The Convergence of the Nerd Universe

Leia, protecting Space with San Diego's finest

“The Nerd Center of the Universe” is what they called it on the radio, and from what I’ve heard from the past few years, it’s also what I expected. Somehow the stars in the universe aligned and we arrived in San Diego the night before ComiCon. Glory be to the heavens!

I have been so lost in my own world that I had no idea that we’d join the tens of thousands of people converging on the metropolitan area for the (world’s?) largest comic-geek-fantasy-sci-fi-anime convention. Back in New York I toyed with the idea of attending but never ended up going for various reasons: no one nerdy enough to accompany me, intimidated by my lack of comic geek knowledge, and inhibited by extraordinary entrance fees. Plus, ComiCon is a time when New York DOESN’T have a monopoly on the biggest/best/coolest/most excessive group of nerds in the western hemisphere.

My traveling companions agreed to go sightseeing downtown with mild enthusiasm, giving skeptical looks at my giddy response that “YES! We should go to the convention center tomorrow!!” So downtown we went, catching the “trolley” which looked suspiciously like a metro or train. Apart from a woman in green body paint at the Old Town station, it took a while for evidence of ComiCon to appear downtown.

Based on my experience with other such costumed festivals (thinking here of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade), ComiCon is PG-13 at the most. The costumes are extreme but (almost always) tasteful with very few inappropriate bodyparts exposed. The most scandalous thing I saw was actually my favorite paired costume: a black-turtlenecked Stirling Archer and large-breasted Katya Kasanova. [Aside: the best actual paired costume was Drogo and Dani from GoT, but that’s *so* not comic-related and is therefore eliminated from judging]. ComiCon isn’t about scandal, but it is about getting noticed, and sharing in unabashed enthusiasm. The general excitement and pure nerd love that radiates from the various costumed characters is absolutely fantastic. I watched two Captain Americas pose for mutual pictures, claps hands for a warm shake and then chat for several minutes, presumably about the particularities of their costumes and mutual admiration for the shield-bearing hero.

It was heartwarming, it was hilarious, and we didn’t even go inside! Maybe next time I’ll actually make it through the doors.

A slideshow of some of the highlights…and me with a giant Lego Catwoman. Awesome.

Oh, and if anyone *else* understands the hashtag on the green t-shirt, please give yourself an extra +10 nerd points. I sure as hell did =).

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