I just went to my first Comic Con this year! It was a lot of fun. We walked A LOT and saw some cool costumes. I got to see Bruce Campbell from maybe thirty feet away as he signed autographs. We didn’t get to see too many other celebrities. They were stuck behind booths and lines of people waiting for autographs and pictures. While it would have been cool to meet a few of them in person, there was no way I wanted to or could spend hundreds of dollars for an autograph and a few seconds shaking a hand, saying hi and posing for a picture. It’s just not worth it.
So we walked around, spent way too much on overpriced lunch, had a few lightsaber battles, and shot a nerf gun at some storm troopers.
Then something magical happened. My kids asked a girl dressed as Anna from Frozen for her autograph. From that point on they were on a mission: Get Lots of Autographs. They asked anyone in a cool costume. We got the Penguin (Adam West era), Darth Vader and many others. As the Flash signed their books, I realized something. Feeling bad I couldn’t afford to have my kids meet the “real” Captain America or any of the others, I looked at the joy on the faces of these normal people and asked myself this question. What made their autographs any less legitimate than the actors? The actors get paid to put on the cowl or mask. We were the costumes because we love the characters. They mean something to us. And it’s fun.
The actors sometimes don’t even like the characters they play. Some refuse to do sequels because they aren’t getting paid enough or are afraid of getting typecast. But besides that, the actors are still just people who wear a costume, just like all the normal people doing the same thing. They get paid. We don’t. Who cares? None of that matters to a child excited to se Baymax or Spiderman.
Maybe instead of us all standing in long lines and paying hundreds of dollars to get their autographs, they could learn something from their smallest of fans and come join us on the floor, walk around, see all our cool costumes and get our autographs. After all, we don’t charge, and that’s got to be more fun than sitting behind a table all day.
So, while my kids didn’t get to meet William Shatner, they did get the Kirk and Spock selling macaroons to sign their books. It made my kids happy, and it made the people happy, too. I call that a good day!
Special thanks to all the wonderful Comic Con fans who happily play along with mine and all the other kids out there. You are what really makes the Comic Con experience great. Oh, and Mr. Penguin, you’re signature was awesome!