The Guy Who Hates Comic-Con: Oh My God Shut Up About Comic-Con

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Closing arguments please.

#1. A major test is coming up for Comic-Con. It will happen on August 13. The test is how Scott Pilgrim does at the box office.

This time last year Kick-Ass was riding high. An edgy adaptation of an indie comic that basically won Comic-Con! (I know I was raving about it.) Can’t miss, right? But Kick-Ass cratered at the box office.

If the same thing happens to Pilgrim (which I also loved), it will seriously damage the Hollywood fantasy that people at Comic-Con are Gladwellians influencers who will repay the marketing money the studios dump down their throats, tenfold.

(More on Techland: Comic-Con: What It’s Really Like on the Convention Floor)

If that marketing money dries up, it would not be a bad thing, for Comic-Con. I halfway hope it happens.

It could. August is a real boneyard for releasing movies. And even in the boneyard, that weekend (August 13) is a bad one: Scott will run smack into The Expendables and Eat, Pray, Love.

On the other hand, Scott Pilgrim is really good. I want to see it again. And I never see movies twice.

#2. Objects bought this year:

— a little plushy Chibi-Totoro for my daughter

— a Penny Arcade I Roll 20’s t-shirt, which I had long coveted

— a Metric album, following their brief cameo in Scott Pilgrim.

Note to self: next year, sack up and buy original comics art.

(More on Techland: Comic-Con Wrap Up: Winners and Losers of This Year’s Con)

#3. Nerd Altamont: it came closer to literally happening than I would have liked.

#4. Comic-Con is hurting nerd culture, in a broad and systemic and probably permanent way. Nerd culture is a counter-culture, and counter-cultures can die; in fact if there’s one thing late-stage capitalism is good at, it’s co-opting and killing counter-cultures. Viz. punk, the 60’s, etc.

Nerd culture could be the next punk. Every time I’m walking the floor of Comic-Con, and I see one of those dudes with drive-time DJ voices flogging plastic promotional objects at me, in the tone of a farmer calling pigs to the slop, so I can use those objects to better define my identity as a consumer of his products, thereby making the drive-time dude a fortune, somewhere a fairy dies. Or maybe a dark elf.

You come here thinking you’re going to be part of a community. You leave here nostalgic for the time when you didn’t have one.

That’s what Comic-Con does for you: it makes you nostalgic for alienation.

More on Techland:

Our Picks: The Next Big Hits Coming Out of Comic-Con

Top 10 Coolest Things About This Year’s Comic-Con