Last Monday was a trip back to reality that I wasn’t looking forward to. I had already come down from my WonderCon high and I was stuck shuffling my way down the center aisle of a sold out flight, while clutching a trade of Brian K. Vaughan’s "Saga". I was bracing myself for yet another awkward flight where I would have to take a center seat. For most of you, a center seat isn’t a big deal, but for those of us that have a...heavyset frame, it's physically and socially awkward torture. I found an open seat between two women. One was dozing off, the other was sitting quietly. “Great. The last thing they need is a heavyset nerd crowding up the row,” I thought. So, I asked if the seat is taken, they said no, and I awkwardly scooted in. At that point, I had accepted that the flight would be uncomfortable, and then the unexpected happened. The young lady on my left saw my copy of 'Saga' and asked, "Hey did you go to WonderCon?" And then this trip became one of the most pleasant flights that I've ever had.
It's already been a week since I flew into Orange County for WonderCon. What may seem strange is that I don’t really miss the comics, the panels, the dealer room or even the free give aways. What I miss the most are the people. Normally, I don’t mix well with the public. In fact my biggest problem with movie theaters and concerts is that they let in the public. However, the crowds that comes to WonderCon, or any other comic convention, have a different aura about them. The people are just so open and welcoming.
Back on my flight home from WonderCon, I actually ended up sitting in between a mother and daughter that had also just attended the convention. I hate sitting in the middle seat, but sitting between two people who enjoy comics and the work of Joss Whedon made me forget all about my discomfort. I usually don’t have such an easy time starting a conversation with strangers, but finding out that we all went to the convention made everything so straightforward and simple.
I can’t really say for sure what it is that makes talking to other convention attendees so easy, but I guess a good amount of geeks and nerds alike have a somewhat difficult time finding others like them. And when they do find each other, it’s like everything just fits. Whether you’re a life-long nerd, or even brand new to a fandom, somebody at a convention like WonderCon will just get you.
Personally, I can’t wait to attend my next convention and I don’t even care if its major event like San Diego’s Comic Con or even a smaller local one (Big Wow San Jose, I’m looking at you). If you’re of the geeky persuasion and you’ve never been to a convention, stop what you’re doing and go get a ticket. If you can’t get to San Diego, look up APE or Big Wow. Also, there may be smaller conventions purely dedicated to whatever you specifically like. I could go on and on about how amazing conventions, but it would be much better for you all to go out, find a convention, get your badge and see what I’m talking about for yourself.