Fanaticcon Brings Out The Geek in Everyone

I didn’t have a television for the first few years of my life. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have a lot. ICU nurses and doctors surrounded me, and often, another patient was beside me. It certainly wasn’t easy, but compared to my roommates at the time, I had very little to complain about… except for the less-than-delicious meals I was served.

While I didn’t have much to complain about, I was often very confused about why I lived in a hospital. There was just something that felt off, not quite right. I felt as though I didn’t belong.

As the years rolled on, I eventually got a television and toys, a lot of toys.

Growing up in a children’s hospital certainly had its advantages. There were always toys to play with, and my family spoiled me. As I got older and moved to a different ward, I had kids to play with and, of course, more toys. There was even a playroom with, yes, more toys.

A gift shop was in the lobby, as if that wasn’t enough.

It was in the gift shop that I discovered comic books. At the time, the gift shop had many comic books for sale. They had Superman, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, plus Mad Magazine, to name a few. Like most kids, I would ask my mom to give me money to go to the gift shop. I just couldn’t get enough.

Comics became a big part of my life. For starters, it was an escape for me, a chance to break free from my reality of living in a children’s hospital. Comics also taught me a few important lessons of life, which I still live by today.

One of the lessons, at least my interpretation of it, is that it’s ok to be different. Despite our differences, we’re all superheroes in our own way, and we’re all different. We should embrace it. Just look around. The world’s pretty messed up right now, and in many cases, our lives can be pretty messed up,

Just being able to get through the day can take superhero strength.

We all have our battles to fight.

Getting back to the 80s.

While the 80s were great for comic books, outside of classmates, siblings, neighbours, or in my case, roommates, there wasn’t much of a community. For the most part, geeks were seen as outsiders. We were the ones who were different than everyone else.

Since the late 80s, the community has grown tremendously. The community is more diverse than ever before and welcoming.

The reason why I’m talking about this is that on Sunday, I attended Fanaticcon. I mentioned it briefly in my last column. For those who couldn’t read it, Fanaticcon is a convention for all things related to comics, anime/manga, sci-fi, cosplay, video games, toys, horror, and fantasy.

You know, the good stuff.

Fanaticcon, in comparison to other cons, is smaller. It is because of this, Fanticcon has become my favourite convention. The sense of community is really strong. I’ve met and gotten to know so many great people I’d have no way of meeting or talking to at bigger shows.

Also, unlike the bigger shows, the organizers are open to feedback, including suggestions for improving wheelchair accessibility. Every vendor seems to be willing to help me see items up close, answer any questions I have, and try to make as much room as possible,

I can’t say enough good things about the organizers, volunteers, and vendors.

The same goes for the people attending Fanaticcon. As I mentioned, I’ve met and gotten to know many from Fanaticcon. I always feel right at home, even before I roll through the doors.

The bigger ones seem too overpriced and overcrowded, but Fanaticcon is just the opposite. It’s much quieter, more laid back, and has a great sense of community.

Everybody seems to know each other.

I’m proud to be a part of the local geek community.

Also, if you’re new to the community, Fanaticcon is a great place to start.

Fanaticcon may be over for this year, but plenty of other local shows are still to come, and a community is ready to welcome you.