May the ‘Con’ be with you

You know those times when you look at something relatively simple that has become iconic and think “Man, I wish I had thought of that!”? I feel that way about Comic-Con.

It was created by three comic/fantasy/science fiction fans in 1970. I was a huge sci-fi fan in 1970, in San Diego, but somehow I missed the memo.

Even thought it started as a one-day “minicon” and only drew 100 people, I’ll bet it was really fun. Well, apparently it was more than fun, since 34 years later, you have to have three good luck charms, a gypsy kiss, a closet full of cos-play costumes and, of course, a really good computer, to even try to get in.

My daughter and her fiancé actually got tickets for the 2014 Con. I think it may be a bigger accomplishment than their engagement or her upcoming college graduation. They had to join the club first, months ago. Finally, the email went out with sale day information. Too bad if you were on vacation in Pago Pago.

Stop me if you’ve heard this, but I was amazed. First you have to awaken at 6:45 a.m. so at 7 a.m., you can request to get on the Open Online Registration area. Based on my skill with the Internet, and my mental capacity at 7 a.m., I’d never make the cut. This step eventually gave my kids separate 25-character codes. The OOR is the online equivalent of the doctor’s office, where you then cool your heels, for up to two hours. Then, by random selection, you are invited to purchase … or not. My child was jubilant that both she and her guy were chosen. I feel like I should take them to Vegas – tonight.

I am simply celebrating that I can say I have been to Comic-Con, in 2010. I was very enthusiastic, even painting my hair two colors, but I had no idea how lucky I was to be there. If ever there was a lesson in “Carpe Diem,” that was it. I think having actually been there (at my age) gives me almost as much street cred as having seen the Rolling Stones at the Fillmore.

May Comic-Con live long and prosper.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who still has her college copy of “Stranger in a Strange Land” and she groks you. Contact her at



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