My first comic con that I can remember going to was back in 1996. I slept over at my buddy Ryan L.’s house, along with our homie Felix R. Y’see, growing up I wasn’t much of an athletic kid, and most of my classmates from elementary and junior high school can attest to that. So I hung out with the geeks. Felix, Ryan, Nick, Daniel, and Mario. We all hung out and talked about videogames, comics, and the Simpsons. Manga and Anime wasn’t really big yet, and my powerlevel was way stifled.
I can remember being so giddy with anticipation that the three of us could barely sleep. We did spend the night talking about girls too. Let’s face it, you’re in junior high. What else are you going to talk about?
When Ryan’s mom drove us to comic con, we were dropped off. We then got in line to get our passes, and it was a walk-in affair. We even got to write on our badges. And once we got through the other big line into the actual convention hall, we were in our geek mecca. COMIC CON.
We were packed in with thousands of fellow geeks, all looking for the latest issues of Gen 13, Bloodshot, and the X-Men. Man, Felix loved Gen 13. Ryan was more mainstream in his comic tastes. Me? I really didn’t know any better so I just went with what was popular. I was just happy to be with my friends.
I can remember that the con wasn’t as big as it is now. The convention wasn’t as Hollywood. It felt…cozier. Warm. Calm. Sure it was crowded, but nothing like today. There was no hall H, no Twilight, no Game of Thrones, no Nolan North Batman movies. Just…comics. And lots of comics.
Things have changed. 16 years later, I’m a creative professional and I’ve got a comic of my own. Ryan’s got a family now, Felix is into film (I think). We may have gone our own separate ways, but the memories of that first Comic Con, and of my friends, those will last a lifetime.