I only know one way to describe San Diego Comic-Con: heaven. Sure there are those who will scoff and tell me I blaspheme, but as I sat in line at 6 a.m. on a Saturday listening to street preachers ask me to choose “Heaven or Hell?” I knew that I was exactly where I wanted to be.
Comic-Con is unlike any experience I have ever had. Nerds and geeks, groups that I proudly pledge allegiance to, come from around the world to create a place entirely unique in this world: a home. I felt as if I spent my time in San Diego with my long lost 150,000 family members. The Con is the only place where both the socially awkward and sheltered come out of their shells and children aged eight to eighty watch their dreams come true. People go to Comic-Con not to be somebody else but to be themselves. There, costumes aren’t costumes at all, they’re skin. Each fan dresses up not only to respect their heroes but to free themselves of the body they have. Like Superman, these people feel more are themselves in costume and hide when they go to work each day.
The whole experience is beyond a little surreal. As I walked across the show floor, passing Deadpool in one instant and then the Ninja Turtles just seconds later, I had a hard time grasping exactly what was happening. Lines litter the convention. You could play Tomb Raider, Hitman, Halo 4, Resident Evil 6, DmC, or Lost Planet 3 if you wanted to, but there was always a line. But these lines are part of the Comic-Con culture; if you go to Comic-Con and you never stand in line then you are doing something wrong.
Comic-Con is littered with stars. It’s almost a game amongst the patrons. Whether you get to have a smoke with Thomas Jane (yes I did) or you run into Andy Serkis buying comics, there are amazing people everywhere.
And then there’s Hall H, the Mecca of our (nerds) universe. Hall H is where miracles happen, where dreams are revealed and heroes sit amongst their fans, and it is for that opportunity that I woke up at 5 a.m. and waited for 5 hours. I saw Django, End of Watch, and Silent Hill. Then my life was altered when Warner Bros. and Legendary showed me Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Man of Steel, and The Hobbit. Tony Stark (I mean Robert Downey, Jr.) then danced his way to stage for Iron Man 3. Then the Kevin Smith inspired me to be something better than I am.
Comic-Con is 4 days of Christmas, plain and simple. Each day something better can and will happen to you. It is a beacon of hope for us geeks. A place where abnormality is regularity and difference is similarity. It allows you to be a part of so much. I was there for Godzilla. I was there when they announced Deadpool. I was there when Dirty Laundry (the Punisher short) was revealed.
If you have never been, go. Just go. There is nothing that you could ever regret. Will you miss things? Yes. But not because you missed the opportunity; because you chose another, equally cool opportunity. There is so much to do. And the city transforms. Entire buses are detailed, restaurants change their names, and hotels cover their façades with posters. For a short time it seems the whole world has braided itself with the worlds of videogames and comics. It is amazing. So go. That is the only advice I can give, but I think it is the best advice I have given in my entire life. Go.