When I got the job in Japan, I figured I’d be missing San Diego Comic Con this year for the first time in nearly 20 years. Little did I know everyone would be missing it; due to the Corona virus, Comic Con 2020 has been cancelled. There is going to be a “Comic Con@Home” thing in which panels will be posted on YouTube starting to-day. It’ll never be the same as actually being there, though. The sense of community, of surprise at never knowing what or who you’ll see around the corner, the brilliant costumes, and, above all, the many great conversations you can have with total strangers about things you both love. The Internet experience just isn’t the same.
Some would say we should burn down the internet. Ray Bradbury, for instance. This year, Comic Con is celebrating the late frequenter of Comic Con for his 100th birthday which will be on this upcoming August 22. As it happens, I recorded video of Bradbury in 2009 discussing what he would like on his 100th birthday:
This was before I had a camera with a decent zoom. That was my first camera and although I have plenty of blog entries on Comic Con before that year, 2009 is the oldest one with pictures and video. In 2010 I started getting more creative, editing together footage to a theme. Here’s a horror themed clip from 2010:
This was back when the “Zombie Walk” was a staple of Comic Con, before a tragic car accident one year when an elderly man drove through some zombie cosplayers. But that didn’t wholly curb the wonderful spirit of provocative geek performance art that used to permeate the Con. Going back through my blog entries I was reminded again how much the atmosphere at the Con changed after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Most notably, the Con used to be much, much sexier.
You could still find a little burlesque art here and there last year but, by and large, gone were the many young ladies seeing how far they could push the envelope with cleavage and waistlines.
And the shenanigans that went down on this Ash versus Evil Dead panel, which were edited out of the video, would definitely have gotten people in trouble to-day. Just look at Sam Raimi’s face.
So, while this year may be the end of Comic Con, in a way I feel like it’s been gone for years. But then again, for as long as I’ve been going to Comic Con (since 1995) I remember people complaining that it wasn’t as good as it used to be. Maybe I just miss the Comic Con from my time. I still can’t help feeling everyone was in better psychological health when this was a normal sight:
Twitter Sonner #1376
Italian voices bottle English steps.
In amber drops reflected rooms were bent.
The melted paint was found in ocean depths.
A metal man beneath the sea was sent.
A dizzy count replaced the cookie dough.
The image shows a crumb beside the plate.
Instructions said the seated had to row.
Announcements came behind the easy mate.
The whistling Hamlet rides again the hill.
Determined trills incite the shadow moves.
The rapid sticks divide the empty bill.
Another joins with Odin’s binding grooves.
Reportless days proceed in frightened dreams.
The wire tightens ‘twixt the face’s seams.