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The Long Con—My Day at the Baltimore ComiCon 2011

All right, confession time.

I, proud member of the Geek Forces, have never been to a ComiCon before.

I know, I know, that’s crazy talk, but it’s just one of those things I never got around to doing.

Since moving to the DC area in 2004, I’d had my eyes on the Baltimore ComiCon, but something always thwarted my plans.

Whether it was getting called into work, having some sort of family event crop up, or just having the misfortune of making a poor choice or two at the food court, the stars never seemed to align.

But this year, I decided I was going, come hell or high water.

And I was bringing backup in the form of my wife, daughter and coworker.

Not one possessed of patience or technical skill, but still wanting to get into the full spirit of things, I chose the safe route for a costume—shaving my head, donning a purple shirt and black glove, and tapping in to my ever burgeoning megalomania to become Lex Luthor.

Pulling. It. Off.

My wife, Melony, went as Supergirl and Anastasia donned the colors of Themiscrya as Wonder Woman.

Nakeia, my sista from another mista, put together an awesome Misty Knight ensemble and together, the four of us ventured forth through the Convention Center.

I didn’t know what to expect going in, so I was taken aback at the crowds as we made our way through tables and displays with merchants and vendors peddling their wares and would be customers haggling on prices.
Like this, only with less singing and swordfighting.

And I have to say, there were some really solid deals on comic books from across the ages and some pretty fantastic costumes along the way. It was all I could do to stop myself from emptying my bank account for back issues.

How people have the time and energy to put some costumes together, I’ll never know, but I was blown away at the bevy of Storm Troopers, X-Men, Justice Leaguers, and miscellaneous cartoon characters from my youth parading around.

It was like Disney World.

You know, if Goofy carried a bazooka, Minnie was a unitard wearing ninja, and Donald had a power ring.

Yeah, like Goofy’s never wanted to take a bazooka to It’s a Small World…

Of course, I think it’s standard fare for every event of this nature to come complete with that one fan who feels the need to perpetuate geek stereotypes and ask every person in costume some obscure trivia about their character.

I was accosted early on by a guy who followed me around yelling, “If you’re really Lex Luthor, then who were the other original members of the Legion of Doom,” and, “How can you be with Supergirl if you hate Superman?”

I think he missed that I wasn’t really Lex Luthor, just a sexy simulacrum.

He also tried quizzing Nakeia on all things Misty Knight and I’m pretty sure he was about eight seconds away from telling her HE was for hire tonight.
Misty was NOT having any of that fool talk.

The number of artists and writers on hand was astounding and I totally geeked out over a few of them including Chris Roberson of iZombie fame who responded to my comment of, “Thank you for saving Grounded in Superman,” with a chuckle, a wink, and a simple, “I did the best I could with what I had.”

Jason Aaron, writer of Scalped, Wolverine and Schism couldn’t have been cooler, and Nick Spencer actually asked me about the Secret Service and got some information from me on my own book while signing a copy of Iron Man 2.0.

I was bummed I couldn’t get to see Scott Snyder, current Detective Comics and American Vampire scribe, or David Finch, creator behind Batman: The Dark Knight, but their lines were insane and as much as I wanted to fawn all over their stuff, I had to focus on what was really most important—Anastasia.

Luckily, I caught her mid-spin as she changed from crazy toddler to crazy toddler in a costume.

My little girl is at that age where she’s recognizing all of the characters from our weekly trips to the comic store.

For me, ComiCon was a fun experience, a bonus attached to a lifetime of collecting comics, a chance to congregate with people of similar interests.

But for her, it was an introduction to a whole new world, a place of wonder and imagination, and to see her face light up whenever she recognized a character walking by, to hear her yell, “Daddy, it’s Cappin ‘Merica,” and, “Daddy, look at Batman,” only enhanced my own experience.

So next year I’m going both days—one day to stand in lines and play the dutiful geek, and the other to spend and share with family and friends, a fly on the wall watching the fun and taking it all in and proving what I already know to be true, that there is no other hobby I’d rather be involved with or bring my little girl into.

In the meantime, Nakeia and I decided to dress like this at the Pentagon more often…
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