Working at a comic book store affords me the as-scarce-as-hen’s-teeth chance to surpass the lottery to gain entry into the acclaimed and overcrowded convention, so this year I decided to take the opportunity and brave the forever rumored (and confirmed) malodorous hordes of nose-deaf nerds, shoebox Transformers costumes, scantily clad women, and children in double wide strollers or on leashes. Here are ten things you may or may not have heard about, depending on how long you were able to combat the effects of being stuck in the equivalent of a tanker crashing on the freeway in rush hour traffic- if the cars were people and the tanker was a mass of bodies held together by cheap, lukewarm nacho cheese.
1. The Deadpool movie trailer is everything you ever wanted out of the character. It’s over the top comedic with Ryan Reynolds doing what he does best, constantly breaking the fourth wall and full of nonsense like making sexual jokes whilst smelling a smoking gun after taking out a bunch of bad guys. I’d post a link to a leaked trailer shot at the convention, but they’re being taken down faster than Green Lantern tanked.
2. The LARPers behind the convention center were sort of a sleeper show, probably missed by much of the show-goers since it happened outside. They were dressed in full armor and swinging swords against each other, not unlike a slightly out of shape Game of Thrones battle. But at the end of the day they were just sweaty dudes and went home to go to their 9-5 jobs the next day, not party on with Jon Snow (RIP) and the boys.
3. It’s hilarious to imagine when Darth Vader has to go to the bathroom. It’s a lot funnier when you see it happen.
4. My friend Ryan reminded me that the My Little Pony memorabilia was being snapped up by over hairy men most likely over the age of thirty, not small girls like one may think. Or boys. Boys can like those things too.
5. Credit cards were lost by the hundreds. A literal bag of them could be located at the lost and found. On the same note, I saw a father so riveted in his findings at one booth that he forgot his child at the booth prior. It wasn’t until the unmistakable banshee scream of a neglected munchkin that he quickly forfeited over a twenty for the big-headed vinyl toy to dash over to his shrill big-headed child.
6. Of those same toy-laden aisles, Ryan also eloquently said, “You think getting lost in the wilderness with no supplies is horrifying? Try losing your only friend in the swirling mass of sweaty, poorly constructed Bat-Mans and over-priced collectables. In sections 2300 to 4300: no one can hear you scream.” Literally, we would get separated and the epitome of sheer panic could be found in our eyes.
7. If you wear a blue onesie with yellow accents, paint your face purple and wear yellow work gloves with plastic jewels on them, you’re not Thanos. You just end up looking like a deflated/de-juiced Veruca Salt.
8. Have you ever been pushed into a person and had an arm completely enveloped in their sweaty, warm folds of damp t-shirt covered skin? Not as fun as it sounds.
9. From my boss: I learned of two comic dealers that suffered a theft at their booth. They chased out the suspect and caught him with two of their comics. They were in such a hurry to seek justice that they accepted payment from him in lieu of calling security but accepted it via credit card payment- without checking his ID first. A+ work.
10. The last thing I’ll mention is the state of “security” at the convention. Most of the time I leave my badge at the booth because it’s annoying to wear; it’s impossible to track one person amidst the sea of fleshy folks walking around. If you do get caught, and I have, it’s the one time of the year you can get away with saying the most cretinous of information purely because of how uncontrollable the atmosphere is in the convention center. This year was tame, claiming booths like #1313 in reference to The Munsters’ street address and an alias of “Ed Garfield” (my boss’s middle name is Edgar). When feeling especially conniving though, sometimes it’s a laugh to give security “Barry McCokinner”, work out of booth 420 (there was no booth 420) and tell them to look for a sign saying “High Times Collectibles”. Variations on a theme, but it’s all in good fun.