Why I Love Comic Cons. (I swear, the post is better than the title.)

I’m still operating at 40% power, but writing this  post is an alternative to staring at throngs of  travelers as they drag their overloaded backpacks, duffel bags, cardboard boxes, laundry baskets, strollers and various other makeshift suitcases through the lobby.

And besides, I’m only operating at 60% power on a good day anyway, so what the hell?

The Niagara region’s version of Nerdvana, otherwise known as Niagara Falls Comic Con, begins tomorrow, and so I figured this would be a good time to share some of my favorite things about my hometown gathering of the-no-longer-considered-the-lunatic-fringe comic fans and cons in general.

10)  The epic scale:  There’s something very liberating about becoming lost in a crowd of like-minded individuals. Overall, I’m a pretty well-adjusted guy but even The Hook needs to stop being The Hook for a while. (Shut up, Ned Hickson, I can practically hear you rolling your eyes at my use of the term “well-adjusted”.)

I love the idea of just wandering the convention floor and letting my senses drink in the sights, sounds, smells and the general vibe of fandom at its purest.

9)  The pretty girls:  I’m happily married, but I’m also a man and the man in me doesn’t mind seeing a pretty girl or two, especially if they’ve gone out of their way to squeeze themselves into some spandex and layered on several ounces of make-up for my benefit.

  This weekend is Niagara Falls Comic Con! I’ll be working the Cosplay for A Cure booth all weekend, making me nice and easy to find  Saturday: Query and Echo  Sunday: Wonder Girl

8)  The effect pretty girls have on some of my fellow nerds:  If you haven’t seen a grown man in an ill-fitting Batman costume pee himself when surrounded by a bevy of ridiculously attractive cosplayers dressed as slutty versions of their favorite superheroes, I highly recommend it.

It was the best fifty bucks I ever spent.

7)  These guys: 

You can’t buy this kind of entertainment, kids. Humans are at their best when they believe themselves to be invincible. At a con, anything goes, and that’s the way the world should work every day.

6)  If I’m at a con, I’m not working:  Don’t get me wrong, I love my role as the World’s Most Honest/Blunt Bellman, but a day off doesn’t suck, friends. When I’m Robert Hookey, a not-so-mild-mannered citizen, I can relax and turn off my super powers of observation and snark. I still encounter the wackiest beings the universe has ever produced, but I can approach each encounter differently.

No one can fire me when I’m a civilian.

5)  SHATNER!!  If you don’t know the name, you’re not worth my time. Even his critics – of which there are literally billions – respect at least one hundred of his thousands of accomplishments/credits. Somewhere along the line we’ve all forgotten that the Shat -Man is a classically-trained stage actor.

He’s been to space. He’s been Denny Crane. He’s killed music. He’s written several books that I’ve read and they all rock. He is no longer a man but rather, an institution unto himself. And Sunday, for a few brief hours, he belongs to the nerds of Niagara Falls.

“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE SHAT, HOOK!”

4)  Bacon:  There will be bacon at the convention and bacon makes everything better. If William Shatner smelled like bacon he’d be the most popular actor in the history of the profession. (Told you I wasn’t operating on all thrusters.)

3)  The faces behind the pages:  Neal Adams. Kevin Eastman. Leonard Kirk. Dan Parent.  These names may not mean much to you – but I’ll let it pass.. this time. All of these men are legendary artists/writers and they’ll be joined by several of their brethren throughout the weekend.. Collectively, these creators have influenced my life on a scale I cannot articulate.

2)  Comics:  With all the hype and attention we pay to the celebrities, the free swag, the video games, the horror movies and everything else going on at a con, we tend to forget about the comic book component of a comic book convention.

1)  I get to be a kid again:  You know that sense of wonder that most people sacrifice when they cross the threshold to “adulthood”? They infuse it back into you when you set foot on a convention floor – whether you like it or not.  Fortunately, I’ve never been an adult, although I do play one in the so-called real world. Still, attending a con allows me to truly geek out with best of them.

That having been said, there are no geeks at a con, only fans. There are no freaks, only devoted acolytes. If Jonah Hill called anyone a faggot at a con, he’d be dead in fifteen seconds flat, most likely from a proliferation of phasers to the rectum.

A con is a safe zone for the world’s outcasts. A con is a place where dreamers gather to marvel at the beauty, complexity and diversity of dreams. Period.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need some aspirin and and some rest before I embark on The Hook’s Great Adventure.

See you in the lobby – and the convention floor, kids.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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63 Responses to Why I Love Comic Cons. (I swear, the post is better than the title.)

  1. The Florida version comes here next month. My husband would love such an event (and actually, so would I).

  2. djmatticus says:

    Have an amazing time!
    I hope the Little Prince has an interest in going to a con at some point so we can go together… I’ve never been, much to my dismay, and I even lived in San Diego for 8 years! So, fingers crossed the Little Prince gives me an excuse to take him to one.

