Last year, my wife Gina and I went to the first-ever Wizard World Comic Con in Minneapolis. Because of how much of a blast it was, we decided to make this our yearly tradition — because families sometimes need traditions that are not wedding anniversaries or national holidays. No, this tradition speaks to the nerd in us, despite our conflicting nerdiness due to the fact I’m a Star Wars fan and she enjoys Star Trek — and not even the William Shatner Star Trek either. Like, that Next Gen and Voyageur stuff.
Here is the thing about Comic Con: It is a huge event. Like last year, we got the three-day passes. Three days may seem excessive, but it really isn’t. It allows us to pace ourselves instead of trying to rush everything into one day. You literally can see people who just go on a Saturday — the busiest day, I may add — flopped on the floor or draped over chairs, looking like how their cosplay costumes probably looked in their closet the day before, by 4 or 5 p.m. And the con goes until 8 p.m. And I don’t blame them because after a few hours, for me, it can get to be stimuli overload. Hence, spreading it out.
Last year for me was getting my feet wet. This year, I went in with a game plan for my three days. I mostly stuck to this plan, but made exceptions when needed. Here I will breakdown the three days of Comic Con.
My plan for Friday was to scope everything out, and know where I was going for the next two days or so. We showed up a little later than the year before — with the three-day passes we learned that there is no reason to rush. My plan was that since last year I did the photos with celebrities and cosplayers, this year I would focus on starting to seriously begin a nice library of comics — since I’m not a collector, I went in with an eye toward the paperback collections of books (the lazy man’s way to collect).
* We got free “Walking Dead” comics for buying our tickets. That’s a nice start.
* Right away I saw the Ecto 1 from “Ghostbusters.” My wife and I promptly got our photos taken with it.
* Within 10-minutes I bought a Batman collection I had wanted. I realized I kinda suck at not impulsively buying stuff when it is on sale for cheap.
* Gina got her photo taken in the Batmobile.
* Saw a “Mortal Kombat X” competition, thought about joining, but realized I didn’t want to publicly lose a video game to a kid half my age.
Day two we went with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. He was on a mission to find some original Frank Miller Daredevil comics, not a cheap mission. My mission was to pace myself and not go and buy something right away. I need to learn to control the urge to not haggle and not just buy stuff when I happen to have cash on me. I made a modest budget for myself (an impressive $25). This was the long day too, we were there at 10 a.m. because the three of them were doing photos with an actor from the “Stargate” TV show.
* Within 10-minutes I bought “The Watchmen” collection and “Walking Dead Vol. 1.” That was all the money I budgeted to spend on comics.
* Gina and I got our photo taken with Jason Mewes, from the Kevin Smith movies. Dude hasn’t aged in 20 years.
* Gina got her photo taken with Gillian Anderson, from “The X-Files.”
* I ran into two friends I use to work with in St. Cloud randomly. One I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years.
* Ran into an old friend from Worthington.
* Got my photo taken with cosplayers dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Cobra villains from “G.I. Joe.”
* While in line for Mewes, I saw Lance Reddick from “The Wire” at his booth. I stopped myself from going over there and bothering him with questions about “The Wire.”
* Met up with an old friend from college.
Day three was short. We were pretty burned out at this point. Last year, there was deals everywhere because not many people were around. Not so much this year, as it was still insanely busy the final day.
* Got our picture taken with Eddie McClintock from “Warehouse 13.” Dude was really cool and showed me an autographed vinyl of “Dark Side of the Moon” he had bought that day. I was very, very jealous.
Then we left. It was a blast, once again. My comic collection grew from two to five now. It was a little more fun knowing more going in this year, and we are looking forward to next year.