My latest comic-con pilgrimage took me to Pittsburgh with a convention virgin. This day trip was fraught with challenges such as a compact hybrid on rainy mountainous roads and unbeknownst to me at the onset a camera with a malfunctioning memory card. Our 55 miles per hour trek through misty, mountainous terrain resulted in us missing the first of five panels we wanted to attend. The show floor kept us from three more.
I’ve been to comic-cons of all sizes. This one was sponsored by Wizard World. My first impression was how charming the venue seemed. It was nice to not have to hike a mile indoors to the event. Although, it was Saturday the crowds were a good size, but not stifling. There were a good number of vendors with an interesting variety of merchandise. I liked that there were a good number of local non-profits and artists offering their wares. The Air Force brought it with a display that included opportunities to demonstrate your fitness with pull-ups, etc… Being as fit as I am I would have shown my gym class prowess from several decades past, but the hot dog and french fries I was eating got my hands all sticky. The costume play (cosplay) was a little light, as was the population of black folks. My newbie and I noticeably raised the population of black folks to around ten or so, if you subtract the mildly amused convention staff, but as with most comic-cons everyone was very welcoming and accommodating of my virgin’s first-time-ness.
The media guests were a good mix and unlike some of the bigger comic-cons, the lines were short enough to allow you to get several of the high tier guests without standing in line for 4 hours. My newbie got amazingly shy and ducked an opportunity to meet one of her childhood heroes, but I took advantage of some of the photo opportunities. Being of a certain age, I was overcome by the opportunity to sit in the original Adam West Batmobile. I’m sure the operator could tell as he let me sit in there for 10 minutes – Thanks!!!!!!!! While touching every switch in the Batmobile and taking a myriad of pictures I was in heaven!!!! Did you know that there is a flip-phone size vanity mirror in the Batmobile? There was also a mock-up of the bomb from the first Bat-movie. So you know I had to hold it over my head and snap a photo. There were also some comic legends like Neal Adams (Batman, Green Lantern-Green Arrow and lightning-rod Rob Liefield (New Mutants, Prophet, X-Force). If I thought I had reverted to my childhood with the Batmobile, I was just stupid around Neal Adams. Fortunately, his wife Marilyn is pretty cool as is he -thanks to both of the Adams for understanding my dumbfoundedness!!!
After another couple of circuits of the show floor we finally made it to a panel. I hate that we missed the Supergirl preview, but thoroughly enjoyed watching David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi for over an hour provide absolutely no insight into the pending premiere of the first episode of the X-Files in almost 14 years. However, the myriad of teenage and twenty-something girls bearing their souls about the impact the X-Files had on their budding acting careers almost made me get up and leave. Of course during these monologues are when I found out that one of my two cameras had malfunctioned, so I lost all my Batmobile pictures – Bam. With the secondary camera I did go back and get what I could.
So here are some additional tips for comic-con:
- When taking a road trip in the rain, don’t drive a hybrid unless you can leave an extra two or so hours earlier than you intended to get there before the convention starts;
- Remind your newbie to bring some extra cash;
- Flip-flops may not be the best shoe choice on hard convention center floors;
- I love cell phone cameras, but take an additional camera/memory card just in case;
- The next time you want to regale your favorite star with how much their work has influenced you, pay the money for the autograph signing. They’re even nicer in close proximity and the rest of us won’t have to share your awkward moment with your muse with you.
My first comic-con was in Philadelphia back around the time Star Trek: The Next Generation was just starting, it was large, crowded and overwhelming. I asked my comic-con virgin to give me three words to describe her first time. Being a lawyer she rambled a bit and then gave me six or seven. Finally I got her to limit herself to three – exciting, giggly, and inspiring. I couldn’t have said it better. Therefore, I am geek outing my friend and I am formally welcoming “Zsa-Zsa” Jones to the ranks of the Blerds. Welcome counselor!
E.Angel is an engineer and holds a BS in electrical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. She’s a real nerd who loves all things Star Wars and Star Trek, and is an avid gamer. E.Angel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on either game platform as Bunnehs Sister