I had the opportunity, as I’m sure many of you did, to attend the third annual Salt Lake Comic Con on Thursday. Although I had been both to FantasyCon last year as well as Gaming Con earlier in the year, this was my first Comic Con. My expectations were high as I had wanted to attend last year’s but was unable.
It did not disappoint. The Comic Con in Salt Lake City is the third largest in the nation only after three years of running, and the anticipated number of people attending this year was 130,000, according to the Salt Lake Comic Con website.
There were numerous vendors and artists selling their geeky wares, cosplayers dressed up as everything from anime to video game characters and statues of movie icons like Gandalf from “Lord of the Rings” and the Albino Orc from “The Hobbit” films.
But after a day that consisted of sitting on the iron throne from “Game of Thrones” and standing in awe while gazing at Sam and Dean’s ’67 Chevy Impala, I started to think about why Comic Con draws so many people every year, sometimes twice a year.
As a pretty avid geek myself, which my family and boyfriend frequently remind me that I am, it’s really neat to see the geek community come together and have time to let their geekiness shine. Comic Con allows people who usually have to attend school or have a job and family to indulge, for three days a year, their inner geek and express it in public.
Over the past couple decades, and even in the years since I graduated high school, being a geek or nerd is becoming more mainstream and less frowned upon.
Gone are the days when people are put down because they like to dress up like their favorite character or are mocked because of the movies or games they enjoy.
Conventions like Comic Con are allowing people to express their love of movies, games, shows and comics more openly.
I think this is a great thing. When we look at the role models like Captain America or Commander Shepard from the “Mass Effect” trilogy, can we blame people for wanting to emulate these heroes?
In many ways geeks strive to become more like these heroes, to be as loyal as Samwise Gamgee or as brave at Katniss Everdeen—to become more than what we are and tap what it is to be the best humans we can be.
Yes, Comic Con boosts the economy and allows people to geek out over their favorite things, but it’s also much more.