Comic Con: The Great Art of Escapism

For The Downtrodden and Berated

Maria, these three specimens, and me.

Something interesting happens when people dress up.

Something mystical even.

When a man is wearing a suit, he automatically walks taller and adds something extra to his stride.

In the same way, when someone is dressed up as their favorite super hero, it’s as if they channel the spirit of that character without even knowing it.

Their mannerisms match that of the character they’re dressed as. They walk like them, move like them, and feel like them.

In a way, they are them.

My First Comic Con

I recently went to my first ever Comic Con, and witnessed a lot of the above.

I’ve never been the biggest comic book or movie geek (I mean that endearingly), but I do love a good story, and I am always first in line for the newest super hero movies.

I’m not a purist by any means, but I get the appeal of the story and the feeling it creates for those consuming it.

I just had no idea the extent these stories affected people.

As I walked in the doors of the San Antonio Comic Con, I was immediately swallowed up by a fast moving stream of people all heading in one direction.

Almost everyone was dressed up, though I couldn’t tell you who most of them were.

As the flood of people approached the first set of doors, we formed a line. This led to another line, and then another.

There were a lot of lines.

Every line led to another auditorium. Each auditorium had hundreds if not thousands of people inside.

While waiting, I looked around at the different costumes.

To my right there was a 6'2 black dude with corn rows dressed as Sailor Moon.

NOT the dude I saw

In front of me, Harley Quin and Sub Zero were standing in line together.

There are a lot of people here, fully grown adults completely embodying their character, and this seems really important to them.

This is when it hit me.

Escapism is a necessary aspect of our lives.

I get it.

Life gets monotonous.

Being berated day after day with the routine of meaningless tasks in the name of keeping the lights on, never seeming to fulfill your potential.

This will wear you down.

The chance to tear a hole in the fabric of your reality, jump through it and become the hero of the story for one day can be enough to temporarily satisfy that call to adventure that cries out deep inside each of us.

That cry that dims as life hammers away at us with soul crushing tedium, but never completely dies.

Comic Con offers you the chance to be the hero of the story.

It also allows you to meet your favorite actors, writers and producers who give you the gift of escapism through their stories and art.

Which one is more intimidating?

As I snaked my way through the crowd, I could see people’s dreams coming true on almost every corner.

When I see someone in tears, wearing their old Backstreet Boys shirt while meeting Joey Fatone, I imagine that’s how I would feel meeting Jay Z or Dan Brown.

While I expected to see celebrities and costumes, I was surprised to learn that there were educational panels and discussions as well.

I was pumped about two of these panels in particular.

How to Write Comedy and How to Write a Million Words In Your Sleep.

The chance to discuss the process of writing with accomplished authors was enough to get me fired up, but these panels represented something else.

They were there to teach people how to offer the gift of escapism to others.

The same people that have gotten so much from the movies and novels they love were given the chance to learn how to create the same experience for others.

That’s pretty cool.

Heading into my first Comic Con I expected to have a great time, but I didn’t expect to be part of such an impactful experience.

We all need the chance to escape the mundane. Whether that means wearing your LeBron James jersey on game day, or putting on red spandex with a lightening bolt on it. It’s all the same.

To be the hero, to feel important, and to give back and help others achieve the same experience.

Through art and story telling, Comic Con brings everyone together for the chance to do just that.

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