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.
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.
The Florida version comes here next month. My husband would love such an event (and actually, so would I).
Cons are a blast, Kitt!
The crowds and the high prices can be unsettling, but overall, the experience is one you’ll never forget.
Sweetness! Have fun at yours. 😀
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.
I’d KILL to attend San Diego Comic Con! Have fun someday!
If you ever make it down this direction, let me know… we can all go together.
That would be an epic excursion.
Let’s make it happen!
Maybe when you fly this direction to meet up with Ellen…
(Hey! I haven’t given up hope on that happening!)
It’s nice to see someone still believes in me!
Shucks. Everyone needs to have fun. 🙂
Indeed! Why should girls have all the fun, right?
Ha ha ha. InDEED! 😀
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!!!
How do you think the girl felt?
Have fun, Hook!
That’s the plan, Twindaddy!
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). 🙂
But it was worth it, right?
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!
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!”
Nice one, Jennie!
Ha ! Been to at least two…. high five.
Right back at ya!
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 🙂
Go for it, Kate! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the cutie in the Catwoman costume!
I have never attended a gather of this sort… but you tempt me. Mmmm… what to wear?
Whatever you choose… you must share the pics!
Seeing James T. Kirk even for a moment would be worth the transatlantic trip! A HUGE Shat fan here! 🙂 ENJOY!!!!!!!!! 🙂
He is THE MAN, no question.
The Shat-man is also a spokesman for an insurance company in Wisconsin. Can’t you ust hear him saying,”Huby and Abraham”?
He says yes to pretty much everything… except to my request for a 5×5, that is.
I know, right?
I sent the request months ago, but still no word from Team Shat.
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!!!!
The man is an underrated wonder.
Have a blast but don’t get blasted….Okay not funny but I tried.
I think you did quite well!
Well thank you then! Did you have fun. Did you hug a Spiderman?
I’m going to Comic Con on Sunday, so I’ll let you know!
Great looking forward to it.
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
Celebrities are completely in-genuine while children’s writers are naturally decent; there’s no comparison.
LOL I was struck by how decent my con-patriots were. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
I’m not a huge fan of comic books but I would go just for the excuse to dress up! Great post Hook 🙂
It sounds like cosplay crosses all boundaries to bring people together. Go nerds!
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.
You should have kicked him in the utility belt.
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. 😉
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.
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.
Sounds good to me!
“Ned-Man and The Hook”, anyone?
Cool. Have fun. Maybe someday I’ll go to one too… (And feel better.)
I’m trying, old friend!
There is no try, my dear Hook.
I really need to go to one of these conventions one of these days. I think I’d enjoy it immensely.
I’m sure you would, Cutter. After all, you’re a people person.
I hate people but I love gatherings. Go figure.
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.
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.