I can feel it in the air, San Diego Comicon 2010 is closing in. There is no denying that SDCC has become the king of cons and it generates its own special kind of excitement and anticipation. But SDCC’s proximity and another recent event in my life got me thinking about the very first comic book convention I ever attended. One where I actually went for the comics!
I was really getting into comics when I was around 11 years old. At some point in the spring of 1984 I was reading G.I. Joe #26 and came across the following ad:
Now, this was over 25 years ago so my recollections are fuzzy at best but one thing is clear – I really wanted to go to this! I presented it to my mom who apparently suggested I ask my father to take me. They had been split up for a while by that point and, frankly, I did not see a whole lot of my dad either before or after this but, what d’ya know, he actually agreed to bring me. It may have had something to do with the fact that my dad loved NYC and thought it’d be fun to expose his son to the city for a day. I do remember stopping by a small corner diner somewhere on our way to the Roosevelt Hotel and the owner knowing my dad. Funny what memories stick. I have a few snapshot recollections of the actual convention: the impressive hotel lobby, the small line we waited in to enter, the general layout of the convention room, browsing through long boxes.
But my strongest memory of the whole event was simply the fact that my dad brought me. A few weeks ago my dad died. He’d been sick for a long time and it was actually a relief to all of us that he had passed. I was glad that he had finally found peace. The night I found out about his dying I sat on the couch and just let my thoughts drift between the few and scattered memories I still have of him. The comic book convention was one of the clearer ones. So I dug though my long boxes and found the G.I. Joe issue that contained the ad. Funny how the smell of the old comic and the feel of the paper reaffirmed those memories.
I’m not sure if attending that first comic book convention gave birth to my strong desire to attend things like SDCC or if I was just born with convention fever. Either way I just wanted to say: "Dad, thanks for bringing me to my first con!"