I’m on my way to earning my cape.
Where am I going?
To Comic-Con International in San Diego, where all amateur dorks go to get their cape, of course. Comic-Con is the Disneyland for all dork kind. It’s not like Halloween, where you don a costume for a day. No, this is better than that. Comic-Con is four days of sheer dork blissful heaven, where your angels are veteran dorks dressed as your DC or Marvel Comics superhero, science fiction character or their version of an angel. Well, at least this is how I envision it, since this is my first time going.
It’s getting more real flying from JFK to SAN as I see the soft glow of fellow dorks’ laptop screens. I glanced upon some email about The Walking Dead from the screen across the aisle from me. On another screen, I spot the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, LIMA, logo. (They are THE licensing group for all your merchandising needs. They sponsor licensing expos around the world.) A guy is wearing a Batman T-shirt. A girl is sporting an HBO tote bag. The passenger next to me works for CBS somehow.
Did you really think I’d be brave enough to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger? Hello! I’m a dork on my way to EARN my cape.
Oh, the fearless, exciting things I could do once I get my cape.
But first, I need to get my hands on a Comic-Con pass, the key to my dork nirvana. They, the Comic-Con international gods, don’t just give away the pass willy-nilly. They test your true dork resolve. In order to enter this challenge, you need to create and validate a unique Comic-Con member ID. This only entitles you for a chance to purchase tickets, which are first reserved for veteran Comic-Con goers and professionals who work in the dork realm.
As a newbie, I failed miserably. I didn’t look for tickets until July 15, one week before Comic-Con. Everything was sold out. Had been for weeks. Even StubHub and Craigslist had nothing to offer.
But wait! This newbie has a little trick up her sleeves — a friend. Not just any kind of friend, a friend who is going to Comic-Con for work. She didn’t have a ticket for me, but she offered me use of it when she didn’t need it for work. Beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take it!
In the meantime, I continued to scour Craigslist for possible leads. One post offered a ticket for a male child. (Yes, tickets are sex- and age-group specific. Didn’t I mention that they really make you work for the privilege of getting these tickets?) Another post hinted at a San Diego radio station holding a contest to win tickets. Yours truly didn’t win.
Undeterred and determined to experience and enjoy my first Comic-Con experience, even if vicariously, I wait for my friend at the San Diego airport. She also flew out from New York City but on a different flight. Her flight was delayed more than two hours due to mechanical issues — another wrench the Comic-Con gods throw my way.
As I loyally wait for her at the airport, I am still boiling with the anticipation of what lies ahead. Two messages came while I was in the air. One, as you know, was my friend telling me of the delayed flight. The other one, also from her, said she had a Comic-Con pass for me because a colleague’s trip got canceled!
Woohoo! I ran the gauntlet and came out victorious!
It amazes me when people’s secret power shines through. My friend’s secret power, today, is her ability to conjure a highly coveted golden ticket. As for my secret power, I think, it is to be her sidekick for this glorious four-day dork fest.
This sidekick may have just earned her cape.
Have cape, will travel.