Celebrities and regular folks alike took to Instagram to document their Comic-Con adventures recently and, really, it looked spectacular. People have been buzzing about Thor: Ragnarok, Stranger Things, Justice League, and Blade Runner 2049, talking about how amazing it was to experience the wonder of the new trailers first-hand while hearing accounts by actors, producers, and directors. A lucky few even managed to snap a few photos with the likes of Gal Gadot and Norman Reedus.
And then, of course, there were the millions of other fans watching longingly from their computer screens, wishing they had the time or money to attend the San Diego convention themselves.
“My Instagram feed was just… endless Comic-Con photos” said self-proclaimed Walking Dead mega-fan Denise Heller. “I was refreshing, like, every ten seconds because I was afraid I’d miss something.”
Heller said she’d turned down multiple invitations to weekend events, afraid that she’d miss out on something. “I know it wrapped up at 10 PM most nights, but I’m in Boston. San Diego’s three hours behind!”
Heller was certainly not the only person experiencing the intense need to be at Comic-Con and see everything with her own eyes.
“I worked a mid-shift on Saturday, and it was awful,” said movie theater employee Kevin Hernandez. “I had my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat apps all open. I was getting notifications from posts about Comic-Con constantly. I only got a chance to look, like, every ten minutes because everyone and their mother was at that stupid Despicable Me movie. Why the hell would you watch that when you could be in the comfort of your own home waiting for Comic-Con updates?”
Not everyone shares Heller and Hernandez’s opinion. “Oh, you can’t go to Comic-Con? Boo hoo,” said long-time attendee Bill Radley. “Back in my day, we didn’t have all these accounts to keep up on what was going on. You either got to go to the panels, or you didn’t. These kids don’t know how lucky they have it.”
“We’ve been calling this – in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner – ‘Comic-Con Woebegone,” said social media professional Devon Harrison, who runs a Comic-Con fan Twitter account. “Before the days of social media, if you couldn’t go to Comic-Con, you just had to deal, or wait to buy a magazine that documented the different panels and events. We’re really lucky that anyone with an internet connection can experience the wonders of the convention even from the comfort of their own home.”
As far as Hernandez is concerned, it’s not enough. The eighteen-year-old Milwaukee native is determined to save up enough for airfare and a four-day entry pass for next year.
“I’ll do anything to get there,” he said, looking longingly to the southwest. “Anything.”
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