I need to confess something. It may change your view of me forever. I may lose a lot of people who follow me over this one. It’s dark.
I’ve never been to a con.
Of any kind.
Now the mighty have fallen! I’ve been to a comic shop almost every week of my life since before I can remember. I worked in a comic shop for five years. Seven, kind of, if you count those two. (I don’t, clearly.) I geek out over Star Trek and Babylon 5. I’m eagerly awaiting Brent Weeks’ next book. I pretty much define the kind of person that cons are supposed to appeal to.
And yet… I’ve never been to one.
It’s a deep sin for someone of a geeky pedigree like myself, isn’t it? I mean, it’s like saying you love Renaissance Faires, having your own garb, reading fanfic that takes place in Faires (yes, it exists), and never going to one, even when it’s in your own town.
Oh, I am not the level of geek I aspire to be.
But all that changes tomorrow. Redemption is at hand! Tomorrow I attend my first con. I know, it’s a Sunday, the last day. The day when not a lot typically happens.
I’m ok with that. I don’t mind staying away from the worst of the crowds. I’m looking forward to maybe getting some deals. Maybe meeting some writers, talking with them, hopefully supporting with some purchases. I’ll be taking my youngest son (who gets in for free) for special daddy-son time.
And… I don’t know what to expect.
I’m kinda nervous, to be honest. I mean, as much as I love a lot of geeky things… I’m not as geeky as once I was. I can’t speak the lingo as much as I used to.
I know, I know. It’s silly. Most geeky people aren’t the Comic Shop Guy from the Simpsons. Most of the people there who are selling things would rather make patrons comfortable so they’re more likely to buy. I’m told it’s a family-friendly con, so I shouldn’t have many problems with my boy.
But it’s something new.
It’s something I feel I should have done long ago. I’m kind of embarrassed by my lack of knowledge.
I don’t know how to “do” a con. Do I show up with spandex? OK, maybe not. I don’t want to make anyone throw up. I’m not a cosplayer. I do wear garb for Ren Faires, but… that’s something I’ve done before.
So, I guess what I’m asking is…
…do you have any advice? Have you been to a con before? What should I know? What should I avoid? What should I make sure I do? What marks me as an amateur? Is it ok to be an amateur?
Tomorrow’s going to be an adventure, I think.
I hope I survive the experience.