San Diego Comic Con is a far away promised land

I’ve been critical of things like ‘Geek Culture‘ (the very name sets my teeth on edge), the way consumerism has infected comics so love of the medium has been replaced with love of buying things, the changing face of conventions, while I’ve offered what advice I can for retailers in what is whatever one thinks, a massive boom time for comics as a culture regardless of his or her position.

It does rightly deserve criticism for forgetting its core purpose which is comics and indeed, this moderately annoying video, Comic Con: The Musical from The Nerdist (as you can imagine the bile rises whenever I see that name) manages to sum up the rampant consumerism and package it in a coating of smug saccharine nonsense while ignoring comics.

There is much about San Diego Comic Con to inspire venom, and yet, I still want to go there. It’s like when I was younger when I discovered something amazing sounding called Glastonbury Festival and eventually spent every year going til illness stopped that for the time being.

I recent years it’s been quite easy to follow what’s going on via social media but that isn’t the same as being there and experiencing the sights, sounds and (sadly) smells of tens of thousands of fanboys and girls in one place. It isn’t the same as seeing a Carmine Infantino piece of original Flash artwork, or seeing Jim Steranko (I think if I were to meet Steranko I’d explode with excitement), or meeting the Hernandez Brothers. Sure, I can follow the programme easily enough, websites like this make it easy to follow what’s going on and I can look for hashtags or mentions on Twitter but it isn’t the same. I spent years reading about Glastonbury but didn’t really get it til I turned up there in a drugged up haze in the early 1990’s.

As this blog gets published it’ll be around 10.30pm UK time, so things will be starting to kick off over in San Diego. I’ll experience it second hand and live the odd vicarious thrill from afar, but I’ll not touch it, and I certainly won’t be able to do so next year. I think just once I should. That could be my mission when I’m declared cancer free, but I’d be going for the comics and I wouldn’t ever be a hypocrite and buy crap because it looks cool. Honest.

So those amassed in San Diego have fun you bunch of filthy consumerists and go look at the comics because without that there wouldn’t be anything else there.


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