So Comic con was in Wellington this weekend. Not to be confused with the San Diego based extravaganza that features the latest movie trailers and a slew of celebrity guests. The San Diego event is the hajj for geeks. The Mecca that fandom aspires to visit at least once. Wellington comic con was not that. It was the Armageddon expo with a few other events around the city. Not to be dismissed though, it featured Karen Gillan (Amy Pond from Doctor Who), and plenty of cosplay to keep things interesting. I did not see Karen, and because of smashing my face against a concrete floor a few days ago, didn’t venture out until the last day.
The events brought forth an eruption of geeks of all ages, sizes, and loyalties. There were at least three women dressed up convincingly as Harlequin from the Batman universe. a group of stormtroopers, the odd US soldier (I’m not quite sure why), Jedi, various anime characters, armoured medieval knights, and one old hippie wearing a tie dye t-shirt and carrying a large polished lump of driftwood.
I was there on my own, costumeless, in my wheelchair. Not in my finest form. And the geek crowd is particularly bad at moving about in a systematic fashion. Normally they are introverted shut-ins who marathon obscure TV shows and socialize through the internet. I mean that in the nicest way possible. When I got home I played Alien Isolation and watched Blade Runner. Quite understandably the geeks are not great at being anywhere en mass. But for me that makes an expo a bad place to be, so after taking a few photos I left.
This has made me wonder about the geek world and my place in it. It is the metaphorical nation of a thousand niches, where anyone can dress as anything and feel like they belong. They can revel in the communal enjoyment of the stuff that they were teased and bullied for in the past. That is not nothing. That is something to be proud of. But I did not find my niche at comic con in Wellington. I don’t feel truly part of the culture any more. The merchandise does not attract me, the queuing for autographs from a cast member of a show I have never heard of does not attract me. I think that the Armageddon expo and Wellington comic con have left me behind, and it is time to say farewell.
Ironically, what I’ll do instead is watch festival movies, play horror video games, and blog about all of it — thereby socializing through the internet. A geek after all.