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Monday, September 29, 2008

Straight from the Donut Hole: A High school look at Comic conventions


            Comic Book Conventions… Girls shriek to the word, jocks laugh at its existence, but only the nerds declare pilgrimage to its name. But in this day and age, stereotypes are losing their hold on the new generation of our youth. Take into account senior, Zack Meyer. Look at his school activities and you see a history of a hardcore sport addict. However bring a little nerd into the picture and his true colors show. So Zack, are you a comic book fan or have any hobbies that might be labeled nerdy? 

            “ Oh Yeah !!, I read some comic books and the greatest thing about them are how they seem to almost take you into a different world.”

             Comic book conventions or “Con’s” have been around for years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Conventions can be appealing to all walks of life, rather than just the textbook nerd.

            First things first, to clean up some of the dirt that clings to the word convention and find where truth stands and where false accusations take root. So yes, these are large conventions for comic books, anime, and video games, and yes, there is an occasional large grotesque men who decided not to shower or change clothes for days (and yes they some also wear costumes). But this isn’t the foundation of what comic book conventions stand for, only its overexposed imperfections. Now it’s time to see where this coal turns to diamond.

            Over the summer, I attended my first Con, known as Wizards World in Chicago, Illinois. I went with two of my good friends (Darren Orf, former Duchesne student) and my friend, Samurai Scott (he has a sword he walks around with, don’t ask questions). So this being my first Con I was as giddy as a school girl on the ride down to Chicago, asking questions about who will we see, what can I get signed, and the classic: are we there yet? Upon arrival, a parking spot was found and then preparation to enter the convention began. Walking through the entrance, I laid my eyes upon acres of comic book heaven, major company booths, chains of comic vendors, and everything a comic lover could find. But all of this still plays into the old stereotype of why these conventions are looked down upon. The real power behind these conventions are the comic book panels. A panel is a gathering of writers, artists, and creators who sit in a large room of people and talk about what is to come in the comic book world. The magic of these large gatherings is the personal level of the discussion between fan and creator. The sense of surrealness of talking to a famous writer on the same level as a fan, and not feeling the sense of being looked down upon by these writing celebrities. The writers are real people even when treated as celebrities. Just the atmosphere of these gatherings can make any strange new comer feel right at home. It’s that factor, this embracing of culture and ideals that really makes a con something to respect. Comic books will never be loved by the world, but maybe a light has been shown to what they stand for and why they always will…