The comic book convention or comic con, from my perspective, a person who has always wanted to attend one but has never had the opportunity, is a strange vacuum of unrelenting positivity from the most negative critics on the planet, the nerd.
Comic book conventions are now a multimedia affair, where games companies, movie studios, TV executives and wrestling companies stand shoulder to shoulder with writers and artists within in the comic book world. These events now show trailers of upcoming projects, announce new movies or TV shows.
It seems from my perspective, that whatever is showcased at comic book convention is met with unilateral praise, in some cases hysteria of crying nerds looking to whoop and praise at the top of their lungs at the slightest piece of information.
Do not get me wrong though, I am no Scrooge. I do not begrudge anybody getting excited by their passions. I admit that I can become a bit over-excited when a new Star Wars trailer drops. I was beside myself when I logged into YouTube to see Patrick Stewart on stage announcing he was going to play Picard again. I even punched the air when Nintendo announced a sequel to Breath of the Wild. But I would say that these uncontrollable bursts of emotion, triggered by trailers, were reserved for what are my favourite franchises, not meaningless information.
The dictionary defines convention as
“a large meeting or conference, especially of members of a political party or a particular profession or group.”
This definition perfectly describes the comic book convention, members of the nerd culture that meet at a large conference hall to exchange ideas. However, there are other meanings to the word convention that I feel are more suited.
“a way in which something is usually done.”
This definition of the convention is how business now sees the comic book convention. The convention of creating hysteria to drive sales. Again, it is a very cynical view of what a convention is. However, the hype generated for hype sake negates from the product that is being sold.
Ewan McGregor announced at the Disney convention a few days ago that he will reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars franchise. This news was met with hysteria from the crowd, whoops and cheers over a decision that when you think about it, is meaningless. The prequels that Ewan McGregor starred as Obi-Wan were universally panned, even by McGregor himself. On talk shows McGregor has repeatedly stated that the third one was “ok” but he didn’t think much of the other two.
So why are we so excited to have him back?
I think that Ewan McGregor is a stellar actor and director. He has appeared in many films that will be looked back on as classics in years to come. I have no problem with McGregor being hired to reprise his role, but I do have a problem with the announcement being treated as if the movie is going to be amazing before they have had a chance to even film it.
I just think that we are in danger, as fans, of conning ourselves into getting too caught up in the hype to notice what the substance of the entertainment we digest is. Maybe that is how business sees the convention now, I mean it is a comic con after all.