If you have not yet read the “About” section (link above) or the “Welcome to the Insanity” entry that opened this blog (scroll down or see link to the right) please do so now and then continue to read this entry. If you have, please proceed.
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WonderCon. A pop culture convention held in Anaheim. Also the source of much inspiration and very much a place where I feel most at home amongst “my people.” It is a place where being a super-fan is not only embraced, it is encouraged, and truly, required to enter the big glass doors. The only time I was out of place was when we went to check out the scene while I was wearing a simple pink shirt with no logo, label or sign I was one of them. When we returned the next day, me in my Batman t-shirt and Shawn in his Green Lantern jersey, we were no longer the outsiders we seemed the day before. And when we picked up the giant Chewbacca stuffed toy we were very much one of the gang. People cooed, pointed, grinned, exclaimed, and reached out to hug and hold the big wookie. In the real world, outside the doors of the Anaheim Convention Center, I would have retreated inward, frowned and shut down, tried to climb inside my own body, done anything to become invisible with that attention raining down on me. But not here. I was home. I was being pointed at not because I was different, but because I was one of many. All different, but the same. Our common bond – our penchant for fandom.
I embrace being different, in fact I try to never be one of the crowd, in many ways. But sometimes separating oneself from the pack also makes one very aware of how alone they are in that world. Inside a convention like WonderCon I can like whatever I want, and no one is going to look at me like I grew a third eye overnight. The vibe is electric, it is addicting, and it is inspiring. As we walked among our people, as we watched kids and parents dressed as their favorite superhero, as we passed by the artists sitting at their tables creating while admirers stood and watched or walked by quietly letting them work, as we sat in panels and listened to our favorite people talk about their craft, a sense of inspiration cannot help but wash over.
WonderCon. Where I become someone who craves an audience of people admiring my work. Where my invisibility shield takes a vacation and I know that being seen means something entirely different. Finger pointing means acknowledgment of sameness, not mock and sadness. I watched, I admired, I listened, and I knew, I belong.