Your Comic Con Primer


As a self proclaimed nerd (obviously since I’m writing for NK) I am making the trip down to San Diego for Comic Con this year.  This is the fourth year I will be going, so I believe that makes me a bit of a Comic Con veteran.  If you don’t know what Comic Con is, I’m not going to take the time to explain it. And you should probably just go on living your life as a well adjusted human being, because I assure you that you’re better off.  But for those of you that care, let me share some of my wisdom from years past and give those of you who won’t be going a little insight into how awesome/horrifying Comic Con can be.

Just to start, Comic Con has changed significantly since it began in 1970.  But the most radical change has come in the last decade or so when the internet began to be so ingrained into our daily lives.  Now everything: movies, TV, video games, comics, EVERYTHING thrives on the buzz created on the web and the word of mouth of nerds.  And for a lot of these, it all starts with their appearance at Comic Con. Basically, Comic Con has become significantly less about the comics themselves and more about everything else that nerd culture loves.  For example, there was a large Guild panel before the Community panel last year. The Guild. The Guild is…awful. Just. Really terrible.  My point is, a sub par web series that had no business being there in the first place, held a panel in a HUGE ballroom. Guys, Felicia Day is super hot. But. Fuck off. What’s wrong with us?

I know. I get it. Doesn't mean I like it.

That ‘s the one thing you need to know. Comic Con is now basically just Hollywood’s stroke job to nerds everywhere in hopes that they’ll say ABC’s new series about lesbian wiccan’s is “kinda hot” on their Tumblr blog. Average people actually want to go now and think it’s “cool.” Jesus.

That being said, lets get started.


Cheap Comics
Are you looking for that trade of Secret Warriors your local comic shop is always out of? Guess what, you can probably find it used for $3 on the floor of Comic Con. Do you want all the single issues of The Watchmen? Someone is selling them.  Do you want the Spider Man Clone Saga for some reason (Probably because it was awesome when you were a kid and Ben Riley’s costume is the coolest Spiderman costume ever. Fuck you, Matt). I assure you they have it. The point is, if you got the cash to burn, come with a list of comics and trades. I promise you’ll find them all, and you’ll find them super fucking cheap. Go on Sunday, and you’ll get them even cheaper.

This costume is awesome. COME FUCKING AT ME.

Limited Edition Er’thing
God forgive me the year I go to Comic Con and actually have a significant chunk of change to waste. If you have a boner for anything limited edition, you will find it here. Mighty Mugs? Hats? Bags? Tshirts? Art Prints? Last year the big one was a gigantic limited edition Galactus action figure. I wish I could say I didn’t want it. But God damn it, I wanted it so bad. I don’t even have anywhere to put it. And it explaining what it is to a woman would be a painful experience.  But then again, it could also be my way of finding the girl I marry.


Lando. You slick mother fucker.

I met Lando last year, guys.  If I’d have known he was going to be there, I would have had him sign a bottle of Colt .45 for me.  I live in Hollywood. And I usually see celebrities around town or when I’m working on a show.  The thing is, it’s never the celebs that I actually WANT to meet or see.  If you go to Comic Con, you can see all your favorites in the flesh. Maybe even talk to them. OR better yet, get to take a picture with them while doing the hover hand.

Great Cosplay

Sup baby.

Listen. I don’t get cosplay. I would never do it unless it was for a comedy bit or it was Halloween (then I don’t think it counts). The people that do it are on an entirely different nerd level from me. I don’t understand the culture or the impulse to do it. But you know what, I can respect great cosplay.  And you’ll see some of the best ever at Comic Con.  It’s the only place I know where I can actually realize my dream of hooking up with a hot Slave Leia.  Which has been my goal every year. And sadly…still is this year. Some day, guys. Some day…

If you want to be the first to see footage for the “The Amazing Spiderman.” Go to the panel, and you will be.  Do you want to see the pilot for the new JJ Abrams shows before everyone else? Go to preview night.  Last year at the Scott Pilgrim panel, half the panel audience got to go see the movie with the cast before it came out.  Kinda awesome.  And if you thrive on being “first” then this place is for you.

Is a beautiful town.  It really is. And the convention center is in walking/busing distance to anything else you’d want to do.  If you are going, do yourself a favor and see the city. It’s clean. Friendly. And just a great place to be.  Fight your social anxieties and go have a beer somewhere. Talk to some people.  Go to the weird events that go on all over the city at night during the convention. There’s comedy shows, pod cast recordings, concerts, parties, everything you’d want to do. Go enjoy yourself.


