Comic-Con 2012: Our Condensed Summer Vacation

Post date: Jul 15, 2012 6:51:03 PM

I really miss the magic of Summer Vacation. 3 whole months of freedom from my usual obligations... So wonderful. At times it was as if my whole year revolved around making it to the point where I was counting down to those last few minutes of school and was liberated from studying, getting up early, and generally having to do much of anything.

As an adult, Summer Vacation has taken on a different connotation. If anything, I kind of despise it. I know I'm getting old and treading dangerously close to "Get Off My Lawn!" territory because when I see kids and teens roaming about past their bedtime, making all manner of noise and generally loving the fact that they don't have to report to school for the next few months, one thing usually springs to mind: I hate Summer Vacation. But, truth be told, it's envy more than anything else. When I was in their shoes, I was doing the same things: Staying up late, being rambunctious, and revel in my youth. I miss those days sometimes.

Enter San Diego Comic-Con, an event my wife and I have been attending together for the past dozen years or so. When Comic-Con rolls around each year, everything else melts away. It feels as if I no longer have a job, I don't have to worry about getting to bed at a certain time, and I can just spend my days doing whatever the heck I feel like. It's so awesome. Comic-Con might only last 4 days (or 5 if you count Preview Night), but time acts differently during that stretch. The span of a what would equate to a regular work week seems to mercifully extend much longer, and I lose track of time and even the day of the week.

There is an infinite amount of things to do and see at Comic-Con, and choosing what to do--if we bother doing anything at all, that is--is one of the best parts of the experience. Should we queue up for a panel featuring some of our favorite cartoon creators? Should we go hunting through booths for a cool, rare toy? Or should we just go grab some lunch and enjoy each other's company? No matter what we do, we always do it together, which makes everything incredible.

My 5-year-old son has been looking forward to Comic-Con for quite some time. His enthusiasm and anticipation made this year one of the best yet. He was planning to dress as Frodo Baggins (with his 2-year-old sister in tow as Samwise Gamgee), and for weeks he spent many of his days decked out as the famous hobbit, preparing for the big event. When the day finally came to don his cape and carry the infamous One Ring on a chain around his neck, he could hardly contain his excitement as he geared up. The sparkle in his eyes was infectious, and I couldn't wait to show him off to the other attendees. I was so proud when people stopped us to ask if they could take his photo.

I really can't believe how much we crammed into such a short amount of time this year. I realize I'm getting older because my body is wiped out from navigating the immense crowds of people, but my mind is happy and refreshed. I truly feel like I had a Summer Vacation of my own, even if it was actually only a handful of days as opposed to 3 entire months. Mainstream media outlets love to portray Comic-Con as countless weirdos in costume, parading around and going bananas over their favorite pop culture pursuits (and, to be fair, you'll encounter some plenty of people that fit the bill). Really, though, the majority of attendees are like us: We just want to escape from our realities for a brief period of time and focus on the things we love the most, which in my case is my family!