What does Comic-Con mean to you?
If you’re the average attendee, you’re probably a geek who loves some or all of the movies, TV shows, collectibles, cosplay, and, of course, comic books that line the aisles of the convention center or hotel conference room where you and your current and future friends gather.
But there are some who see Comic-Con as a way of life. And nowhere is that more evident than at THE con event of the year, San Diego Comic-Con. Cosplayers and comic book creators both live for the con experience, whether they like it or not. In San Diego, easily the biggest and best known Comic-Con in the US, getting a booth to promote your latest comic series is essential to staying relevant in the industry. Terry Moore, best known for his indie fan favorite series, Strangers in Paradise, is a staple in the Comic-Con scene and can be found in the same location every year (#2208, near the DC booth). Mike Wellman writes the comic Guns A-Blazin’ when he isn’t running a comic shop in Manhattan Beach, California, which gives him a unique perspective on both sides of the battle to bring comics to the masses. Jeff Kaufman, a controversial graphic novelist (Whore, Angel Falling), knows that even though most may claim that San Diego Comic-Con is no longer “just about comics”, it’s still the place you need go to be seen by the fans and others in the industry to move up to the big time. For the folks at 1821 Media, their shot at the big time came in the form of partnering with comic icon Stan Lee, who used their company as a means to tell stories that Marvel wouldn’t necessarily be interested in, such as his sci-fi reinterpretation of “Romeo and Juliet”, using cyborgs and mutants in a battle that goes beyond the simple romance and family strife of Shakespeare’s original. But even Stan Lee’s name on a book doesn’t exactly guarantee an instant sale. One still needs to bring the book to San Diego Comic-Con.
For cosplayers like Yaya Han, it’s all about connecting with fellow fans in a different way. Cosplay offers those who are serious about their fandom a way to express themselves through the art of costume design (and a willingness to pose for pictures every 3 steps on the convention floor). To her, it’s an unashamed, outward expression of your inner geek that is unique among the Comic-Con crowd and no longer limited to a dark little corner of the geek realm.
We talked to each of these creative folks to get their perspective on the biggest geek event on Earth and why it’s an integral part of their year…
Again, what does Comic-Con mean to you? If you head to San Diego every year, either as a fan or a creator, tell us about your experience, good or bad, in the comments below!
Video Segment Producer: Mauricio Portillo