I’ve always wanted to go to Comic Con – San Diego. Ever since I was a child I’ve found comics to be a thrilling and exciting medium for art, capable of achieving breakthroughs in entertainment, concept, and physically impossible gigantic titties on the tiniest of frames. For my small prepubescent brain, comic books were as much a milestone as internet porn was for my dad.
I finally got my chance to go this year. My friends Ethan and Parker both work for Legendary Films, the company that brought us all three of the latest Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan, and the recent summer blockbuster, Pacific Rim, a nonstop action packed high octane cliché of a movie and yet totally awesome about giant monsters from another dimension rising out of the ocean to fight giant man piloted robots. They were there to promote all the latest that is Legendary and invited me to come down to drink booze, eat oysters, all at Legendary’s expense, and, best of all, gaze lecherously at the real life comic book babes strolling about town.
Wonder Woman was a popular choice amongst the ladies. This princess of the Amazon dressed provocatively even in the 1940’s when she got her start in comics, but it’s a whole new ball game today at Comic Con with surgically enhanced real life models and awkward yet prime 16 year olds all around you. Wonder Woman is a warrior princess fighting for truth, justice, and the American way, and has been an icon for feminism for decades. Now she seems to mostly be vying for male attention against Batgirl, Daenerys, and She-Ra. The competition is fierce, the targets, stiff.
As a hetero male with a healthy sexual appetite, raised on comics, video games, cartoons, and action movies, I was in heaven. And by heaven I think I mean hell, because this absurd display of hot sexy nerd dreams confined within this tight space with me in the middle induced frustration, panic, vertigo, and agoraphobia: despite the general symptoms of anxiety I still did not want to leave the building. Ever.
“Where’s the bar?” I asked one of the Wonder Women as she strolled pass me.
“Diana of Themyscira uses no staff. Only her lasso of truth!”
“Yeah, yeah, ok, cool, but I’m looking for the bar. There has to be one around here.”
“You know not of what you speak, man pig.”
“I’ll just go ask Tony Stark, thanks.”
That’s more or less how it went in there. These cosplay girls took their characters a little too seriously. (If you don’t know what cosplay is, it’s short for costume play. It’s not specifically sexual, but, clearly, it inherently is.) The guys weren’t much better.
“Hey, Inspector Gadget, tell me where the bar is.”
“Unhand me, villian!”
God damn it.
Metallica was set to play an exclusive show Friday night at an undisclosed location. The only way to get tickets was to sit through what I imagined to be an arduous panel put on by the band where they were to discuss their new 3D live concert movie mixed with a film narrative about a young roadie out in a apocalyptic riot outside the concert called Through the Never. There was no way I was going to sit through that shit, but I still wanted to go to the concert. I thought it would enhance my experience there at Comic Con and it had to be better than bouncing around bars and parties blaring house music from every orifice. Even a virtually nude Mother of Dragons couldn’t save me from the churning redundant beat of techno.
After a futile and exhausting search through downtown San Diego to find tickets I went back to our hotel bar to get a bunch of drinks and food at Legendary’s expense. While waiting for my food an older lady and her crew approached me.
“A boy like you shouldn’t look so sad at Comic Con. What’s the matter?”
“Aw, nothing. I just wanted to go see Metallica.”
“If I could get you Metallica tickets would that make you feel better?”
“Yeah. I guess.”
“Give me a minute.”
This lady must be James Hetfield’s mom or something because it wasn’t long before she called me saying she got me a ticket.
“Can you make it a +1?” I asked.
“Sure, no problem. Just hurry up.”
I turned to the gorgeous blond beside me.
“Hey, Catwoman. Wanna go see Metallica?”
God bless the bar.
A real life super hero rescuing a damsel from the distress of house music.
Comic Con is an extreme experience. There’s nothing else like it on earth. I can see why people come from all over the country and the world for just a few days of one of the most visceral displays of consumerism, materialism, and mayhem you can find anywhere. Hollywood, Madison Ave, and Silicon Valley may have expropriated the original dream of Comic Con, but it seems they have turned our young boy comic book fantasies into the closest thing to reality we could ever really get. I’ll definitely be there next year.