Imagine 525,701 square feet of interior space crammed to the gills with chattering primates dressed as monsters, spacemen, toys, food, animals, heroes, villains, murderers, entertainers, historical figures, and nerds. Now imagine paying a lot of money to wait in line in the sun for hours to shuffle amongst them. That's pretty much the Comic Con.
There are also millions of really cool products to peruse and buy.
This year was my third trip the the world's biggest comics convention in the past five years. It was a typical experience, if one can such a thing about such an unnatural event. Here are some of my thoughts and pictures.
Paralyzed with fear as I prepare to cross the street onto the convention center's grounds. I waited through three lights, breathing deeply and reciting a mantra. That didn't work, so I took a couple of big swigs from my flask and headed in.
Since I'm a professional cartoonist, I get to walk past the line to get in, which is a true blessing
on a hot, muggy day like this one. You can't imagine the smell of a person in a Wookie suit after they've baked in the sun for an hour.
Out front I ran into what appeared to be the human embodiment of the continent of Africa. I asked him what his costume was supposed to be and he said, "Basically, I just always dress like this." Why not?
Unlike the first comic book convention I went to in the late 80s, there is currently no shortage of good-looking women and at these events. Here is a woman attempting quite successfully to restore my affection for America in the wake of the Neo-Con Invasion. Her boyfriend is not a ballet dancer, as I assumed from his tights, but something called a "Batman." He denied having sonar, eating insects, or pooping upside down, so I'm not sure where the "bat" part comes in.
This young woman claimed to be representing the season of autumn, and yet nothing about her suggested impending death or dormancy. A friend of mine said he wanted to wait until her leaves fell off and I reprimanded him severely.
This fetching lass didn't really know what her costume was about, but she was a Bizarro fan and wanted to take a picture with me. Having lost my soul to photography years ago, I have no fear of snapshots and relented. After, she gave me her business card, which was a color photo on both sides of her posing pin-up style on a bed, clad only in a thong, her name and contact info below. I asked what the card had to do with her business – if she was a model or exotic dancer for instance – but she assured me that she was nothing of the sort. "That's just my card."
One of my favorite costumes this year was this sexy, big-headed cat with oven mitts. She didn't speak a lot of English, but had apparently practiced saying "hello" to herself and had that down pat.
These two did not arouse my patriotism as well as the "Batman's" girlfriend did, but they were exceptionally sincere and assured me that they still believe elections in this country are fair and honest. This kind of youthful idealism is always so inspiring.
This deformed, hairless child broke my heart and I could not resist kissing him. (or her) His/her reaction was minimal, but I think I detect a smile.
No super villain-themed event would be complete without an animatronic of Rush Limbaugh. It was kind of them to place a bowl for those conventioneers who, like me, could not keep their lunch down at the sight of him.
An embarrassing thing happened mid afternoon when a creature that I think is supposed to be one of the Golden Girls stole my hat.
Fortunately, a kooky ninja-borderguard-cable-repairman guy got it back from her (him, it?) but then refused to give it back to me.
Eventually, these two un-costumed super heroes retrieved my hat by pointing into the distance and yelling, "It's William Shatner!" at which point the nerdo negra took off running and my hat flew off.
Safely back to my table, I sold books, Bizarro Trading Cards, personalized sketches, prints and some of my old Led Zeppelin 8 track tapes that I no longer listen to. All of these products, with the exception of the 8 track tapes which sold out, can be found here.