Nerds Unite! On the 29th of May I went to my first Comic Con with my cousin and some friends, and I had the time of my life. Great costumes, amazing people, mouth watering food and limited edition souvenirs.
Comic Con was everything I dreamed of and so much more. Although my initial costume idea did not arrive on time, I was able to get an Itachi costume from the anime Naruto. On arrival it seemed that going as Itachi was the most unoriginal thought that I've ever had, as half the auditorium was dressed as him.
After having my Kunai (small blades) stumped by security I was finally able to enter into what could only be described as a fantasy world.
I saw bodybuilders dressed as Kratos and gamers dressed as Bowser, no fandom was excluded. There were 3 stages and an area to meet entertainers, this ranged from the British Pro Wrestling Federation to anime youtubers (which my cousins queued up for hours to meet).
Comic Con can be summarised as an event where the primary focus is on comic books and comic book culture. This has now expanded from comic books to pretty much all fiction in entertainment. Many fans of different communities band together to meet creators, buy wallpapers and socialise.
Three things really stood out to me during my time there.
Firstly, the solidarity between all the different fandoms. There were no Anime cliques or Harry Potter cliques or any disputes as to which group was better, everybody was simply a fan of these beautiful worlds that had been created. I appreciated the fact that Harry Potter stands could be right next to a Dragon Ball Z stand. Everybody was approachable and seemed to get excited when they saw someone dressed in the same universe.
The second thing that stood out to me was the amount of effort everybody had put into their costumes. Accessories such as giant swords or stilts in a grim reaper costume must have taken several weeks to make and I can imagine no greater accomplishment than having a vibrant excited child (me) nervously asking for a photo. In awe of these costumes you seem to forget that these are just everyday people with everyday lives.
Thirdly, the merchandise, the sweet, shiny merchandise. Not only were there real swords from the Witcher, One Piece and Demon Slayer, there was artwork with some of the best paintings and drawings I have ever seen. The amount of talent that was in one room was truly something special to behold.
Since 2018 we have seen an accelerated merge between nerd culture and pop culture, I believe that due to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe being a fan of comic book superheroes has become mainstream. This merging of nerd culture has also been boosted by the sudden popularity of anime. With anime having endorsements from celebrities such as Kanye West, Michael B. Jordan and Lil Uzi Vert.
Comic Con has provided a safe space for everyday people to have an escape to a non judgemental world where they can be themselves behind their masks. I very much look forward to going again next year, where I will be putting in a lot more effort into my costume.