A lot of the time when I tell someone about what goes on at San Diego Comic Con they look at me with a mixture of amusement and bewilderment. The amusement because I suspect they can picture me in my element in the place I’m describing and bewilderment at why anyone would want to go to such a crowded and hectic place. Like many nerds, I have been fascinated by comic conventions for as long as I can remember. I looked on from afar (well actually online) at the exciting news and images that came from the big ones. For my first con I went big and went to the San Diego Comic Con. I prepared for the better part of a month. Following the exclusives, scoping out the panel news, and even listening to a podcast leading up to the week. I was as ready as I could be and still felt like it wasn’t enough. It was a blast and I came back better prepared each time since.
So I knew that I was throwing my girlfriend, Jeanna, a big curve ball when I asked her to join me at Rose City Comic Con this weekend in Portland, Oregon. This will be her first comic convention and while she has all the signs that point to being a nerd about some things, I know that there is a lot that she has yet to experience in nerd culture. I wanted to get the perspective of a convention newbie. So I asked Jeanna to tell me what she knew about comic cons and what she was expecting to see and do.
(Go Go Power Ranger)
So you’ve never been to a comic con before? Have you seen what one looks like?
Well my friend Marilyn, who lives in LA, she goes to the San Diego Comic Con. So I’ve definitely seen pictures.
I mean she volunteers.
Have you ever seen a panel?
Yes, I’ve seen a Game of Thrones panel online. I’ve seen a couple of them. But pretty much just them.
So you know what happens at a panel?
Yeah, although I don’t know if I’ve seen very successful ones. But they must be pretty big to get all those people (people involved in the shows) there.
Would you ever ask a question at a panel?
No, never (flustered) because half the time people ask just really basic questions. That’s just like, “why are you wasting everyone’s time?”. Or they’re so fan girling/boying that they can’t even get their question out or they have ten part questions that are impossible for anyone to answer. I’ve rarely heard a good question that got a good answer, but obviously I haven’t watched that many. Or, the worst one where they’re like, ”can you tell me about next season?” No, no they can’t. Laughs. They’re not going to give anything away. Or they’re writers and are not going to tell you anything.
(The beginnings of a cosplayer?)
I know you’re into Game of Thrones, is there anything else that you would consider yourself a nerd about?
Definitely Harry Potter.
How long have you been a Harry Potter nerd?
Well I started reading them when I was ten, which was perfect timing. Because when I turned eleven I was like, “well I’m certainly smart enough to know I wasn’t going to get a letter, but I was like ooohh what if I get a letter?”. It’s funny since I had the first four books for a while before I started reading them but just one day I was like, “yeah I’ll give these a try” and I was hooked instantly.
Do you collect anything Harry Potter?
I have all the books and all the extra books. All the movies and before the first movie came out when they would do all the previews for the movies in magazines I would collect those. So I have all the Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly previews. That’s pretty much it though.
So you don’t have any collection or collectibles like Funko Pops or anything like that?
I mean I have a Harry Potter puzzle and a sticker book. But I never got too far into the accessories.
So you’re not an action figure collector or anything like that?
Maybe a wand?
Well, ok a wand I’d maybe get. Especially if I went to the Harry Potter World.
How would you describe a comic con having never been at one? What do you think goes on at a comic con besides panels?
Well, there’s obviously panels that go on throughout the days. It seems like there’s a whole variety of stuff. Talks about stuff like women in comics, but there’s also stuff like the cast of this show is going to be here. I did look at the website right before this and there was one that was like, “how to cosplay as a family” or something. So interesting stuff depending on what you’re into.
Are there any panels that you are interested in going to? What else besides panels do you want to do?
So there’s panels and there are one or several main halls with artists and collectibles and obviously Stan Lee is going to be there. So of course there’s famous people going to be there doing stuff. I think a lot of it too is just all the people walking around cosplaying.
So comic con is also kind of a big flea market or bazaar. The main convention floor is split up between artists and vendors. Is there anything you have your eye on, maybe something Harry Potter, or art or something?
I feel like HP might be, not played out because there’s the new play and Fantastic Beasts so there’s gonna be some stuff but yea I’d be interested to see what’s there. I’m curious to see what even exists. As someone that isn’t super nerdy I guess, I’m excited to see what people have done to expand on the things I’m interested in.
You found that Tyler Stout was gonna be at Comic Con, are you excited to see someone that I have a bunch of posters from?
When I was scrolling through the list and I saw him I was like, “oh mah gad”. One because I actually recognized his name and I figured you would be really excited and it would be cool to see a legit artist, not that the other people aren’t, but that’s so popular. Just to see the mania around him.
Are you looking to go to other comic cons?
Yeah! If it was fun and it seemed worth the time and money and effort to plan it all then yea, I think it would be fun to see what happens at other ones. It seems like the Portland one would be smaller. It would be cool to go to San Diego because it seems like the classic one and they probably get the most big stars. But then also it’s like do I want to deal with all the craziness of waiting in lines for stuff. I think that would kind of depress me, because you’d still get caught in the situation where it’s like oh I want to see these two things at the same time and I can’t do both. I’m big on my FOMO, like I’d be so sad if I missed out on something super cool because I went to something else. That kind of stresses me out.
(I’m hoping there’s just as big a smile after her first comic convention)
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