I just got back from my 13th comic book convention of the year and it’s not my last before December 31. If I had a dollar for every Deadpool costume I’ve seen this year, I’d be able to buy all the remote control BB-8s! You may have heard me complaining about cons online; eating nothing but pizza for 3 days or how I’ve out-walked my step-counter, but with the exception of San Diego Comic-Con, which has frankly gotten too big for the space it’s in, you’ll never hear me say I hate them.
This time around it was the Nashville Wizard World, where I got to moderate a bunch of panels, including the “Dukes of Hazzard,” “Firefly” and “CHiPs” reunion, as well as Danny Trejo, Candice Patton from “The Flash.” It’s really hard to beat talking to these amazing people, but that’s not the thing that makes me love them. It’s the absolute love of every permutation of nerd culture and everyone who shares in it.
It sounds like a given, but there were some amazing moments that you’d find in very few other places. I watched a woman burst into applause when we talked about her favorite female character on a panel and how things are changing for the industry. She got choked up when we talked about it afterward. I saw a 4-year-old kid who just discovered “CHiPs” squeal in happiness after taking over the panel with his motorcycle questions. I watch a Make-A-Wish kid absolutely beaming with joy when he got a hug from the cast of “Dukes of Hazzard.” Sure, those shows may be long since over. The may not be technically “geek,” but that’s the thing about this world; you love it, you can find people who love it right along with you.
I heard a girl telling her friend all about classic “Doctor Who” and completely convince her to watch. I saw a dad explaining the parts of a broken Millennium Falcon toy at a booth to his tiny son dressed as Han Solo. I was there when a sea of people with Jayne Cobb hats (including one very cute baby) got up on stage to take pictures with Adam Baldwin and Jewel Staite after the panel. I had yet another little boy tell me he didn’t buy the Avengers set because Black Widow wasn’t in it.
Why am I writing this? Mostly because I got yet another chance to see something magical. I got to see that, no matter who you are and what you love, you’re not alone. Go to a con. Meet brand new friends. Let your geek flag fly. You’re not the only one.