  3. Shucks. Everyone needs to have fun. :-)

  4. So much to love about this! I’ve heard of these conventions, but have not seen anything first hand. You will write a follow up post, right? I must know how it goes!
    I’m also glad that you have a day off!!
    Loved W. Shatner as a girl…though I would often run into the other room when he started kissing the girl. For some reason, I got very uncomfortable!!!

  5. Twindaddy says:

    Have fun, Hook!

  6. LVital7019 says:

    Got my picture taken with The Shat ONCE. It was the best exorbitant amount of money I ever spent on anything at a Comic Con (NYC a few years ago – pic is on Twitter @lolaveed). :)

    • The Hook says:

      But it was worth it, right?

      • LVital7019 says:

        Well, kind-of YES, but take a look at the picture on Twitter (@lolaveed). His “handlers” had me so paranoid that I would “accidentally” touch him (because WHO doesn’t put their arm around someone they’re obsessed with when taking a once-in-a-lifetime photo?) and get my head bitten off and/or booted from the booth that I think I actually cried out of relief it was finally over… or maybe it was that he was wearing the EXACT same tweet jacket my father used to wear… LOL I was a mess!

  7. Jennie Saia says:

    This gave me the warm fuzzies. :)

    Also, next time our toilet at home clogs, I’m going to yell at it: “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE SHAT!”

  8. renxkyoko says:

    Ha ! Been to at least two…. high five.

  9. Have fun! I’ve decided that attending a Con is on my bucket list – I’m such a nerd that I am not sure why I’ve never attended one before :)

  10. Marian Green says:

    I have never attended a gather of this sort… but you tempt me. Mmmm… what to wear?

  11. Seeing James T. Kirk even for a moment would be worth the transatlantic trip! A HUGE Shat fan here! :-) ENJOY!!!!!!!!! :-)

  12. jlheuer says:

    The Shat-man is also a spokesman for an insurance company in Wisconsin. Can’t you ust hear him saying,”Huby and Abraham”?

  13. Don’t forget that in addition to everything you mentioned, Shatner also did a well-attended, well-reviewed one man show on Broadway! His stage legend is that at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada when, while understudying Christopher Plummer in “Henry V,” he went on at the last minute, despite having no chance to rehearse the role! By all reports, he killed it!!!!

  14. Have a blast but don’t get blasted….Okay not funny but I tried.

  15. I went to a children’s writers con, and the hotel staff all commented, wow, you guys are all nice and seem to like each other. You actually seem happy. LOL

  16. Aussa Lorens says:

    I’ve never been to a comic con before… Actually, Angelle just recently had to explain what a “cosplayer” was while we were skyping. I think maybe I’ve missed my hobby calling here… I wouldn’t mind wearing weird costumes. Though I think I’d be terrified of that dude from Breaking Bad. Heebie Jeebies.

    • The Hook says:

      I don’t blame you. He also played the spirit in the Magic Mirror from the Snow White legend on Once Upon A Time, if you can imagine that.

      • Aussa Lorens says:

        Last night, after some adult activities, The Boyfran was like “what are you thinking about?” and I shit you not, my answer: “That guy from Breaking Bad, Fring, he was also the Mirror on Once Upon a Time, isn’t that weird?” A lesser man might have had his ego bruised.

  17. Daile says:

    I’m not a huge fan of comic books but I would go just for the excuse to dress up! Great post Hook :)

  18. I attended my first one as Wonder Woman, but then stupid Batman came up to me and said that I was the shortest Wonder Woman he had ever seen. I never went again after that. I hate Batman.

  19. lensgirl53 says:

    And let’s not forget “Cap’n Kirk’s” resurrection as Priceline.com’s dry-witted Adman (perhaps a super hero in the making.) Long live Adman. ;)

    • The Hook says:

      Oddly enough, Adman didn’t make a killing off the Preiceline stock he was paid in (government rules forced him to hold on top it until it became nearly worthless), but the boost to his career was invaluable.

  20. Ned's Blog says:

    I really need to be more discreet with my eye rolling. Or maybe take more Clear Eyes droplets so they don’t make as much noise. Regardless, I say we plan on attending next year’s Niagara Falls Comic Con together. Start working on your costume now. I’ll bring the bacon.

  21. bardictale says:

    Cool. Have fun. Maybe someday I’ll go to one too… (And feel better.)

  22. The Cutter says:

    I really need to go to one of these conventions one of these days. I think I’d enjoy it immensely.

  23. Cameron says:

    I’ve never flown my nerdgirl colors at a Con, because large conventions give me hives, but I am delighted by cosplayers, and Shatner is a god among men. And you cited two of my favorite examples! I love his album with Ben Folds, and not even ironically. I just love it. Denny Crane and Alan Shore smoking on their balcony will always hold a place in my heart.

  24. I can’t believe I am about to miss this…again. It is Sunday morning and have been trying to figure out how to get to Niagara all weekend. Say “Hello” to Mr. Shatner for me.

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