In 1970, a group of comic book nerds and science fiction fans got together and began Comic-Con International: San Diego. It was a one-day event with 100 people in attendance and two special guest stars with the goal being to raise money for a larger convention.
It’s safe to say they were successful.
Today, the San Diego Comic-Con attracts hundreds of thousands of self-proclaimed nerds with hundreds of special guests from favorite comics, television shows, movies and books. But some have to wonder, is the convention really still for the nerds? Or have the masses dying for a chance run in with a favorite celebrity overtaken the realm of nerd-dom?
The answer isn’t a simple one, because it all depends on how you look at it.
Sure, many would argue that when the (infamous) Twilight made it’s first appearance back at Comic-Con 2008, there was no nerd-culture anywhere to be seen. Instead, what many con-goers were faced with was a screaming, sobbing hoard of pre-teen girls and their equally obsessed mothers dying to catch a glimpse of the bedraggled Robert Pattinson. There didn’t seem to be any value in their adoration. No true merit to their shrill shrieks and desperate pleas for the actors to “bite them.”
But that’s looking at it the wrong way.
Being a nerd has always been about being passionate. Finding something, whether it was a show or comic book or piece of music, and falling in love with it. Memorizing every aspect and knowing it better than even yourself. Some might even call it obsessive and a bit stalkerish, but we won’t judge.
And that obsession and love is what Comic-Con has always celebrated. It wasn’t about wearing Superman t-shirts and Storm Troopers walking the halls, although those are fun. It was about coming together with a ton of other people and celebrating the fact that you all love something that changed your life. And whether that something is The Avengers or Twilight, it doesn’t matter.
So is Comic-Con still for the nerds? I think so. In fact, I think it’s allowing more and more people to feel comfortable embracing their inner nerd every once in a while.