The Heart and Soul of Comic-Con
I recently had an opportunity to attend the 50th San Diego Comic-Con. Having been before, allowed me to relax a bit as I understood what I was in store for. During the four days of the conference, I experienced everything one might expect from Comic-Con. I attended some sessions, went to panels on some new shows coming out and one of my favorite shows “The Magicians,” and walked for miles on the expo floor in awe of everything that was there. To say by the end of the conference, I was exhausted and in sensory overload would be an understatement. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so.
As I reflect on the experience, I realized that there is more to Comic-Con than that I hadn’t expected. You can’t fully explain it until you experience it, but the attendees there are more than a group of like-minded individuals. They are understanding, accepting, and a community who celebrates each other. The best example to demonstrate this is those that dress up for the event. More commonly called Cosplay.
These individuals that participate in Cosplay go to various lengths to recreate the character that they are trying to mimic. Some of them will spend countless hours and money to get every detail possible. (you can find some examples here. Seeing them in person was truly impressive. What was amazing to observe was how everyone else embraced them. People would compliment and ask to take pictures with them. No one judged or criticized. The more I observed this, the more I was overcome with joy to be apart of it.
This community that embraced anyone and everyone for their interests and differences is something we all need to experience in our lives. Comic-Con is just an example of how this can exists. We have opportunities in our own lives to create those experiences as well. I challenge us all to be mindful of the experience we are creating and strive to more inclusive were people around us want to belong.