For the Love of the Con: Finding Community among the Geeks

Christ and Pop Culture | 8/14/2018 | Elizabeth Garn
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“You like Star Trek?” My friend looked at me with an expression of suspicion mingled with a hefty dose of judgment.

“Well,” I stammered, “I’m not… a Trekkie. I’m not dressing up in a costume and going to some convention!” I laughed nervously at the absurd thought and moved the conversation on to safer, less geeky, ground as quickly as I could. Of course I wasn’t that big of a fan. Conventions were for ultra-geeks. Why would I ever go to one?

Friendship - Someone - Thing - Situation - Friendships

Friendship may be born in that second when you realize someone else loves the same thing you do or has been through a similar situation. But it is also true that those little friendships are just that, small and fragile. The quest is what transforms those happy meetings into lifelong connections.Why indeed, I thought, years later, as I pulled on my costume boots, arranged my accessories just so, checked my styled hair, and walked into my first comic con. I didn’t go as a character from Star Trek, but I did dress up as a character from one of my favorite computer games. I have to say, going to that con was one of the most fun and impactful things I have ever done in my entire life.

Comic book conventions, commonly referred to as comic cons or simply cons, are a massively growing industry. Whereas once they were events primarily dedicated to the love of comic books, they are now multi-million dollar, multi-day homages1 to all things pop culture. Late this past July, thousands of people descended on Southern California for the granddaddy of all conventions: San Diego Comic-Con. Crowds of people, many in costumes, lined the streets, filled hotels, and braved the dreaded con-crud to take part in this massive convention. Cons are exciting. They are crowded, busy, bustling...
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