My palms are sweating, my feet are tapping uncontrollably, and my body is pumping with adrenaline because this lucky lad will be attending his first ever comic convention this morning. That’s right the Drunken Nerd will be taking over the Baltimore Comic Con today, but to be honest I’m a bit nervous. After all, I’m a convention virgin.
The days leading up to today felt like an eternity. Every hour that went by I was scratching off my mental countdown, however as the date become closer and closer I began to realize I have no idea what to expect. My excitement turned into a bit of nervous anxiety after I realized I was putting myself into a ‘blind-date’ situation.
I have zero, zilch, nada, no idea what to expect going into today. I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours selecting my attire for this afternoon. I felt like a high school girl picking out her prom dress – tossing clothes clear across my room, rambling to myself about something that’s just right. Although, I should be grateful, a comic convention is about the only time my plethora of comic inspired vintage tees can be properly seen on display. The only problem I am having is deciding on which one to wear. Should I go with Cobra Commander and try to find my Baroness? Maybe keep it safe and traditional with Captain America? Or maybe I’ll loosen it up a bit and represent Wally West as The Flash. Too many decisions to make and time is tick-tick ticking away.
Then it hit me. Forget wearing anything normal this is Baltimore Comic Con; I should be swinging for the fences, I should be Cosplaying it up. What better way to break my convention cherry than to go all in with an over-the-top fanboy costume? Surely, the right costume will elevate my experience at the convention and if I’m lucky maybe even attract that special fangirl, if you know what I mean.
So, what Cosplay character should I represent? Being a big Nightcrawler fan, he crossed my mind, but I’m not sure how many fangirls are interested in talking to a blue skinned monk. Then I thought, I’ll go as Cobra Commander – easy costume and unique. Well, I got half the costume together and organized when I realized they likely won’t be letting known-leaders of a massive terrorist organization into the convention center; scratch that idea.
After the Cobra setback, I came up with the idea to formally dress up. Forget the costumed heroes and villains, I’ll merely dress up in a suit and tie the whole nine yards and go as Mr. Playboy himself, Bruce Wayne. Yet, the more I thought about the idea the more I realized maybe formal was over-doing it, maybe I wasn’t Cosplaying anymore instead I was drifting into ‘peacocking’ territory. After all, if I’m dressing up like Bruce Wayne I think I may be trying a bit too hard.
So, there I sat counting the hours down in my head till the big day and realizing I was farther away from having a costume completed than when I started. Perhaps I could come in late to the convention – you know, fashionably late- as The Riddler and act like it was all part of my beautifully crafted plan, but then I’d just blatantly be lying to myself. It’s just about then I realized, what the hell have I been doing for the last twelve hours? I’ve been sweating and stressing over an outfit for a comic convention. I’ve been acting like a tween trying to come up with a perfect outfit to impress a bunch of strangers – that isn’t me. All this worrying over what to wear is nothing short of the acts of a convention amateur.
After I settled out the costume idea, or lack thereof, I began worrying on how to act at such a convention. Should I bring a satchel to carry around memorabilia I’d like autographed? When I see some of my favorite writers and illustrators like Brian Bolland, Greg Capullo, or David Finch, should I burst into an uncharacteristic fanboy sprint screaming and yelling towards them? Perhaps I should Google some autograph etiquette before I enter the convention center; have a bad feeling I may get security called on me if I don’t keep my kiddish excitement in check. There’s also the worry about being star-struck. I mean what if I get a chance to meet Mr. Stan Lee and instead of asking him for an autograph I just stare at him with a blank look on my face and begin talking after he already walks away. Wouldn’t that be a bust? Or even worse, what if he looks at me and my attire and goes, “So that’s what you decided to wear to a comic convention? Psh, must be your first time, rookie.”
So many factors running through my mind as the final hours of my countdown come to a close. It’s just about the time right before I leave to make my trip down to Baltimore I realize what a clown I’ve been. I’m a grown-ass man worrying about what to wear and how to act. I’m going to a comic convention and I should let my inner-nerd run wild, but I shouldn’t be stressing over how to act. The past twenty-four hours I’ve acted like a complete convention novice. I just have to go in there, be myself, have fun, and enjoy the moment. On the brightside, I’m not even there yet and I’ve already learned one or two things about preparing for conventions. Well, only one way to fix these nerves. Go in with jeans and a tee shirt, be true to myself and enjoy my first convention without making a fool of myself, although it may be too late for that.
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