What a crazy time we had at Boston Comic Con on Saturday. There were people for miles.
I’m convinced if you lined up everyone who was at the World Trade Center in Boston yesterday we would stretch from the docks all the way to Newton. So many vendors, professionals, and fans. Costumed people everywhere, one and a half thousand Doctors Who, and about fifty Deadpools, and an assortment of comic book and science fiction characters roamed, corralled, and squeezed their way around the ballroom. Artists selling their wares, actors selling their signatures and faces, vendors selling knickknacks, clothing and jewelry were jammed into their allotted spaces.
Overall, for me, Boston Comic Con was a fun experiences, despite feeling simultaneously as though I was there forever, and as though I didn’t see a damn thing. More often than not my friends and I seemed to be caught up in the flow of traffic going everywhere and nowhere. But not having any specific vendors in mind when we arrived at the convention, it wasn’t really a big deal that we were swept right past the majority of the tables. We’d admire the artwork as we were whisked past by the crowd. Occasionally making eye contact with the artists and vendors, we’d exchange pleasantries that included compliments on my Kaylee Frye costume attempt (it’s actually pretty good).
However, for me, not for many people, the funniest part happened upstairs in a small, hot, sticky room where we were directed to pick up our pictures from our photo ops with the celebrity actors in attendance. There we discovered the Hot Mess.
The Hot Mess occurred sometime around four p.m. when my friends and I went to pick up the photo we had taken earlier that afternoon with Jewel Staite, the actress who played the character I was dressed as. While that was a very quick, very sweet experience (Jewel was lovely), collecting the photo was proving to be a very long, very sour experience.
We entered the tiny, people filled room by passing through a wall of humid body heat generated by the dozens of people sitting and standing around the tiny room. On tables set up around the rooms perimeter, were laid eight by ten photos of costumed and non-costumed fans with their celebrity-of-joy. Behind the smiling and starry-eyed were white backgrounds with “Boston Comic Con” in either red or blue. We saw people with Sean Astin, James Marsters, Jason Momoa, and others (no John Barrowman). We even saw people “cuddled up”, as she put it, next to Jewel Staite.
Not seeing ourselves with Jewel Staite displayed anywhere, we decided to leave that hot mess of a room, go find the TARDIS, return later. Because, surely, our picture would be printed by then. The picture had been taken around 1:30, and it was later than the two hours they’d told us it would take for our picture to be ready. So we found the TARDIS, my friends took a number of pictures of both us and costumed strangers who gave their consent, and we, inexplicably, saw John Barrowman hop out of the TARDIS while we were lingering nearby. Then we returned upstairs to see if our photo had made it to one of the tables yet.
No photo; only restless people.
And I mean: restless.
Irritated others stood stone still waiting squinty-eyed, claws at the ready, to receive their photos. They watched the door where convention employees appeared and disappeared to where the printers must be set up. The room was just as hot, if not hotter, than it had been half an hour earlier. After determining our photo still wasn’t available (this is assuming someone else didn’t swipe it while we were absent), we found one another and were contemplating what to do when a representative from the convention loudly made his way through the crowd calling for attention.
This poor bastard.
He assured us we they were printing as quickly as they could, if he could print them faster, he would, he’s so sorry for the delay. Then he begins giving us options. We can come back later, enjoy the convention, come back later. They’ll keep printing, our pictures will be printed today, they won’t stop when the convention stops, they’ll keep printing. But the nerds are Not Happy about any of this. Some people have been waiting for hours having taken their photo at noon and it’s now past four. Some people have a long drive ahead of them and can’t wait that long, nor can they return tomorrow to pick up their photo. Other’s are pissed because they’d assumed they’d be able to get their photo signed afterward by the actor.
The Con Man in the “You’re killing me, Smalls” tee shirt tried his hardest to calmly separate possible from probable and offer up acceptable alternatives. For those who could return the next day, he’d give passes to. For those who could not — ah, yes, the best possible option – they would make the photos available on the website. It will take a while to get them all uploaded, but the best possible option. My friends and I found this completely acceptable. We were ready to leave. But not so all the nerds in the room. This poor Con Man had to field many more questions and listen to those Who Must Be Heard before he could escape the room.
I’m sure he was not, but I was entertained by the ire in that sticky, gross room. People demanding they receive a photo of themselves with someone they watch on TV and spent thirty seconds with — I mean, honestly, it’s not like we sat down for a cup of tea with these people! We shook hands, introduced ourselves and stood on a mark. As sweet as she was and as nice as it was to meet an actress I admire, meeting her was not the highlight of the convention for me.
Here’s what I liked best about the convention: the people. Not the famous people, I liked the other people. I liked the people who put effort and time and love into creating costumes and personas. I liked the people who committed to exposing themselves to heat exhaustion by covering themselves head to toe dressed as Spiderman, Spirited Away spirits, or some sort of furry. I liked this insane crush of thousands of people sharing and celebrating a common interest, that primarily seemed to be Dr. Who. I liked watching people scour boxes of comic books, chat with artists, and peruse merchandise. Every person my friend asked if he could photograph immediately said “Yes” and struck a pose. Even the lady there as the Weeping Angel agreed to take a series of pictures where she was first stone, benign, behind my friend, then attacking her as she turned away. I liked greeting every other Kaylee Frye with a smile and a nod, like bikers waving to each other on the road. This is what made the convention for me.
If I have to wait a week or so to get my photo with Jewel from the website, so be it. I had fun with the people who also enjoy comic books and science fiction.
But that photo thing was certainly one Hot Mess.