I’ve had a week to think about ComicCon 2009 and what I enjoyed about it. Here are a few thoughts.
At the top of the list of things I enjoyed is Flynn’s Arcade, an off-site exhibit promoting Tron Legacy. This is due in no small part to the fact that Tron is one of my favorite movies and anything related to the subjects of light cycles and information discs makes me giddy. Rabid fandom aside, Flynn’s Arcade was my favorite part of ComicCon because it was incredibly well executed. The OG (Original Game-sta) arcade cabinets, air hockey tables, and 80’s music blaring from the sound system captured the essence of an old-school arcade, much like the ones I remember from my youth. Add to that the concept art and life-sized recreation of the new lightcycle (spectacular!) and it’s clear why Flynn’s was such an incredible experience.
Close behind Flynn’s Arcade, however, are the lines. Yes, I enjoyed them! Well, one in particular, anyway. If that sounds unbelievable, let me explain. Usually, I don’t like lines; I am not alone in my dislike of them. Lines to purchase movie tickets, lines at the DMV, lines for the bathroom… these are lines that irritate. They get in the way. Most lines are like this, but every now and then something happens.
The nature of the line changes. It is no longer the means to end (getting in to see an event), but the end itself. When you’re in a line so long that you don’t even know what’s on the other end anymore, the line ceases to be an obstacle to the event and becomes the event itself. If you wait in line long enough, your perception of the world outside the line changes. What exists at the end of the line is of no consideration anymore. Nothing matters except the line, and getting through to its end. If you leave the line, your perception snaps back to reality with the realization that you have lost — lost a battle with an enemy that you did not know you were engaging. But should you persist, should you remain in line and wage war with the demons of boredom, shield yourself from a fearsome solar nemesis, and repel invading linejumpers, you will know victory. You will emerge from the line battered and scarred, but not defeated, and therein is your reward. Anything else is a secondary prize.
That said, I tried to get into Hall H to see promos for 2012, Zombieville, and Iron Man 2, followed by a panel with Kevin Smith. I got in line at 1:30, and the line stopped moving almost immediately. I waited in that line for three and a half hours, or approximately until 5 minutes after the Iron Man 2 panel ended. I followed tweets from Johnny and Tony, who were posting little news bits and pictures of the goings-on inside Hall H, so I wasn’t completely ignorant of the events as they were unfolding, but those scraps of information were certainly no substitute for being a part of the experience. Still, the time in line wasn’t entirely wasted. I emerged from the line, victorious and proud. It was, as my father might call it, a character building experience. I also had plenty of time to pass creatively, so I took the opportunity presented to me and composed this original piece. Enjoy.
The Line for Hall H
It’s hot as Hades in this line,
A line that’s standing still.
The sun is shining bright today;
Of the heat, I’ve had my fill.
Ten thousand people desp’rate
To get inside Hall H.
Ten thousand seeking entrance
To a room that seats just eight.
We’ve just been told the room has shown
No sign of people leaving
There’s very little chance at all
We’ll enter ‘fore that evening.
The folks inside the room want facts
Confirming any rumor
Of Jon Favreau’s new Iron Man
And Robert Downey, Jr.
I want to quit this line, I do!
It’s only perseverance
That keeps me waiting in this place
For Kevin Smith’s appearance.
And now it’s heating up again,
I think I’ve sweat a bucket.
I’ve had enough, I’m going home.
It’s time say, “Oh, frak it.”