The Good, the bad, and the Nerdy
In September, we again welcomed the nerdery that is Salt Lake Comic Con like Klingons embrace an honorable death. Not everything is fantastic about comic conventions; here’s a rundown of what makes these events awesome and awful.
My favorite thing about SLCC remains catching up with friends and discussing convention occurrences with them over meals. We had dinner with two different groups during SLCC this time and thoroughly enjoyed both.
SLCC, like other cons, suffers a bit from the-more-the-merrier and profits-at-all-costs syndromes. The Grand Nagus would be proud. The organizers and vendors want every line packed. Longer lines = more money. Photo shoots with stars often feel more like cattle chutes; these affairs are always oversold, and there is a constant push to shove people through as quickly as possible. Although some celebrities want to have a little extra time to interact with fans during photos, they too seem pressured to hurry. (I’ve actually witnessed impatient photographers tapping their toes at stars when those stars have taken a few extra seconds to talk to someone.) I’m sure the pursuit of high profits over pleasant experiences is common to every con; I think these conventions could find a better balance between the two.
On our first day at SLCC, we went to the Jewel Staite, Thomas F. Wilson and Christopher Lloyd, and Joan and John Cusack panels. All of these sessions were entertaining. Joan Cusack was as eccentric as expected, and Tom Wilson was much funnier than expected.
The next day, we went to Catherine Tate’s and John Barrowman’s panels. They were fantastic, and our seats on the fourth row made them even better. Without ruining all of John’s panel surprises, let me just say that Wonder Man appreciates the underside of kilts.
That evening, we experienced Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog in a con setting for the first time. Good thing I know all the words and neighs! Jason even participated in the singing along, for good or for horrible.
We didn’t go cuckoo for celebrity pictures or autographs this time; we’ve found that too many of those make cons obnoxiously packed. We did take a couple photos, however, and got autographs from the likes of John and Joan Cusack, Tom Wilson, Jewel Staite, and Catherine Tate.
Comic cons are not perfect. They test patience and politeness. Plus, they make one feel a little like a walking dollar symbol in a cosplay outfit. Yet, the memorable interactions with friends, fans, and the famous at these events usually make the waits and crowds acceptable. Best of all, these cons make being nerdy more socially acceptable.