Five Random Observations from My First Comic Con

I am, admittedly, a pretty big geek. But up until now, I’d never attended an actual Comic Con. So this year when Billy brought it up, I jumped at the chance. I used copious amounts of soap and followed his 9 other rules for attending a convention, put on my Harry and the Potters T-shirt and set out for the faraway land of the Javits Center.

1. The first thing I saw then I entered was a girl wearing absolutely no pants, tiny black underwear and fishnet stockings. I have no idea who she was supposed to be, but it was about on par with what I expected from Comic Con. Now that I think of it, it’s also about on par with what I expect at a Lady Gaga concert. And you wouldn’t normally think there’d be a huge cross-section there.

2. I knew I was at the right place when I saw someone dressed as Harry Potter standing next to a Dalek.

Yeah, that pretty much sums me up.

3. Billy and I shared a near-death experience. It started out innocently enough: all we wanted to do was to check out a panel. We went to the basement level and the closer we walked toward the room, the more the crowds started to fill in around us.

By the time we realized what was happening, it was too late. We were stuck in a dense ocean of convention goers.

I’m pretty short, so I was very much concerned about my oxygen levels. Although Billy, who was at a higher elevation, tells me that he was concerned about the BO toxicity level. Either way, things were not looking good for either of us.

After about 10 minutes of being stuck in the mob, we came to a sign that let us know just what the crowd was for. It said… “Speed Dating.”

Yup, we almost died cause of Nerd Love.

Though, I have to say. That’s actually an excellent place to get some speed dating done. You probably already have some common ground and a comforting mutual level of social awkwardness to help ease both of you in.

4. At one point, I saw a sign for something called Johnny Cupcakes and immediately wandered over to it. Only when I managed to get close enough to the case did I realize that they were selling plastic toys and not cupcakes. A word to the wise: if you, as a company, put ‘Cupcakes’ in your name, you will sorely disappoint some potential customers even before they have a chance to look at your wares. That was what I call a sad Comic Con moment.

NOT cupcakes. Somewhere on the other side of this photo, I’m crying silent tears.

5. I’m big into theme parties, Halloween, and costumes in general and there were some amazingly creative costumes. The whole Darkwing Duck gang was there. There was a giant homemade Bumblebee with working lights. The “Are You My Mummy” empty child from Doctor Who (as well as a ton of 11th and 10th Doctors). Next year, I think I’m definitely dressing up.

No, I’m not! Now stop creeping me out…

And, oh yeah, next year. Because although this was my first Comic Con, I definitely don’t think it’ll be my last. I had a ton of fun. I even had to break my self-imposed book buying ban because there were three titles I just had to get. One of which is called The Crimes of Dr. Watson and is an interactive Sherlock Holmes mystery complete with actual clues you have to piece together. It’s pretty awesome.

In conclusion, judging from the fact that I’m using the phrase “in conclusion,” you can probably guess that I felt right at home at Comic Con. It was made of win. Win dressed in spandex.

Sarvenaz Tash is the author of the upcoming middle grade novel THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST. Visit her website

Photos by Graig Kreindler.