Wednesday Comments – Con-sequences

So the San Diego Comic Con is over. The majority of the fanboys and girls who make SDCC the one stop shop for all things geek have left the area and returning to what passes for their normal lives. The long national nightmare is finally over.

I know, I know; I sound mighty cynical. I’ve never been, but I bet SDCC is an awesome event to attend. It’s just that I really don’t have much interest in attending.

Sure it would be cool to stock up on all of the swag and con exclusives that come out of SDCC. Plus, thanks to an old chum who lives in the area, I’d totally have a place to crash if I decided to attend. But to me the whole thing seems sort of over done. Let me explain.

SDCC would sound so much better if I didn’t have the awesomeness that is the Baltimore Comic Con right in my backyard, I might feel more eager to attend SDCC. But having a local con really undermines the appeal of SDCC. I don’t need to travel to the other side of the country to have that con experience.

When I go to the Baltimore Comic Con, I get access to hundreds of vendors selling back issues that range from Golden Age comics to stuff that just came out the previous week. I get a chance to attend panels from most of the major comic companies as well as meet professionals with a variety of star wattage.

And the beauty of it is that the Baltimore Comic Con is 100% about the comics. It’s not the pop culture phenomenon that SDCC has become. I don’t have to worry about tussling with Twihards or wrestling with movie fans desperate to get a peak at the new Tom Cruise movie. At the Baltimore Comic Con, I get to rub elbows with fellow comic fans who are there because they love comics, not because they want to get a glimpse of the trailer of a movie that comes out next winter.

(Ok, so there are those Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans who show up in costume, but they’re always going to be there.)

To me the Baltimore Comic Con just feels more pure in that it’s solely a convention for comics. It’s not a Hollywood affair. It’s a place where I can see a guy dressed up as Thor, drinking a Diet Coke. Or a mother playing stage-mom to her children dressed up as zombies and chiding them for smiling.

It’s fun and it doesn’t feel exploitative. For the last few years it’s really felt that SDCC has been an exploitative affair, meant to activate a base or create a buzz for project, rather than celebrate comics.

But then again, I prefer small affairs. A couple years ago I just happened to be visiting home at the same time that the Tucson Comic Con was going on. Being that it was my hometown con, I felt that I had to attend.

And it was so cool. Firstly it was free. Secondly it was only one day. And lastly is for the most part a local affair. But the energy that was in that room was amazing. It wasn’t the coolest con that I’ve been to, nor was it the largest, but it was probably the most beautiful con that I’ve been to, because everyone that was there was there because they loved comic books.

So yeah, if you’re really into SDCC, you should make sure to support your local comic convention. And if you get a chance you should definitely support the Tucson Comic Con and the Baltimore Comic Con too.

Next week, I think I’m going to write about some of DC’s broken promises. In the meantime, it’s Wednesday, go and get some comic books.

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