PART A: Con Fun
Some of you may have gathered, from the first installment, that I enjoyed my experience at the MegaCON, this year. If so, you’d be right.
The weather was pretty doggone cold, by my standards, at night, but the days were beautiful. I was able to leave my jacket in the car, which is a good thing since that’s one less item I’d need to lug around all day. There were great costumes, cute kids, a few celebrities, and, of course, comics and sci-fi merchandise.
The costumes have always been pretty impressive, to me. Many of them are quite elaborate and inventive, not to mention novel. Some seem to be more about showing skin, but quite a few were colorful and exciting. I love taking pictures and shots of so-called “cos-players” make great mementos, even if I don’t get a lot of the anime references.
The celebrities ranged from comic book professionals like artist, George Perez, creator, Dick Giordano, and lesser-known indie creators, to movie actors like Sean Astin, from Lord of the Rings, Margot Kidder and Noel Neill, “Lois Lane’s” from the Superman movies and series, Lou Ferrigno, from the live-action Hulk television show, and other notable personalities. I’m not big on paying for autographs or photos, but there are a few (very few) exceptions to that rule. Just being in the presence of these folks can be energizing and it really adds to the experience, for me.
Finally, there are the comic book goodies. There are bootleg dvd’s of contemporary and long lost, all-but-forgotten shows, hard-to-find back issues, trade paperbacks and hardcovers, collecting various stories from individual comic books, and all sorts of other unusual offerings. I’m a big-time trade and hardcover guy, so I spend most of my time at the booths that offer heavily-discounted, often previously-read collected volumes. The savings and selection are well worth the price of admission.
I filled the hours over the three days going from looking at comics to checking out celebrities to taking pictures of costumed visitors. It was hard to get bored with so much to do and so many deals to be had. I even brought my girlfriend along for the last day to give her a taste of the experience. She got a kick out of it except for the ConFunkshun, which brings us to…
PART B: ConFunkshun
Main Entry: con•funk•shunY’know, a lot of comic book fans, which we sometimes lovingly refer to as “geeks” and whatnot, have a reputation for social and physical awkwardness. I believe the movie, “Chasing Amy” describes us, as a whole, as “Over- and under-weight guys who don’t get laid.”
1 : the act or an instance of convention funkiness : the state of being funky at a convention : GEEKSTANK
2 : "Fonke!" music group from the 70's/80's: DISCOpimps
Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions to that “rule,” but, sadly, there are also far too many examples of people who perpetuate and embody the stereotypes. Many of these are forgivable, but the worst among them is the funk-factor or, “confunkshun,” as I like to call it. (See definition above.)
I’m all but pleading with my geek brethren. If they want people to stop looking at comics as kid stuff and start recognizing them a diverse medium like movies, television, and other books, then we need to do our part. To be blunt:
Wash yo’ stank ass!
I, and now my girlfriend, are TIRED of walking through conventions, occasionally choking on some hovering, dense, all-encompassing arse-funk.
- Wipe yo ass!
- WASH yo ass!
- Put some CLEAN clothes on yo ass &…
- Put some DEODORANT on yo ass (so to speak)!
To be fair, the convention locations aren’t always as climate-controlled as they ought to be, but at least make the effort, people! People look down on us for many reasons, including their own prejudices – not recognizing that many of the stories they think are so fun or profound on the big-screen are the same stories they might laugh at us for reading in a book with pretty colors.
BUT that doesn’t make them COMPLETELY wrong. If we can’t be bothered with proper hygiene why the HELL should they be bothered with US?
Okay, this rant is getting too long.
The point is that ConFunkshun is diminishing my convention-going experience and tainting the perception that others have of us.
Considering that most con-goers are adults, there's little excuse for this. I may stop attending cons, altogether, or try some different ones. Sadly, I doubt it'll be different anywhere else, since others from different states have had very similar experiences. At least the other conventions may have more to offer (like the cool events and merchandise folks described from the recent NYCC).