Comic-on Point

I am a multi-faceted man. I love politics. Sport. Digital. Reading. Blogging. Socialising. Music. Movies. Cooking. Dating. More “adult” activities. Public speaking. Crushing my enemies beneath the heels of my boots. Cleaning. Ok, perhaps not that last one, but there is a huge range of things that I am passionate about to one level or another.

So when a very good friend of mine bought me a ticket to the London Comicon event at the end of October I jumped at the chance. While it wasn’t necessarily on my list of 50 things I am aiming to achieve or do, it’s still something I’ve heard a lot about and which calls out to my inner geek like the One Ring calls out to Gollum. (Yep, I’ve used a crossover geek reference that even the mainstream masses might be able to understand.)

That’s why I found myself wandering along the dockside in East London to the Excel Centre to see whether it lived up to my expectations. I walked four paces behind a seven foot racoon of some kind, next to a couple of characters from Assassin’s Creed (complete with swords) and a Jedi, and was in front of some green aliens with wings and something else I was told had something to do with Pokemon.

If you’ve never heard of Comicon before, it’s a series of events related to comics in some way where participants are able to dress up in costumes (known as cosplay) and then interact with each other, buy tonnes of comic-related memorabilia, games, miniatures, clothes and more and generally revel amongst their peers and lose themselves for even a short time without fear of ridicule by others.

As I looked around I soon realised that many of the people around me would, in the ordinary run of things probably describe themselves as introverts. I’m not saying they would hide away in their rooms and never want to see the light of day (though admittedly there was a LOT of very, very pale skin in there…), rather that given the choice they would ordinarily choose smaller groups over large.

Yet here they were thriving. They were taking pictures with each other, approaching strangers and complimenting them on their costumes, high fiving when someone made a suitably niche reference to a cult movie and generally having the best of times.

And one other thing I noticed was that many of them weren’t on their own. There were Belle and Beast couples, Mario and Luigi, steampunk pairs, Han Solo and Princess Leia and a hundred combinations of things I simply don’t recognise. It was clear that each was into things as much as the other and both were willing to publicly share their shared passions with others.

As much fun as the whole day was, I did leave it feeling a little sad. finding someone who is so on the same page as you must be so rare, especially when you have as many other required (or at least desired) criteria as I have. Inner beauty and outer beauty are so rarely combined that I wonder if I’ll ever find someone who would be willing to go along to such an event with me themselves (with dressing up an optional extra).

We are all someone else’s weirdo. That much is true. I simply wonder if I’ll ever find someone who matches my own brand of weirdness as well as those I saw on a chilly autumnal day in East London. I don’t want to drop my standards or hopes in one area simply to meet them in others. Does this mean I am asking for too much? Will I either remain looking for a unicorn forever or will I instead need to heavily compromise one way in order to fulfil another part of my dream woman and relationship?

Who knows. All I do know is that while I’ve discovered an appreciation for cosplay, I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to break out the fancy dress myself just yet.

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