This is a continuation of my last blog, which you can find here.
When it came to putting the awesomeness of ComicCon into list form, I had a hard time choosing my top two favorite things. It’s a toss up here, people. Truly. Because the last two items on my list are so epic they each deserve their own blog. So while we’re continuing the countdown with “Number Two” on the list, let’s just call it what it is….a draw. You’ll see why, once you’ve read both blogs.
Also, I’m breaking typical list protocol with this item. It’s getting sub-categories. Because I’m the boss, that’s why.
Here’s part two of the list:
Two: The Crazy, Kind, Nerdy, Super-Awesome People of the Con
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—going to ComicCon wasn’t just about the comic books and the geek swag and the celebrity sightings. For us, it was our Nerd’s Trip to Mecca. Every single person that attended the convention—all eleventy billion of us—were there to celebrate whatever it is that we’re all fans of. It didn’t matter that this chick over here loved anime, and that chick over there loved Supernatural. What mattered was that we were all uber-fans of something. And that’s worth getting together for.
We had a few encounters with fellow nerds that left me awed and speechless. The first one happened minutes after stepping in line on the very first day of the convention.
2-A: Eugene and Christopher. I overheard some guys in line near us talking about their strategies on getting to the most sought-after booths. Intrigued, Brian and I drew them into conversation, and we spent the two hours waiting for the doors to open talking to our new best friends.
To Brian’s delight, we’d managed to find two toy collectors–Eugene is a fellow Transformer fan, while Christopher was in for all things Marvel. Naturally, they asked if Brian had any major purchases he was hoping to make. That’s when Metroplex came into the convo. You’ll recognize Metroplex from a photo collage in the previous blog, but here’s another shot of him, just to jog your memory:
Brian was so excited about this Transformer. Ask any of our friends and they will tell you that he was talking about this ComicCon exclusive, one per customer, hottest ticket in toy business robot for MONTHS before the event. So when Eugene and Christopher asked, Brian jumped at the chance to talk about Metroplex.
“That’s cool,” Eugene said. “So you’ve already got your voucher, right?”
Cue the crickets, and imagine us standing in a sea of nerds, mouths agape.
Turns out, the Hasbro booth was so popular, that if you intended to shop there, you had to be at the convention center at 5 a.m. to pick up a voucher, which gave you an appointment time for standing in line. Just to get to the booth. To, like, buy stuff.
And we had no clue.
It was obvious that we were both disappointed. If we didn’t get Metroplex on Day One, he would sell out, and I knew Brian would be devastated. I was in the middle of coming up with an elaborate plan to cheer up my depressed hubby when Christopher said, “I wasn’t planning on buying Metroplex, and I have a voucher for 4 o’clock today. Just meet me at the booth and I’ll get him for you.”
What the WHAT???
Here’s this guy we’d known less than an hour, and he wasn’t just offering to do something kind, he was (unknowingly) making Brian the Happiest Geek In The Land.
True to his word, he met us at the booth later that afternoon, purchased the toy for Brian, and handed it over with a smile. Brian tried to tip him, and Christopher refused. “It’s your first Con, man. I’m just glad to help. All I ask is that next time, you pay it forward.”
We will, Christopher. Thank you SO much.
2-B: The Doctor. With the 50th anniversary happening at this year’s convention, there were Doctors EVERYWHERE, and of every persuasion. I saw tall Doctors, fat Doctors, old Doctors, child Doctors, female Doctors—and I greeted each and every one of them with a jaunty “‘Ello, Doctah!” in my best (Brian would say WORST) Cockney accent. But out of all the many Doctors over the course of the Con, I managed to meet the very best one—not once, but twice.
Thursday: Brian and I are standing in line to visit one of our MUST SEE booths–the Titan Toys booth–when I saw the most adorable David Tennant-style Doctor in all the land. I fumbled for my camera and Flat Jenna (more on that later this week), and quietly asked him for a photo. He was so generous with his time, and so kind, and the photo turned out awesome. (Except for the fact that my eyes are closed. But I couldn’t help it. He was a good hugger.)
The Doctor was impressed with my tale of bringing my bestie along to the Con, even if only in flat form, and he wanted me to be sure and tell her hello. (Hi, Jenna! From the Doctor!)
I thanked him several times, and off he went into the crowd. I smiled all day thinking about how sweet he’d been to pose with Jenna and me.
Fast forward to Friday: Brian and I were fighting our way through the throngs of geeks, trying to get to a specific booth. I bumped into a very tall, rather handsome Trill (from Star Trek). I made a joke about nerdy sardines, and he laughed at me. That’s when I looked up and recognized him as our Doctor from the previous day. He recognized me too, and hugged me again. This time I gave him my business card so he could find the photo we’d taken once he arrived at home. “It’s amazing that I ran into you again, considering this huge crowd,” he said.
And he was right.
I never saw my Doctor again, but I’m hoping beyond hope that he finds me, and follows me on Twitter, soon.
2-C: Captain America. By lunchtime on Day One, we were utterly exhausted. We traipsed the entire circumference of the San Diego Convention Center just looking for a spot to sit and enjoy our sandwich. We finally managed to find an unoccupied corner of carpet, set up camp, and rested our tired feet.
I noticed Captain America as he wandered out of the double doors from the exhibit hall. His costume was damn near movie quality. I was very impressed, but too hungry to try and capture a picture. That’s when he took off his mask and started scanning the crowd. I recognized that weary face–he was looking for a place to sit, too. I made some room and waved him over. He sat down next to me gratefully.
For the next half hour, we talked to Cap about, what else, the Con. As it turned out, his father was a metal worker, and had helped him develop his costume. The shield was absolutely beautiful–there was even a little damage from battle worked into the design. He told us that he’d served in the Army, done several tours in Afghanistan, and when he’d gotten home he just wanted to do something worthwhile. He’d been dressing up for comic book conventions for a long time, and joined forces with some other masked superheros in Las Vegas to work for a charity called “Critical Care Comics.”
“We go to big children’s hospitals in the area dressed in our costumes and visit the kids,” he said proudly. “We also give them free comic books. It cheers them up and gets them excited about comics, all at the same time.”
I was so moved by this veteran’s story that I asked him if he’d have his picture taken with me. He went to stand up and said, “Oh, sure, just let me put my mask and stuff back on.”
“No need, Captain,” I replied. “You sit, stay comfy, and rest those tired feet. Besides, I’m more interested in having my picture taken with the hero behind the mask.”
We talked quietly for a little while longer, then packed up our bags and our trash and headed back into the convention. But I kept thinking about Captain America all day long. Over dinner that night, Brian said he’d been thinking about him, too.
It just goes to show that the most useful tip we received before heading into ComicCon was to just talk to people. Because we made some awesome friends, heard some amazing stories, and were inspired to be better nerds, all based on the people we met. So thanks toy collectors, Doctor Who-impersonators, and Captain America. You guys made our ComicCon experience that much more amazing, just by being you.
Stay tuned for the last installment of ComicCon 2013: The List, coming later this week. You won’t want to miss it. It was truly a full-circle moment for yours truly.