A few years ago, I had zero notion of what a comic con was. I had heard about them, but I had also heard many prejudices. Comic cons were for nerds. If you wanted to be cool, you should never go to one. I did not have the chance to attend one until a few years ago Dutch Comic Con was organised. The first year I didn’t go, but after that I visited every year. And yes, while everybody who attended was a geek in some way, that wasn’t a bad thing. In fact, the whole con wasn’t as bad as these people made it seem. Every year I attend Dutch Comic Con now and every year it makes me happier. I thought about the reasons why it made me feel that way and decided to write them all down.
I have quite a few friends who are into pop culture. However, whenever I asked them to join me to Comic Con, most of them answered “Well, I don’t
think that’s something for me.” That’s okay, of course, but I feel like they have the wrong idea of what Comic Con is about. Yes, there are people who dress up as their favourite characters, but why is that
so strange? It is an expression of love for a series or film that means a lot to someone. And yes, all the people who attend a comic con love comics or video games. Yet the whole stereotype of a bearded nerd with a beer
belly and stains on his shirt, sitting in a cave to play video games all day, is not accurate.
The best thing about a con like this is that you spend time with like-minded individuals. It doesn’t matter that you are 42 and love Pokémon. There are many people who do. It doesn’t matter that you have a major crush on Wolverine, even though he is a fictional character. I find that at these comic cons, everybody is very accepting. Your age doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter which aspect of pop culture you like. Everybody is welcome and that is something I can really appreciate. It is probably the main reason why I love attending cons in the first place.
Another reason why I love going to comic cons, is the cosplay. Back when I was younger, I did think it was weird that people would dress up for a con like this. Now I appreciate the amount of work that went into these costumes. I love watching people as they get into the character they portray. It’s also fantastic that during the weekend, these people are basically celebrities. People want to take pictures of them and with them. It was also cool to see that the cosplay community is so big and everybody is so kind. There were a lot of hugs happening. I know I say this every time, but next time I want to try out cosplay as well. I’m planning to make it a series on the blog so check it out when the time comes!
A Pop-Culture Fan’s Heaven
Imagine merchandise everywhere of every possible fandom you can imagine. No more ordering online. They even sell stuff that is only available abroad! You can feel the merch, touch it, even sniff it if you’re so inclined. I have to say that whenever I leave a con, I cry myself to sleep because of the huge attack on my bank account, but it’s worth it. There is nothing more exciting than the high of finding something you really wanted to own.
So far I have not met any famous actor at the cons I attended, because none of them were really my cup of tea. I did attend a very funny Q&A with Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) which I very much enjoyed. For others, getting a signature or a picture with an actor or artist they admire is a huge part of attending cons. I think it is great that cons provide safe places for celebrities and fans to meet each other. So
Should you go to a convention?
If you love pop culture, then yes, perhaps it is a great idea to attend a comic con. If you think it is ‘not for you,’ maybe you should give it a shot before deciding that indeed it’s not for you. I always thought that I would not enjoy it, until I went. I’ve never regretted that decision. So next time there is a con near you, attend it and then tell me what you thought.
Do you like to attend comic cons? Are you a cosplayer? Tell us your stories in the comments!