There are two things that are relevant to this tale that I do not care for. One is crowds, and the other is comic books. I've never liked crowds, but the older and more reclusive I get, the less I like them. As for comic books, I don't have anything against them, I've just never gotten into them. So today seemed especially counter-intuitive as I accompanied my wife and toddler to the Tampa Bay Comic Con. Now let me preface this with saying that this was not my idea. My wife asked if I would like to go, and since she is big into comics, and doesn't get to do much of a social nature, I agreed. To be honest I'd been wanting to get to a convention for a while now, as I've only been to a handful in the past, and the last was somewhere in the vicinity of 1995ish, and given that the granddaddy of them all, the San Diego Comic Con has become far more than just a gathering for comic aficionados, I figured I'd enjoy this.
I've also been wanting to try my hand at cosplaying, and it seemed meet that we do something as a family. It was suggested that going as air benders, ala The Legend of Korra, might work:
The first hurdle that I feared was parking. Looking online you could book guaranteed parking, for $21! Given that this was a significant percentage of what it would cost just for tickets we decided to take our chances on public parking. As we approached the off-ramp it was remarkably free of the usual traffic jam, and I dared to hope. No only was there no traffic build-up, but we found a spot in the nearest parking garage that would cost us less than half of the above quote. So far so good.
We followed the flow of costumed younglings (and a few old farts like myself) to the convention center. We passed a man in a Jedi outfit with a rather beat up R2-D2, and Sharon asked to touch 'Deetoo'. He graciously accommodated her request, though she was too shy to touch the droid:
but the overwhelming number of vendors were selling...wait for it...comics and comic related paraphernalia. So I resigned myself to just enjoying the cosplayers, and wrangling Sharon. And there were lots of interesting cosplayers:
Or when she wanted to meet K9:
I would like to suggest that there be a moratorium on Deadpool cosplay. There were at least 20 Deadpools there. There were also lots of Doctors Who, X-Men and Women, monsters, princesses, all kinds of Imperial troops, a few Jedi, Links, and Batman villains. I would have liked to take more pictures, but my diminutive charge made such things difficult, but there was a lot of hard work in most of the costumes. Oh, and if you are a guy, and you need someone of the female persuasion to paint your face for your cosplay, might I suggest that the entrance to an already crowded men's room isn't the best place to do so. Just sayin.
As the afternoon wore on the place got more and more packed. I ran into my friend Dave and his daughter for approximately two minutes, but things were too noisy and crowded for much more than a 'hi, how ya doin?' I tried to get into the flow of the place, but between the near absence of TV/Movie SciFi stuff (although there was a booth that had some stunningly gorgeous spaceship models) and the huge lines at both the food vendors and the bathrooms I was growing more tired and cranky than Sharon. So around 3:00 we decided to call it a day. This is when things went to shit. First we had trouble finding the parking garage, then it took us nearly an hour of sweating, searching, and finally getting the security guys to drive us around to find our car. (both the Mrs. and I were sure we were on the second level, or at the highest the third. Turned out it was the fifth) Then, all of us sweaty and needing to pee, and with an increasingly cranky toddler in the back seat, getting out of the garage was the opposite of getting in. But, to cut a long story short, we made it home safely and without further incident. All in all it was a good day. Mrs. Marius had a good time, and so did Sharon. I can't say I had a great time, but I wasn't miserable, and I'd very much like to get some serious cosplay going for next year( I'd really like to make Scotty's outfit from Star Trek IV)...and maybe try to find a more SciFi inclusive con as well.
I'll leave y'all with this pic. Sharon's face pretty much sums up her day:
Marius out! :-)