Wednesday, July 30, 2014

These are the voyages...

I've traveled to places that many people would consider exotic. All over China, including Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. I just went to Russia for the first time this year. But I'm finding that my home town of San Diego is as exotic as anyplace I've ever visited.

Submitted as evidence: Comic-Con International.

Comic-Con started as a small gathering of comic book creators and fans, science fiction and fantasy writers and readers, and, well, Trekkies. Hey, I can say "Trekkie." I was an early adopter. 

"This is our Superbowl," Captain Kirk Shoe Shine explained earnestly to a customer

My sister and I attended one of the early Cons, back when it was held at the El Cortez Hotel, in a seedy part of downtown San Diego (actually, nearly all of downtown San Diego was seedy then, as I recall. How times have changed). I was somewhere in my early teens, my sister three years younger. "I'll pick you up in three hours," my dad told us, on his way to a three-martini lunch.

My sister and I ran around like wild things for those three hours. What I remember the most vividly are two things: We were in the company of strangers who liked the same weird stuff that we did. And it was the first time I saw the original "Star Trek" bloopers.

Now, as Geek culture has become mainstream culture, Comic-Con is an international phenomena, attended by 130,000 people a year, the place where Hollywood reveals teasers for the upcoming next big things. It's grown way too large for the San Diego Convention Center, so it's taken over parts of downtown San Diego as well, including Petco Park for a zombie run:

 -- and entire sections of the Gaslamp and the Embarcadero:

The whole experience is pretty overwhelming. The crowds are huge, lines are long, events are impossible to get into. People argue that Comic-Con has grown too big, that it's no longer as relevant, that smaller, more intimate conventions are taking its place. And I think there's some truth to all of those assertions.

But still. 130K people with a love of comics and science fiction and fantasy and popular arts descend on my city, once a year. A lot of them cosplay--create really elaborate and beautiful costumes to express themselves. It's sort of like Geek Mardi Gras.

And there's just something pretty awesome about that.

Submitted as evidence, the following photos…

There are more and more of these "Christian" protestors every year. But they are greatly outnumbered

Lisa…every other Wednesday...


  1. Wholey Geekdom is the last hope for the survival of the soles of womankind. (Well, that, and imports of third-world sneakers.) Okay, I'm off now. (In search of my mind, that is...)

  2. Check the Gaslamp District, Everett -- a lot of people lost their minds there over the weekend.

  3. Another reason for my loving San Diego. I think I'll borrow your photos for I piece I may do on Mykonos in August. The only difference is that here they dress like that for real.

  4. Lisa, I gave birth to a cosplay geek. She has brought four more of them into the world! If not a participant, I am SURELY a fan.

  5. Just a note to you MIE folks that I do love going around the globe with your wonderful lines and photos! Thelma Straw, a writer and admirer in Manhattan, who used to be a world traveler, but is held prisoner by R.A. So, keep on taking me and all your fans on these marvelous trips!!!!!!