Yesterday, I was at comic con. No, not San Diego (God, I wish), but a smaller one in Manchester. This, however pale it may seem in comparison to other larger venues, was my first ever convention, and it gave me some thoughts that I needed to share.
What I was looking forward to:
1) Wearing a costume.
2) Meeting the celebrities.
3) Buying cool stuff.
I got all of that of course, but most of what I enjoyed were the things that I hadn’t been expecting.
Yes, I got to wear a costume, but the best part was seeing everybody else’s costume. Being surrounded by such talent, creativity and dedication to their characters – especially in this heat, (Batman, I’m looking at you) was an honour, just to be near those people. A room full of talented people can inspire even the dullest of passersby.
And yes, I got to meet the Knights of Merlin, I got to take pictures and get autographs and that was amazing! But what I hadn’t expected was how much better it would be to meet all the other people there. The people like me. The people who said “hey, I like your costume” and within hours, could be your best friend. In an environment like that, where hundreds of people are united by one cause, or passion, or even just an interest in something, everything becomes so much easier, more friendly and relaxed. And that was my favourite part. The group of friends that I made, whom I will never forget. Or even the other groups of people that I met, whose names I have already forgotten, and remember only by their excellent cosplay, or bubbly nature. People with whom I could be myself, people who cold be themselves with me (or, on the other hand, people who were not being themselves at all, but were being Sherlock, or The Doctor, or Shadow Hunters). I met the most interesting people, was exposed to such talent, learned so much, and discovered what it felt like to be part of a community, if only a temporary one.
I expected a great day. I got the best day of my life.
A small con like this only cost about £6 to attend. If you can, do it. Because words are powerful, but no words can fully describe how elated it made me feel to be connected to a room full of hundreds of strangers through a mutual acceptance of “nerdiness.”