In September I attended a comicbook convention here in Tucson. This was the first convention I’d been to in more than a decade. After spending the latter part of the 21st century as a contributing member in one fashion or another in the comic industry I’d become complacent with comic conventions. I was not only a fan but managed a comicbook warehouse for the distribution to stores. I then managed one of those stores and so the thrill of comics became the thud of discontent and the shine had tarnished. I had even attended conventions selling my own comics. But conventions had become old hat and boring over the years.
But with my move to Tucson, I’d planned on getting back into the world of comics.
To be fair writing The Comicbook Detective had re-lit the fire I’d experienced when I spotted that Mad Magazine on the spin rack back when a quarter would buy you a comicbook and a candy bar. The world of comics welcomed me with open arms. But still comic conventions were something I no longer got excited about.
So, there I was getting ready to laugh in the face of Covid and join a large group of people in a contained area. No 6ft distance and frankly the sweat was gathering on the foreheads and arm pits of everyone around me. I wore a mask as a precaution, but I was in the minority. Not judging here. In today’s world each of us make our own decisions about safety around us.
But this isn’t a screed about Covid. I was looking forward to diving headfirst into the comic world I’d left behind long before covid was a twinkle in a bat’s eye.
Walking up to the entrance of the Tucson Convention Center I saw a multitude of people. All walks of life and a cross section of the world outside the comic world. I also saw superheroes, anime characters, and assorted cartoon characters. All depicted in various states of costume. I was even mistaken for a character from a Jurassic Park movie. In my trademark Hawaiian shirt and straw fedora, a young man approached me and complimented me on my accurate depiction of John Hammond. All I was missing was the cane with the encased mosquito. Not my intention at all. Just the way I dress here in Tucson and frankly in Bellingham also.
Approaching the ticket taker, I got out my phone to show my ticket and this is what the person behind me heard as the ticket taker attached a band to my wrist:
Ticket taker: Okay welcome and here’s your all weekend pass wristband. You need to wear this all weekend.
Me: Oh, so darn I won’t be able to take a shower.
Ticket taker: No, it’s waterproof so you can take a shower while wearing it.
Me: Oh, I was joking I wasn’t going to take a shower.
Ticket taker: No please do take a shower. The convention only started yesterday, and people are already getting ripe.
Me sheepishly: Oh yeah of course. Well hope your day goes well.
Walking into the miasma of the convention I had to chuckle at the thought of the ticket taker telling the story in the breakroom later that day.
“Yeah, the guy said he wasn’t going to take a shower. Can you believe that?”
So, I was the subject of a convention story for those volunteers. And can you blame them? The first hour of the convention was like living in 100% humidity and every convention goer was spewing a sweaty mist into the air. Another good reason to be wearing a mask. Yeck.
I had a great time and came to the realization that I was ready for more comic conventions. I hope to do some, promoting The Comicbook Detective. I might even fly back to Tucson for next year’s Tucson Comic Convention.
I promise to take a shower.
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