The Funnies Ain't So Funny Anymore
Hello everyone, and sorry
for the delay. Iíve just gone through a hectic last couple of weeks,
and the NY comicon stuck in the middle did not help much. So, this
issue, as a small change of pace, will be about the convention itself as
it is still fresh in my mind, and the topic of today: fanboys! The
Around Comics podcast had a great discussion about fanboys a couple of
months ago, going through the different stereotypes and what defines
them, so anything in here that might resemble their discussion is not
plagiarism, but more of a tribute.
So, if youíve read the
CBR columns lately, you might have come across the term they coined:
NYerdCon. And this convention was exactly that: a gathering of nerds,
geeks, crazy people and inner kids at its greatest. And please donít
take this as an insult, I was there too so I should fit into one of
those categories myself. These terms are obviously gross stereotypes,
but the mere existence of this convention brings this out of its
attendants, even if they never before acted as such. As I was standing
in line Saturday morning, trying to get into the convention center, we
saw through the window a bunch of people having lightsaber classes,
really acting it out and truly getting into the moment. As a bald,
tanned Jedi rolled away from a frontal cut by some unidentifiable alien,
the people just in front of me in line commented on how these people, as
geeky as they may seem through the opaque window on this weekend
morning, most probably had just gone through a huge transformation.
During a regular weekday, that Jedi could very easily be a respected,
suit-wearing broker down in Wall Street. But convention season can have
a strange effect on people. ďWhen in Rome, act as a Roman would.Ē When
surrounded by fellow fanboys, people tend to let loose their inner self
that would usually never escape given normal circumstances. Iím sure
the goofy Hulk I ran across is not that careless and crazy as he was
that day. There is something about these events that lets people act
out fantasies and be as reckless as they want, and no one will call them
on it. Is that the result of a repressed fanboy who does not have other
outlets for his passion?
Another type of fanboy I
saw, and count myself among, is the completist. Going from booth to
booth, table to table, sometimes even more than once, hunting for a
single issue missing from the storyarc. Yeah, that was a drag. Iím sure
some of the sellers also got annoyed at me too. But the way I see it,
if Iím not serious about my hobbies, why am I doing them in the first
place? This fanboyís convention experience mainly consists of booth
hunting, buying, buying, comparing, calculating, buying some more, and
then going up to artist alley to get as many books signed as possible.
No eBay profit involved, but simply part of a greater experience of
enjoying the ďcompletenessĒ of your longbox. Yeah, I did feel like an
outsider after a while.
So, who else goes to
these conventions? I ran into several people who, at Saturday
afternoon, still had not hit the main floor or walked around the place.
For them, this event is for a complete different purpose: to meet up
with fellow readers they only know from forums. Itís about meeting
people, talking about anything and everything, and to simply be
surrounded by other people who like the same thing as they do. Sean
hinted at being one of these, but with the addition of talking to
creators too. So that got me thinking, and by late afternoon I decided
to switch things around a bit. I knew no one in there except the raging
bullets crew, but that didnít stop me from just walking up to random
people and starting up conversation. What would you have in common with
random strangers? Well, youíre both at the con, arenít you? Iíve got to
thank this hobby then, for making me less shy.
Oh yeah, one more thing
fanboys are crazy about: useless trinkets or expensive things. I saw
the biggest wastes of money being spent for such common objects (well,
ďwasteĒ is a relative term, but that exactly is my point). I saw so
many people go crazy about getting DCís limited edition Darkseid pin.
Yeah, I wanted one too. Boo-hoo. Iím still annoyed at not getting it,
even though I had all 4 pins and the coupon, but itís just a pin. Or is
it? Just like I am a completist for books, some people feel the need
for getting paraphernalia, and I just canít in my right mind condemn
them without casting doubt on my own habits.
So this convention was
more than just a gathering of geeks for me. I had fun. Lots of it.
But I also learned from it. Itís not about the kind of fanboy you are,
or how extreme you are about it, but rather that you are not ashamed of
it. Itís about release, and feeling right at home. Itís about forming
a community, and a tight one at that. So thank you DC for countless
hours of enjoyment, thank you raging bullets for letting me know that
this does not have to be a private hobby, and thank you everyone else,
for forming this community and accepting me into it.
Until next time,