Thursday, March 01, 2007

MegaCON 2007 pt. 2 - MegaCOMMENTARY, A & B

MegaCOMMENTARY is my attempt to share with you the experience I had at the comic book convention, MegaCON, this year. Part A, called “Con Fun” relates the mostly-positive elements while Part B, called “ConFunkshun” relates, perhaps, the most negative.

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•shun
Pronunciation: k&n-'f&[nc](k)-sh&n
Function: noun
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
Y’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.”

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)!
Do not substitute any one of these elements for another.

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).



Anonymous said...

LOL @ confunkshun.

Is your lady into comics too, or does she just like to accompany you? I used to read Archie comics but that's it. :(

Anonymous said...

"......then we need to do our part. To be blunt:

Wash yo’ stank ass!

OMG, I came out of my chair on that one!! Why could I hear you saying that, but I don't even know what your voice sounds like, lol. Hmmm, a convention center full of funk. Have mercy on us all!

Glad you guys managed to still enjoy yourselves :)

West said...

chele: She doesn't collect them regularly like I do, but she's interested enough to read stuff she sees me diggin' on.

Also, a Stephen King story was recently adapted to the medium, so she's lovin' that.

b. good: Lemme tell ya, I started to get riled up just typing it out.

I probably ranted and rambled more than I should've, but I had to get that out.

I don't like anything or anyone making m'lady go all screw-faced, which we both did in the presence of confunkshun.

Anonymous said...

Wow, did you get to meet George Perez? I really admire his work.

As for the comic geek sterotype, when I hit the shop faithfully on Wednesdays, I see that type. I feel for them. Lately however, I have been seeing a lot of females, sorta the "Daria" type, but with much better hygine then the sterotype guys. lol

Miz JJ said...

Ew. I can imagine that would diminish your enjoyment. Just ew.

meera bowman-johnson said...

ROFL!! I'll have to ask my husband about that, he was there signing books for DC Comics (Papa Midnight). I'm proud to say his hygeine was intact.:)

meera bowman-johnson said...

Oh wait, sorry, he was at Comicon, in NY. Still, I'll ask him about that. Perhaps this is a wider spread issue than one might think...

DYKC?™ said...

Hygene is a lost art forreal when it comes to the average fanboy. In the DC Nation panel, which was in a HUGE hall, the aroma was funktabulous! Tag-team that with the fact many of them had breath that was severely on tart-time, and you might catch a taste of what I'm layin' down.

On the real we should start a, "RUN -- DON'T WALK!!! (to get some deodorant) campaign for fanboys.