Dear Comic-Con:


Originally posted on July 27, 2008 on Livejournal.

Dear Comic-Con,

Remember when we first met?

My mother dropped me so I could run down your much-smaller exhibit hall for a few hours.  It was a Saturday and I could stretch my arms out, take a little spin, and still not slap a Slave Leia in the face.  I didn’t know what I was doing that year.  I’m not even sure I went to a panel, let alone knew what one was for.  I remember hurrying out of the hall to the ATM line so I could nab some cash before the South Park Video Rarities VHS sold out (..cough).  Oh, and the X-Files Blooper Reel.  And the Tori Amos stuff.   This was pre-You Tube.  I didn’t realize your vendors would just pull another few VHS copies out from behind the booth as soon as I left.

The next year I think I came home with some art sketches of Tori Amos.  One large and two small, found over in Artists’ Alley.  I really thought I’d struck gold there.

Another year it was a replica of the One Ring, Arwen’s necklace, and the leaf broach that hooked all their elven capes around their little hobbit necks.  Oh, and that leather LOTR bag that I’m still too afraid to use because I don’t want to mess it up.

As the years went on, I started attending more panels.  I got used to seeing Margaret Weis and Neil Gaiman every year.  I got used to sitting in agonizing long lines just to spend an hour or so with big celebrities and listen to the silly questions asked by con-goers.

Remember when Hall H was built?  We all breathed a huge sigh of relief… then promptly set our alarms to get up at the crack of dawn so we could attend the Harry Potter or Jude Law panel that was in there.  Didn’t matter how big the room was.. we wanted to be in front.

I miss how we could all go to Con, spend the day apart or with one other person, and then congregate at day’s end to tell our war stories over a scoop of ice cream or pizza.  I remember watching Firefly one night after Con.. trying so hard not to like it but fell victim immediately.  And giggling until dawn with Kim only to meet poor Kathy at the tram station early the next morning.  Hal Sparks in the food court.  Wondering what the hell the fuss was when a white haired fella walked straight down Con floor (“Stan Lee?  Who’s that?”).  The Pushing Daisies panel that made me fall for the cast even before the show started.  Dead Like Me, Firefly, Simpsons, Superbad, Batman Begins, Lost, Harry Potter, Wall-E.. I’ve been to some very fun things with you, Comic-Con.

This year, however, might have topped them all.  The experience itself, what with the halls bursting at the seams and not being able to attend anything without lining up, wasn’t my favorite.  We didn’t see nearly as many panels as I’ve attended in the past.. it was just too busy.  I missed out on the Disney/Pixar one, the Pushing Daisies one, The Office Writers.. the Judd Apatow gang and Kevin Smith.  But.. I’d say it was all worth it, because:

I shook Tori Amos’ hand.  I spoke to her.  This is the build up of thirteen years of adoring this woman.

See, fifty artists and writers put together a book called Comic Book Tattoo.  It’s GORGEOUS.  And it’s also now the most expensive book in my collection, as I got the Limited Edition against my better judgement.  So, there was the rush Friday morning to get a ticket to go to the signing.  Then there was the rush Saturday morning to attend her panel (and sitting through another panel which ended up to be quite fun, actually).  And, finally, the rush to get in to the signing.

But for those few moments.. I was in awe.  I know she’s just a person.  I know sometimes I worry that she’s not the same Tori I loved in middle and high school.. but hey, neither am I.  We shook hands, I thanked her for attending Comic Con.. she told me she was having a good time and that Neil said she would.  That only made me grin more.  It was just a few moments but.. they’re mine.  I don’t have to share them with anyone.  I kinda like that.

So, Comic Con, I don’t see how you can top that experience for me next year.  I’m not sure it would matter if Ewan McGregor came to Con and was handing out free hugs.  I’m not sure I’m up for the pushing and the shoving involved.  With the bad food or the expenses that come with a hotel and eating out at nicer places.  It’s fun.. but I’m not sure it’ll ever be as fun as it used to be, when the whole group piled back at Kim’s Dad’s house and shared the day’s tales.

I’m just not sure I can get that excited over anyone else.  I’ve seen Ewan McGregor and done the autograph thing.  Baz Luhrmann.  And now Tori.  The only two I can see myself spazzing out over are Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.. but after their last movie, I dunno.  I’m not sure what I was expecting.. but that wasn’t it.  I think I’m choosing to ignore it and saving my love for the first six and a half seasons of the series.

That aside, I think this was my last year attending.  I’m not pre-registering and I’m not making plans for next year.  I’m considering the possibility of WonderCon because it’s not so big and there’s also the allure of San Francisco.  But that’s still a little ways away.

It’s been fun, Comic-Con.  But unless you find a way to stop me from feeling like you’ve outgrown yourself, I’m going to assume I’ve outgrown you.