Not a Con Man

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:
If a road trip materializes, I might well go, admitted more to hang out with my friends than for the event. After all, my sister is in Montreal, there's no hotel to pay for. The Con is reasonably priced. And look at those stars! I mean, they have the Doctor, Spike, Bobba Fett, the one true Batman, Mal and Gimli! That's really hitting a lot of my fandoms in one go. Not to mention comics people like Kevin Eastman, Howard Chaykin, Glenn Fabry, and DC Bombshells' Marguerite Sauvage.

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...


Unknown said...

When "clothe is not my thing" is part of why you shouldn't go... I agree. :) But seriously, I'm not big on cons myself, but I think that, if it's part of a bigger road trip, it would be fun.

Cons feel more like a side dish than a main cours... part of a bigger meal is better than "as the meal".

We can watch an episode of DrWho, Buffy, Firefly, Batman TAS and try and convince ourselves they're part of the same universe.

Siskoid said...

Oh you want to play THAT game, my brother?

DrWho is part of every universe, just a TARDIS trip away.

Fred Melanson said...

Did't we already do that thing where we connected all the major geekverses through cannon material? and it came down to a baseball card from DS9 with a pro team from Gotham City?

Siskoid said...

You mean this:

Anonymous said...

I agree! One of my equally agorophobic comic-geek friends keeps "challenging" me to go to a con and you laid out every reason I give him. I think I'll just print it out.

Shotgun Godin said...


^ That was my heart screaming... Man I wish I could do it. Gas would be cheap, no hotel fees for me as well, and the Con price is reasonable - although I would totally go for the VIP experience because I'm crazy.

I would definitely ruin myself in random crap and food and booze and I really need to put money aside for my trip in England this fall and I wanna cry and AAAAHHHH!!!

Anonymous said...

Despite being full of Clonezapam, my last trip to the Baltimore Comic-Con was still an anxiety-filled gauntlet to be endured instead of enjoyed. I don't blame you for being hesitant about attending.

Toby'c said...

I've been to one convention in my life, which was pretty badly organised ( I didn't hate it, but I didn't get a lot out of it either - two autographs (one from Julie Benz), some novelty badges and a t-shirt which I somehow managed to lose before leaving the building.

googum said...

There's a local con I hit every year. I'm not usually one to spring for the celebs, but I did cough up for a Stan Lee autograph. Mostly I just want cheap comics and figures. Every year my goal has been 400 quarter comics, but I've never quite made it! (Possibly because the quarter bins are largely a buck now...)

Mike Wilson said...

Hmmm, I'm with you on a lot of points (don't like crowds, big cities freak me out, hard to talk to strangers), but if I had the money and time I might force myself to go to a Con, just for the experience. I'd definitely pick a smaller Con to attend, but I'm assuming Montreal isn't exactly SDCC.

If you want the opinion of some (semi) random dude on the internet, I'd say you should go. Like you said, your sister's there, and if you're not feeling the Con you can always hang out in Montreal; I hear Vieux Montreal is quite pedestrianized ... not so crowded :)

Anonymous said...

"DrWho is part of every universe" ... except that of Enid Blyton's Noddy, per the Doctor himself in "The Unicorn and the Wasp." Of course, the Doctor does lie, so ...


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