Letting Go of Superman: First Comic Con
While looking out into the Hudson River from several stories up and hearing the cars whizzing below me, I tried to find faith in all I had accomplished. At 25 and finishing up my masters degree, I was nowhere near the writer I wanted to be and not quite sure about the man I was becoming. I was done being nostalgic of my checkered past but I was anxious about my developing future. The fact that it was filled with options also meant it was filled with possibilities of failure.
And suddenly in the corner of my eye, I see someone looking out into the Hudson too. He was all in blue: blue top, blue boots, blue helmet, and blue blaster? It was Megaman, except taller with a mustache and of Spanish descent.
I laughed to myself. New York Comic Con might not have been the best place to have an existential crisis.
I was at the Javitz Center covering Black Dynamite and Superjail last year. It was actually my first time at Comic con. I tried to get in the first time it started years ago but it was packed before I could get tickets. In-between the first con and 2011, I was either low in funds or overworked at school.
Now walking on the floor with geeks, comics and toys all around me, I wasn’t really as hyped as I could have been. It felt like going to Disney World in your late teens, you knew you would have been more excited to take those rides or meet Mickey Mouse if you were younger like this kid.
Nonetheless, I saw a pretty impressive Bumblebee and had a boxing glove on a quiver pointed straight at me. But I didn’t get sucked into the fandom as much as I would have liked, partly because I was there to work. And partly because for a man who was trying to find answers about his future, Comic con displayed artifacts of a past I had forgotten.
It was a graveyard of B-class childhood television shows standing along side lively marketing of the next big thing. I mean for heaven’s sake, they had box sets of V.R. Troopers and Masked Rider. Do you know how long it’s been since I even thought about those shows?
But maybe that’s what I needed, to trace back and look at myself from the eyes of my younger self. I started to judge my success not by who I think I should be by now but who I was never sure I’d become.
A childhood stricken by loneliness, I now had a strong foundation of decade-long friendships and a wealth of developing connections. My anxieties about the complexities of the world had transformed into a furious curiosity that pushes me to seek out answers. Always afraid that I’d quit because my will of becoming a writer was too weak, at 25 I realize I don’t even know how to begin giving up.
I’ve been in the same room as genocide survivors, civil rights activists, published poets and novelists, a former African slave, congressmen, senators, and the mayor. It was a good time to feel accomplished and treat myself.
I started shopping on the final day of Comic con when they have the best deals. The vendors don’t want to take everything back with them so things get slashed left and right. I found some awesome shirts and sweaters with original designs.
I also saw a top hat. It was plain, black and made of sub-par material. But somehow it seemed to suggest that who wore it was pretentious enough to take himself seriously even if he looked silly.
So I bought that hat.
Cesar R. Bustamante Jr.
Latest posts by Cesar R. Bustamante Jr. (see all)
- Letting Go of Superman: Why I Didn’t like Superman - April 29, 2013
- Letting Go of Superman: Remembering the Darkness - April 21, 2013
- Letting Go of Superman: Gaiman, the Non-Stop Storytelling Machine - March 25, 2013
- Letting Go of Superman: Superman is Not Orson Scott Card - March 14, 2013
- Unwritten Review: Winnie the Pooh Meets Alan Moore - February 17, 2013