Card-carrying geek or not, I've never been to a convention - not sci-fi, not comics, not gaming, nothing - and people wonder why. Part of it is geography. We're very far from the big cities that host the best cons, and though Animaritimes is sometimes hosted here, I don't have any particular affinity for anime. The most I've done is support my local literature festival (Frye) when it has comics-related events (like American Splendor's Harvey Pekar who gave a talk here a decade ago, or comics historian/publisher Hope Nicholson's various presentations last year). But the whole cosplay | booths | signings | celebrity round tables | game tournaments thing? Nope, not for me.
And yet, this line-up for Montreal's ComicCon gave me pause:
And what about HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC? My Fire & Water peeps are heading there in June and of course graciously invited me. I'm not going, but is it really because I won't enter Trump's America without at least SOME cybergear? That's the last great comics-centric convention and has an impressive guest list of comics pros. And yet...
So what's my frigging problem? Well, let me count the ways:
1. I'm not a fan of crowds. Agoraphobic much? Sort of. Let's just say it heightens my anxiety.
2. I'm not a fan of talking to people I don't know. And that most certainly includes celebs, comics pros, etc. It's not so much that I'm shy, but that I always feel like I'm bothering them. It takes everything I have to address someone even in a context where that's why they're there!
3. I'm not a fan of Montreal. Or big cities in general. I don't want to generalize too much, but I find metropolitans needlessly aggressive and confrontational.
4. Montreal is a good 10 hours drive away, and my back tends to give out on long drives. Come to think of it, while walking isn't too bad, standing around, regardless of floor surface, also puts a kink in my lower back.
5. Not much of a cosplayer. Nothing against it, but clothes aren't really my thing.
6. Do I really need more junk in my apartment? I converted to digital comics for a reason! But I know myself. If given the opportunity to blow money on geekly things, I probably will!
7. The schedule isn't great. Montreal ComicCon is a few days after an Atlantic improv tournament, and 2 days before a national one. I'm one of the organizers for both. Can I spare the energy?
We'll see in a few months, after specific events have been nailed down, if we nevertheless decide to go. Truth be told, there are people I podcast with who can get me to do anything. The girls are particularly hard to resist. I'm sure my sister and her kids would appreciate it. GAH! MIXED FEELINGS!
Convince me, dissuade me, do what you like. We've got a few weeks/months to go...