With SDCC approaching, I wanted to talk about something that most people don’t like about about the Con.
Now don’t get me wrong I don’t like lines either. If somebody offered me the chance to avoid them altogether, I would, but in truth, they’re not all bad. I actually think they could be making the world a better place. Now stick with me.
It’s probably no secret that you’ll likely spend just as much time in lines as you spend at panels. Time spent reading books or playing video games or just daydreaming. But at some point you’ll need a break and you’ll look around and realize you are surrounded by one of the most eclectic groups of people in the world. People of all races, sexual orientations, religions, political persuasions and countries surround you. Some people are bald, some look like Cousin It, some are with their friends, some are alone and others are with their families. Comic-Cons are no respecter of persons. And that’s one of the reasons I think they are great.
I have made numerous friends over the years sitting in line or waiting for a panel at SDCC. One year I sat next to someone who I think was transgendered. At first I didn’t know what to make of him, but he turned and started talking to me and he seemed nice enough. But I soon discovered, this guy was super loyal. He guarded my seats for me; he shared his food and even shared some fun stories from the con. And of course we talked about whether the different things being promoted at the different panels actually looked good.
Another year, I sat next to two teenagers, while we waited in line for Hall H. It was a girl about 17 and her gay male friend who was about the same age. They shared their love of Tim Burton and Doctor Who, while I told them they really needed to check out Buffy. We whined and complained about the long lines and the people who seemed to be butting. When we got into Hall H they saved us seats when they probably weren’t supposed to. They were super-cool.
Sometimes you’ll sit by a family. Once I sat next to a family from Southern Utah consisting of a mom, dad, grandparents and children. They told us about their long drive to get there and how each family member was there for a different reason. We talked about all kinds of pop culture related topics and the time flew by. Every time we saw them over the next few days, they waved and shouted. They couldn’t have been nicer.
Sometimes you’ll ban together with your neighbors to fight injustice. I remember one time when a guy tried to butt in line and then completely denied that he had done so. Slowly but surely about two-dozen people in line started making a giant ruckus about his actions. The man stuck in there for a while but eventually couldn’t take the heat and left. There was a large cheer from our corner of the line.
What brings this wide array of people to San Diego in July? The one thing we all have in common: A love of pop culture. And that’s something that unites us. Whether we love Star Trek or Star Wars, we all know what it’s like to have a passion for something and that makes us the same.
I think it’s too bad that different portions of the population aren’t forced to spend time with people who are different than them. I imagine it could do a lot to make the world a nicer place.
So next time you start to get depressed about the amount of time you’re going to have to spend in line, remember, you might actually be helping the world become more united, even if it means you’re all going to smell disgusting by the time you reach Ballroom 20.
PS. This article in now way means that I think that lines forming before 6am are a good thing. Make this stop. NOW.