One of my favorite things to do is attend comic cons every year. Forget the stereotype of some dingy hotel ballroom packed full of smelly and expensive discolored comics, creeping with a bunch of “Comic Book Guy” character doppelgangers from The Simpsons. The larger cons are exactly the opposite. Sharing the common thread of offering thousands of comic purveyors to the starving masses, comic cons these days are more of a pop culture assemblage. If you live in San Diego, New York or Atlanta , you know what I am talking about. These places are where the three biggest comic cons happen. The San Diego Comic Con, Dragon Con and The New York Comic Con.
These cons (or conventions to be exact) manifest the wildest dream of every fantasy fan into reality. Not only is it completely acceptable to dress like your favorite superhero, movie character, or villain, it is actually honored and adored. Trust me; your first encounter with a group of fully-geared Stormtroopers in line at Subway will be a bit surreal. The point is anything goes. Not only can you hear about the filming of the second Dark Crystal movie from Jim Henson’s daughter, but you can sit in on panels on everything from Jughead to Battlestar Gallactica.
These events are an absolute Mecca for everything the fantasy fan could desire. Want to meet Ray Parks who played Darth Maul in Star Wars? How about Sarah Michelle Gellar? Or does Natalie Portman strike your fancy? All have attended these types of events, and for the fans, the excitement lies in the chance to connect with their heroes in one form or another. To thank them for capturing the roles of their beloved characters on film and to involve themselves with the actual person that played the character if only for a moment.
Cons are treasure troves though which new ideas, fantastic artists and epic adventures await discovery. At Dragon Con in Atlanta I experienced the full creativity of the fantasy fan as troupes of Steampunks proudly marched through the halls. Everything appreciable is there. Who knew people dressed up as characters from Serenity, or in full on latex laden Hellboy costumes? They do and they love it. If you get a chance, every fantasy fan should attend one of these events. Heck, for the bold at heart, try dressing up in your best Cat Woman or Freddy Krueger outfit; you will be in good company.