If you have resigned yourself to going to panels, good luck having the time to do anything else.  They take up a lot of time.  Mostly because to get in for any of the good ones, you have to line up an hour beforehand and probably sit through some other bullshit you don’t care about beforehand (like The Guild panel).  Sure, you got to see Peter Dinklage in person, but half your day is gone. And you’ve been starving for hours.


This is my nightmare.

God dammit there are a lot of people there.  And there’s never really a reprieve from the flood of people once you get inside the convention center.  Everywhere is crowded. The floor. The panels. The hallways. The bathrooms.  Food courts. All I want is some cookies from the cookie stand but I gotta wait 20 minutes to get them.  I’m sorry, but there’s not a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie in the world worth that wait. But…I’ve done it. The other thing is, the people you’re crowded in with are not all fantastic, well adjusted humans.  For some, this is the one time a year they emerge from their basement dwellings to step into the sunlight.  For others, they’re just socially retarded assholes who are used to talking to their computer screens. Yes. Those people do exist. And there are a lot of them. And you will be stuck beside them, rethinking all the decisions in your life that led to this moment.

Free Promotion Stuff
We all love free stuff. There is no disputing that.  So you may be asking, “Kyle, why is this on the bad list?” Because, as a result of overcrowding, getting this free shit is nearly impossible or at the very least extremely exhausting. It’s not worth wasting your time.  Honestly, do I need to wait an hour and half for a Sex Bob-omb t-shirt I’m never going to wear or lose as soon as I get home? Probably not. Do I need a cold, yet free “Bob’s Burger?” Not particularly. There are plenty of ways to waste your time at Comic Con guys. Just don’t waste it on stupid shit….ugh, which is basically everything there. Sadly.


The Smell
It’s awful. The place smells.  Bad. And it smells just like you’d think it would.  It’s a mix of general BO, pizza pocket oil oozing from pores, taint sweat, booze from the night before, unbrushed teeth, and extreme desperation and sadness. And remember when I said it was overcrowded? Much how there is never a reprieve from the crowding, there is also no way to escape the awful smell of the convention center crowd.  I’ve seen people slowly go insane from the smell and run yelling and screaming through the front door. Someone jumped into the ocean last year to cleanse themselves of it.  THEY DIED. Scientists have studied it and found it to have the same qualities as the Joker’s Laughing Gas.  Seriously, I wish I was embellishing this one. I am not.

Terrible Cosplay

Pedo-Bear: Constantly climaxing.

Once again. I will say that I don’t understand cosplay.  The urge to do it mystifies me. But as I said, I can respect it if it’s well done.  Sadly, Comic Con provides not only the best cosplay but also the worst of the worst.  Fat dude dressed as Sailor Moon? Check. 200 lb woman in a metal bikini? Absolutely. Buncha dudes dressed as Pedo-Bear? Yup. Which is funny, if I wasn’t a hundred percent sure everyone dressed as Pedo-Bear actually IS a pedophile. Yes. Come to Pedo-Bear, young ladies. Hug him for a “funny” picture. I promise you he is climaxing, trapped in a furry prison of his own making.

Confirming Stereotypes

Could have easily been a beheading by a renegade Cloud Strife.

Guys. We suck.  Comic Con is a confirmation of everything bad that people think of nerd culture.  Last year, someone got stabbed. In the eye. WITH A MECHANICAL PENCIL. The guys involved were sober AND “friends” with each other. Also. HE STABBED HIM WITH A MECHANICAL PENCIL. There are like…200 people in the convention center with real katana’s and yet we had to settle for a pencil stabbing.  Do you get my point? We shouldn’t care about ANYTHING that goes on there. And yet we do. A LOT. I’ve seen people fighting over a limited edition light saber with the light sabers they already had on them. We’re our own worst enemies. And nothing brings that to light more than Comic Con.  I honestly can’t see someone going in for the first time and having a higher opinion of themselves or any of the people they met while inside.   For me, Comic Con is at the same time an extremely fun weekend and a place a of great self loathing.

I hope I didn’t scare everyone away from it. Ultimately, I love Comic Con. And I don’t see myself ever missing one while I live in LA. But let’s not pretend like it’s as awesome as everyone makes it out to be.  As with anything, you gotta take the good with the bad. For the nerds, there is a shit ton of good. For anyone with a sense of self worth, there’s a lot of bad (like The Guild).  Please understand, those two aren’t mutually exclusive to one another.

Until next week.


About Kyle McVey

I like stuff and feel ways about things.

Posted on July 20, 2011, in Comics, LOLJK, Movies, Pop Culture, Television, Videogames and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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