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there was a big stretch of time when i was a kid when all my friends and i were waiting the entire year for comicon.  from the ages of 9-22 i lived in san diego, and i started going to comicon in ’93.  i was 12, and if i’m not mistaken, it was the first year they’d upgraded the show to the convention center.   that shit seriously changed my life.  it was the height of the image buzz.  it was the height of valiant comics’ fame.  it was the year of onslaught.  it was the year of defiant comics–jim shooter’s comic new company–and probably the year of a million other assholes’ new comic company.  everyone had the new shit and wanted a piece of that comics-boom money.  it was the very height of that, of the speculator boom (or whatever you wanna call it), before the whole thing crapped itself and sent our world of comics into harder times.  it was x-men.  it was vampirella.  it was free shit.  it was cards.  it was summer crossovers, character revamps, new costumes, the anime takeover and all that shit.  it was fucking EVERYTHING.  it was good to be a nerd.

it was the shit.

my best buddy vic and i both tried to get downtown as much as we could during the show, either together or separately.  we didn’t have any money but dude, we could not believe how badass comicon was, how much sweet shit was just flying around that place.  we would walk around broke and not care.  there was always something we wanted to see.   it was like this every summer for many years.  vic and i started saving all year for the show and spending the entire day every day at con when it happened.  we’d even stay after hours, watching the evening anime schedule, attending the eisner awards–all that shit.  we basked in the nerdness for as long as we could.  we were big comics fans.  this was during the years that i ran the international justice league fan club and vic and i were hungry DC nerds. we were into old comics, new comics, dumb comics–and once STRAY BULLETS started, we were suddenly into indies, too.  comics was a world, and it just seemed to get  bigger.

con got more social as time went on.  we would being more friends and spend the show walking around with more and more people.  this led to more shenanigans and more distraction, but for the most part it was worth it.  i distinctly remember throwing larry marder’s BEAN WARRIOR ACTION FIGURES (lima beans) directly at rob liefeld–a bunch of us did this as a posse–and then just running away in nerdy hysterics.  we would walk around and taunt people dressed up, take photos, buy shit, waste time.  con was so addictive then that anything you did at the show was better than anything else you could do outside the show.

and vic and i dropped PILES of money.  we weren’t saving up for a car to drive around and get laid.  we were completing silver-age runs of THE SPECTRE and fucking NEW GODS.  we were buying anime scrolls and DVDs (trying to find a way to score some of the porno ones). we bought action figures and commissioned sketches.  i was growing my collection of kirby comics.  we were playing the shit out of MAGIC and the STAR WARDS cars game.  we were arguing about the minutiae of DC crossover events and picking up back issues of SCUD: THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN and DORK.  man, we were nerd junkies.

one of the years we did con, we were walking in a pack from the convention center, headed to POKEZ, a veggie mexican joint with stupid portions.  we were all really pumped about that place.  this black dude with a poofy purple shirt and too-tight black jeans came up to us and said, ‘excuse me!  but my computer tells me that none of you are liked by ANYONE IN THE WORLD.’  in any other circumstance, this  would’ve been a hilarious moment that we all recognized.  we would’ve messed with the guy or egged him or laughed our asses off at what we said.  but i was the only one who even noticed.  so we didn’t bother.   crazy dude was gone and we were so high on the show, all of us, that we didn’t care.  we were talking about our day.  we were blathering about the JLA revamp or some shit.  con was like that.  when it was going on, nothing else really mattered.  it was about what you were buying, reading, checking out and what you were trying to get into.  it didn’t matter that the rest of the year could be so boring or that your cash could disappear so fast.  it was about nerd love.

i have no regrets at all about it when i look back.


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