Let it be known right up front that I love comic book trade shows. Were there a way to freeze them in time and remain forever in their warm glow (provided I had a never-ending wad of cold cash in my pocket), I would gladly do so.
But, of course, it’s their very transience that is part of their appeal.
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of attending live theater can tell you one of its primary allures — something that separates it from all other forms of pop culture — is its impermanence. See a play once, and you can never see it again. Ever. Nor can anyone else. Sure, you can see the same play with the same actors, same director, same sets, on a different night. But it will not be the exact same performance you witnessed the night before. Sometimes in nothing more than very subtle ways, but no two performances of any play are ever the same. And with that impermanence comes an overwhelming power. As you are consumed in watching a play, at the back of your mind, you are constantly reminding yourself … enjoy this while you can. It’s never going to happen again.
In many ways, the experience of a comic book show echoes those same feelings.
The people you meet, the interactions you experience, the million odd and delightful things you see and do ... they are all fleeting. And even though you can return to the same show year after year, it will never be the same experience. Not exactly. And that’s why I try to cherish each one.
Sure, they can be stressful at times. And very, very tiring. But there’s also nothing quite so wonderful in the world as being surrounded by people who love comics and pop culture, whose very souls are enlivened by beautifully told stories and gorgeously rendered art. Nor anything as invigorating as talking shop with other (much more talented) writers, nor watching over the shoulder as an artist you admire pencils and inks his/her latest creation right before your spellbound eyes.
So, did I enjoy the recent Chicago Comic Con, you ask? Let me put it this way. On the drive home, late at night on Sunday after fours days of comic goodness, my family and I had really only one topic of conversation: We simply couldn’t wait to go back next year.
|No, Brad Pitt and George Clooney did not make a surprise appearance at Chicago Comic Con. It’s Rafael Nieves and Greg Kishbaugh proudly displaying the first-ever comic from Kaleidoscope Entertainment.|