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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The Wrath of Comic-Con (with slideshow)

    Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Comic-Con 2010, San Diego
    Lisa Beth Earle
    Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Comic-Con 2010, San Diego

    Losing your Comic-Con virginity hurts at first, but you get used to it. As one such virgin, I was unsure of what to expect at my first Comic-Con International event.

    The crazy things I’ve heard about it and its attendees in the past only made me more excited to experience it all for myself one day.

    When July 22 finally arrived, a familiar tune blared from my friend’s phone as her alarm shocked us awake at 6 a.m.

    “”I know, you know, that I’m not telling the truth,”” said the beginning of the “”Psych”” theme song, notifying us that it’s time to get psyched for our first day of Comic-Con.

    The event completely takes over downtown San Diego for four days every year. It’s possible to get a one-day pass, but the general consensus of the Comic-Con crowd is to go big or go home. We knew that a four-day pass was the only way to go.

    My friend and I weren’t sure what to expect on our first day. We were nervous, excited, confused and even a little frightened at the idea of spending 10 hours in a crammed convention center with the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, The Ginyu Force and thousands of overexcited attendees.

    It’s the only place I’ve been where the line for Starbucks is as long as the line for “”Supernatural”” swag bags, but as I watched Darth Vader walk by in a chef’s uniform while casually holding Jar Jar Bink’s head on a silver platter, I knew it was going to be a good day.

    Although Comic-Con’s main attractions have changed over the years, the nature of the event has remained faithful to its origins — the love of comics.

    It’s true that for many attendees, movies and television have become the new stars of the convention, but favorite comic characters are still seen mingling with their live-action relatives. Sailor Moon walks gracefully past Iron Man as he stomps through the convention center, and Voltron poses for pictures as stormtroopers get their weapons checked at the entrance. There are just as many panels for manga — Japanese comics — as there are TV shows and booths selling special dice for Dungeons and Dragons are adjacent to those selling Scully and Mulder FBI badges.

    Along with the simple pleasures of watching fans parade around in full costume, there are a plethora of panels. “”The Big Bang Theory”” panel was capped after it seemed to explode in an instant from an inch to longer than one mile. The “”anti-heroes”” of Showtime’s most popular shows, “”Californication,”” “”Dexter,”” “”Nurse Jackie”” and “”Weeds,”” met a roar of applause during their conjoined panel as did the stars of other TV favorites. There were also panels for animated series like “”Family Guy,”” “”Futurama,”” “”Archer”” and “”The Simpsons.””

    As the days wore on, my body tired and my patience thinned, but my excitement never weakened. After 41 years of comic infamy, Comic-Con remains an undeniably one-of-a-kind experience that I recommend to any media buff.

    I stood in lines for hours, sat in ballrooms for even longer and lugged around numerous swag bags for at least eight hours every day for four days straight. My feet hurt, my butt hurt, my shoulders hurt and my head hurt, but there was still a smile on my face because my first experience at Comic-Con was unforgettable.

    There’s something for everyone under the roof of an ordinary convention center that, for four days a year, provides a safe haven for pop culture enthusiasts to mix and mingle and be together sharing their passions with each other — well, perhaps not that safe, considering one attendee stabbed another in the face with a pen over a seating scuffle.

    That’s just another day at Comic-Con.

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