My First Convention
June 28, 2010

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!"

Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann
Action figure anthropologist, Professor Cantina Dan Neumann has been a scholastic contributor to the online community studying the complex world of parumplasticus populus {little plastic people} since the turn of this millenium. His primary focus is the visual cataloging of species exhibits through photo-journalism.
Read other articles by Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann.





  • The Superfly says:

    What a touching bit of writing, D. I know it’s been bittersweet with the passing of your Dad. It’s funny how certain memories and experiences can stay with us forever and small things can bring us right back to that moment, no matter how many years have passed. Thanks for sharing that with us.

  • Shellhead says:

    Sorry about your dad, man. I know what you’re going through a little as my mom passed in January. My Dad got me into comic collecting and he used to drive me 20 miles to the comic store for several years until I learned how to drive (which I bet was a relief for him since we used to go on Sunday and I know he missed a lot of football).
    I’m skipping SDCC this year, and while its not bumming me out as much as I thought it would, I’ll definitely be back next year.

  • Daniel Pickett JuliusMarx says:

    That’s a beautiful blog Dan. Thanks for sharing it.

    I wonder if the “Creation” group that ran that con 25 years ago is the same as the giant “Creation Entertainment” group that still puts on all those Sci Fi cons –

    • GLsector666 says:

      Judging by their “About Us” page, I’d say yes. I went to a few of their Trek conventions back in the day.

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    Very sweet blog, Dan. Thanks so much for sharing that with us.

  • demoncat says:

    very sweet post. and sympathy for the lost of your father. at least you will always have the memory of how he took his kid to the thing out of love. for one is not truely gone with the memories to keep them alive in your heart.

  • Hourman says:

    As somebody who has also had to come to terms with having been born to a father who wasn’t around that much, I feel you on this one, Dan. I’m glad you’ve made peace with it. I’m still working on that. But regardless, my sincere sympathies on the loss of your father. That’s hard business.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Dan, Shelly, I’m very sorry to hear about your losses. We’re still too young to lose a parent around here. Heck, I don’t think there can even be a proper age in the whole scheme of things. Two of the three cons I attended as a kid, I went with my dad. He and I have never gotten along either, but the con excursions remain among the few, memorable, and enjoyable experiences we got to share together. Wonderful blog as always, Dan.

  • vader says:

    Beautiful blog, Dan. Nice in memoriam to your dad.

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