In 1970, Golden Gate Comic Book Convention was held for the first time in San Diego, California. Later, the Golden Gate Comic Book Convention gave way to the title San Diego Comic Book Convention which today is officially named Comic Con International: San Diego. Although the name Comic Con International: San Diego is the official name and the name attached to all the official logos, con-goers lovingly call it simply San Diego Comic Con or SDCC or simply Comic Con.
From what I’m told the original format of the convention was comic books in its purest form. Now the international format has branched out to include all sorts of “fan-doms.” I wonder if the group of San Diegans who formed the first Golden Gate Comic Book Convention knew that their love for comics would catch on like wild fire and infect entire nations. People from all over the globe scrimp and save their pennies to attend this once a year event.
So, how does an old woman like me know about Comic Con International: San Diego? Seven years ago my daughters decided to go on vacation together to San Diego to this “convention.” I didn’t have a whole lot of concerns seeing them off to San Diego together to a “little” convention in sunny California. I expected they would have fun on the beach, in the ocean or sight-seeing when the their tiny convention got a little boring. What I didn’t expect was to see a picture plastered on AOL of my daughter sleeping in front of the San Diego Convention Center. I stared at the picture for what seemed like hours but I’m sure it was only a few minutes.
“Is that her? No, it can’t be! That IS her! You’ve got to be kidding. What in the heck? Oh my God, what in the world is she thinking? All those people around her are strangers. She could be killed.” Ah yes, a mother’s thoughts go immediately to the dark side when she perceives her offspring to be in danger. I looked at the picture again, this time smiling as I recalled the many times I did things that my mother would have considered foolish or dangerous.
Their arrival home was filled with chatter: what they did, who they saw, how many people were there, how the people were dressed, what panels they saw. They spoke incessantly of all the things I knew nothing about. The one thing I did hear them say is that they were going again next year and immediately the AOL picture flashed in my mind.
Comic Con 2012 will begin July 12th with the all-important preview night beginning the 11th of July. I can only assume the population of San Diego will swell to unprecedented proportions. The cost of basic hotel rooms will raise to $800.00 per night (no exaggeration) and they will all be filled with convention goers. Restaurants will re-name their meals and drinks to “Batman Burgers” or “The Force Shakes” and people will be dressed in outlandish costumes representing their favorite fan-doms. The Convention Center will be at capacity. As with every big Convention, there will probably be little “side bars” of people who hold similar interests and will meet up to discuss what they like and don’t like about a particular comic, or show, or fan. Perhaps new friendships will spawn from across the globe. Boats, jets and the internet have made this world a very small place.
What am I looking forward to when it comes to Comic Con? I wish I could say that I am looking forward to it being over so the Comic Con Conversation can stop; but I know even after the event the conversation continues. Once 2012 Comic Con International is put to bed, 2013 Comic Con will be sleepily raising her head.
The one priceless thing about Comic Con? The joy in eyes of my child at her excitement.