Mind Your Business: Comic-Con Alter Egos – Part 1
Comic-Con is many things to many people and freakishly gigantic to all. I hear all sorts of estimates and supposedly official numbers of how many attendees there are this year but my official counting is that it was equal to the population of Brazil.
I went there for business reasons this year. My main purpose was a heroic meeting with Disney. But like all the great heroes, my alter ego was itching to come out and get my geek on.
It didn’t take long. My flight got rerouted to San Francisco from Florida. Then I had the opportunity to meet the Mythbusters Kari, Grant and Tory when we ended up on the same flight to San Diego. I think I spoke intelligently to them, but it might have been gibberish. Damn, Kari is even more gorgeous in person. It was a great way to start the trip.
The last leg of my trip to the Con resulted in an unexpected discussion. My cabbie and I were talking about all the costumes in town for the event. I love it. It’s true freedom of expression and unadulterated joy for thousands who hide their inner geek the rest of the year.
My cabbie, who was from the Middle East, also loves freedom, but his alter ego has a different definition of freedom. To him freedom would be NOT letting people walk around in costumes. He thinks it’s dangerous for them to be all covered up. I literally laughed at him and told him that true freedom means that he can think what he wants and the rest of us are free to completely ignore him.
I also have to thank my San Diego roomie. If you’ve ever been to Comic-Con, you know how hard it is to find a hotel room that week. When you wait until 2 weeks before to decide to go like I did, it gets a lot tougher and MUCH more expensive. Even crappy Motel 6 rooms were going for $300-$400 a night. Fellow NCS (National Cartoonists Society) member and Making It! Cartoonist Keith Robinson shared his suite with me so I didn’t have to sleep outside of Hall H. Speaking of alter egos, Keith is also the owner of Intellivision. If you’re over 40, you know what that is. If you’re not that old, Intellivision equals 8-bit video games of the past.
I was thinking about alter egos the entire time I was in San Diego. So of course when I ran into a couple wearing Superman outfits I felt the urge to discover their secret identities. I didn’t really think either of them was the real Superman as their costumes seemed to be glued together from scraps of…well…scraps. As it turns out I was right. She’s a student and he is unemployed. Um. Yeah.
If you want the details of who said what and what little bit of information was pretended to be given out in the big halls by the Hollywood studios, read Entertainment Weekly or watch G4. I’m bringing you the real experience of Comic-Con. The experience a person geeky enough know lots of obscure knowledge and wear cartoon socks, but not so geeky as to sleep overnight beside the convention center and walk around the conference floor with dental floss up your ass and call it a costume. (But a huge THANK YOU to all the people who do walk around wearing that dental floss as you make our people-watching oh-so-enjoyable)