Whether an avid comic book fan or otherwise, comic conventions invoke images of everything from artists, comics, vendors, and cosplayers. From ComicCon to DragonCon and E3 to PAX, I’ve always regarded them from the perspective of an observer. Strange, perhaps, since both comic books and video games have been integral parts of my life since I was a kid. It was not until I made it to this years’ Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) that I got a real taste of what the comic convention experience entailed.
Entering the convention, one thing is clear: you will be standing in lines. No problem. I’ve been to Disneyland. I’ve experienced Black Friday sales (as both employee and customer). I’ve sat in LA rush hour. If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s queue. Also: I know how to spell “queue”. So, two things I know.
As this was my first convention, the crowds and lines gave me a sense of scale and the kind of impact that the comic book industry has. Sure you get a taste of this through photos, videos, and online forums, but I’m sure that (like me) there is a large portion of the comic book reading audience whose entire social experience surrounding comic books has been limited to their room, their local comic shop, and a group of friends that share the interest. So you can imagine that for me, a socially introverted comic convention newbie, the experience was a little overwhelming at first.