slither back to their mother’s basement to practice Parseltongue on their boa constrictor? Probably. But hey, who wouldn’t want to have an elegant conversation with their snakey? Just go with it.