Earlier today, I met my pal Dwain outside Comic-Con. He got to attend because he was doing an academic panel, which is scheduled for tomorrow. We had a really cool late lunch at a lovely Italian bistro near the convention center, and spent about three hours together. I hadn’t seen him in probably 8 years or so, so it was fantastic to finally catch up. We were introduced to one another by Travis, who thought we should be betrothed, since we’re both rather Sithly and Professional Misanthropes. In 1999, Dwain, Trav, Meche, and I carried on an extensive email conversation about All Things Nerdy, All Things Kinky, All Things Strange, and… well, pretty much All The Things. Then, in 2000, I finally got to meet Dwain face-to-face, when we went to see the first X-Men movie. He and Travis had been friends for years before that, meeting one another via The Tangled Web. We later all caught the first Spiderman flick, and I attended a few of Dwain’s Blaxploitation film parties. But his career took him out of town a few years back, and this was the first time we’d gotten to see one another in ages. It was fabulous getting to catch up with him.
Even though I didn’t get to attend the con, because tickets are expensive and sell out for the next year pretty much shortly after the latest con ends, I did get to meet a celebrity, but a very special celebrity. He’s someone I credit for making me laugh when no one else could do it. It was weird how it happened, ‘cos The Tenderloins (Impractical Jokers) are doing a show here in San Diego tonight (right now?!) and I was feeling pretty down about not being able to go to their show. Within ten minutes of finding Dwain and our heading over to the restaurants, I spied Murr standing near the convention center, saying hello and taking pictures. He looks exactly like he does on TV, except he’s maybe a tad shorter than I had him pegged for. I lost my flipping mind, and Dwain was utterly confused because he had no idea who this was. I went over and told him he was my favourite Joker, to which he responded, “Well, you obviously have excellent taste!” And then he laughed. I got a hug, too. Dwain took a picture of us, but the camera sabotaged the joy, so I am without visual proof this happened. But, trust me, it did. This is Murr.
One of the things Dwain and I talked about was the Nerd/Geek Phenomenon. We were both buoyed by being in the presence of so many of our tribespeople, it was pretty intoxicating. He told me about his panel, which is about Matt Baker, of whom I had never heard. That’s not surprising, though, considering I’ve never really been a comics person. It was intriguing because I’d never really thought about the race issue in the Nerd world. That reminded me of my first con, back in Greenville, SC, where I won an impersonation contest by saying my favourite Star Trek: TNG line, which was done by Michael Dorn as Lt. Worf. At that moment in time, it didn’t matter that I was a white girl impersonating a black guy playing a Klingon. All that mattered was “Sir, I protest! I am not a Merry Man!” I won some sort of plastic trinket, and years of joy at the memory of my doing that. So it occurred to me that Nerds/Geeks are a race unto ourselves. It doesn’t matter what colour, gender, religion, or culture we come from; when we enter into Nerd-dom, we become something greater and more inclusive. Despite the somewhat frightening subcultures of our subculture, we are all essentially peaceful, clever, fabulous individuals who collectively transcend the normal labels tacked on to our “normal” lives.
I find that very refreshing.
Have some photies that did take from today.
Dwain with his 75th Anniversary Batman shirt.
Dwain and me after dinner. Tall dude, isn’t he?
A Slave Leia with her little Leia daughter.
Walking Dead fans getting jiggy over Terminus.
The front of the convention center. This was taken right before I spied Murr.
So, yeah, all this happened today. I’d have to say it was a very good day indeed.