At the San Diego Comic Convention, I ran into a strip club customer. I was walking around the convention center in a sea of people, and I was suddenly making eye contact with a man who looked familiar. My first thought was that it may have been a recent customer, but what are the chances, really? He, however, had the same distinctive tattoo and my suspicions were confirmed. It was definitely him. He was with his wife, which saved me from the awkwardness of trying to dodge a conversation. Topics of conversation are different inside the club and out, naturally. I couldn’t just start humoring him with perverted fantasies. I was off duty and in my natural habitat among my own nerdy kind. I smiled at him and his suspicions were confirmed too.
Anyway, the convention was otherwise relatively smooth sailing. I met a lot of amazing artists, socially inept teenagers in costumes, porn stars, and Ray Bradbury. I didn’t actually “meet” Ray Bradbury, as that would imply I shook his hand. His questionably living body had been wheeled past me several times throughout the event, though. He had been within meeting distance several times, even in quiet areas with few people around him but I never know what to tell important people. “I really like your work” would have been a waste of time for the both of us. Maybe if I had a good question it would have been different and I would have introduced myself, but at 87 years old, it would be impressive for anyone to realize where he was, let alone realize that he was meeting a new person. And what if I would have tried to humor him with talk of perverted fantasies? It would have killed him, surely.
Either way, the common people kept me very amused. The comic convention is less of a purely comic-book appreciation gathering and more of a celebration of pop culture. Besides the thousands of comic book and graphic novel fans, there were thousands more Star Wars fans. Horror and sci-fi movie aficionados in their costumes roamed around the convention. There were also some really terrible, stinky and ill-fitting costumes everywhere. There were more than a handful of 40-year-old schoolgirls, cardboard box robots, fat Batmans and pizza-faced Supermans, too. For every impressive costume, there were about a hundred costumed people who were hilarious in their epic failures. It was extremely amusing. There must be a shortage of mirrors in Southern California.
I was in awe of the artwork and the artists. They were the main attraction. Watching people make art is better than a magic trick to me. I’ll be back to the San Diego Comic Convention one day for sure. For now, it’s back to the grind.