Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Monday, July 28, 2008

Comics, Characters, Chaos, and Arun

The nice thing about living in a big city, is that there's always a plethora of things going on. This weekend, I had friends going sailing, to the horse races, to a boat show, and yes, to the famous Comic Con.

What is Comic Con? It's an international convention that basically serves as the mecca for anyone who likes comic books, cartoons, science fiction, movies, video games, anime, roll playing games, etc. It only goes on for four days every year, and people flock from near and far to see what's in store for they're favorite story, character, game, or whatever. In other words, it's a nerd fest.

Naturally, I've never been.

Ok, ok. In all honestly, I have always been intrigued. As a kid, I was a big fan of Marvel Comics and have quite a collection sitting on a bookshelf in Alaska. I also have a bunch of trading cards. I'm still a fan I guess, but I don't read comic books or follow any storylines. Sadly though, I could list off the real (fictional) names of every X-man character as well as their power and a brief biography.

If that wasn't bad enough, I emplore those of you who only mariginally respect me to skip the rest of this paragraph for fear of completely losing all respect. For the rest of you (which I assume is ALL of you) who have me on an infallable pedestal of awesomeness, you may continue as I know that my dignity (or lack thereof) is unshakable to you. So what's soooo bad? Well, for a period of about two years (probably age 10-12) I played (and collected) POGS, and Magic: The Gathering. Don't worry...I've NEVER played any other roll playing game including Dungeons and Dragons (ok, ok...I may have once played D&D by accident).

The bottom line though, is that I'm not really into ANY of the interests or activities that Comic Con is all about. I have fleeting interest in Marvel Comics, and was curious about a new Ghostbusters game on the horizon, but that's about it. But, when my friend Lauren who works at the Downtown Hyatt and can get free tickets to stuff, offered me a chance to go to Comic Con for FREE, the inner nerd in me (and I'm talkin way down deep inside) couldn't resist.

Is there really any better word than "Free?"

I had actually been in the downtown area on Friday and Saturday night, and was witness to the multitude of characters running around downtown. There were numerous "Star Wars" Trooper Guys, Jedi's, Wizards, Comic Book Characters, and just plain weird, random costumes. It was thoroughly entertaining. It was almost like halloween, except these costumes were a hundred times better, and more expensive.

How expensive? Well, I saw a Ghostbuster running around, and I swear he had a real proton pack on. I was a little weary of getting close to a guy with "an unliscenced nuclear accelerator" on his back. Also, during my tour of the main convention hall, I walked passed a booth selling "authentic" light sabers. I'm not sure how the hell they can be authentic, but the sign said, "Light Sabers starting at $300 and up!"

I saw at least eight people walking around with those things.

Due to my lack of interest, the convention itself was pretty unexciting for me. I couldn't believe people buy four day passes and spend all day here. There were some highlights however:

- The FIRST person I saw when I walked into the big convention room? LOU FERRIGNO! He's Arnold Schwarzenegger's main rival in the movie pumping iron, played the Hulk in the original series, is a world reknown body-builder, and even makes a cameo in the latest Hulk movie! I had to say something to him, so I just went up to him, and in my best Arnold voice said, "Hey! Big Lou! How's it going!" He smiled, lightly chuckled, and shook my hand. The guy is old but he could still snap me like a twig and his bicep is as big as my head.

- I also saw the guy who played Chewy in Star Wars. That dude is old.

- Some kid was playing the forthcoming Ghostbusters game which essentially serves as the third movie. It would have been nice to play except for the fact that there were like 50 other people waiting for a turn including about 12 different Ghostbusters.

- There was a Pokeman and Magic the Gathering tournament going on. I peeked in to see the crowd. Thank god I came to my senses years ago.

- My friend Derek was taking the Coaster down to San Diego from Orange County because he managed to get some kind of paying gig to be part of a mock "Alien Rights Protest" for some movie advertisement. On the ride down he was on wasn't sure which trolley he had to take to get downtown, so he called Danny, who had no clue. Then he found a solution. "Aha! There's a Wizard a couple of seats away! I'll just follow him and the dragon next to him!" On any other day, this might have seemed weird.

- There was a huge line for autographs from some kind of celebrities. I asked someone what the line was for:

Comic Fan: "It's for (insert five names here)!"
Me: "Who? What do they do?"

Apparently that was an unacceptable response because everyone in earshot gave me incredulous looks. Apparently they're famous comic book writers and illustrators. I walked away, much to their approval.

-The "Star Trek Autographs" line was ridiculous. Don't they have conventions JUST for "Trekkies?"

-So was the "Marvel 2009 Preview" symposium line. I would've gone if not for the wait. Apparently, Hugh Jackman showed up and brought a trailer of the "Wolverine" due out in May 2009. Damn.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. Lots of characters and chaos! I probably wouldn't go again unless it's free...that is, unless I decide to unretire from Magic the Gathering!

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