The Long Con

Anyone who’s ever been to a major convention – and as veterans of six San Diego Comic-Cons, we at Crisis on Infinite Midlives certainly qualify – knows that they can be a trying experience. Between crowds, cosplayers, BO, frustrated creators who feel waylaid by rude fans, fans who feel slighted by cosplaying creators with BO, and Dirk Benedict, tempers can get a little frayed. It can be hard for anyone to know how they’re supposed to act.

Thankfully, fan favorite comic writer Peter David has written The Fan / Pro Bill Of Rights, which lays out some honestly excellent and well-thought guidelines as to how to act at a convention for the uninitiated. Which we will, in turn, experience with a sense of humor, which is how we experience conventions so we don’t wind up chucking a flying elbow smash into every Type II diabetic oozing over of every surface of a Little Rascal except for the tires, which are oozing over my feet.

Kick us off, Peter!


The Prime Directive

Fans and Pros have the right to be treated by each other with the same courtesy that they themselves would expect to be treated.* Fans and Pros who act like jerks abrogate the right to complain when they themselves are treated like jerks.

*The expectations of masochists notwithstanding.

Boy, isn’t that the truth! True story: I remember one time at SDCC when I stood waiting to talk to a creator who will remain nameless. There was no line; I was the only person at the counter, and I had to wait for ten minutes while he chatted with a buddy in the booth and avoided eye contact with me. I won’t reveal his name, but I’ll grant you that eventually he said “hi,” and graciously drew me a sketch of Barry Ween, and therefore I try not to hold the experience against him when I review Catwoman.

In all seriousness, Peter has a lot of great suggestions about how to comport yourself at a convention, which I wish we had had in hand before our first SDCC. And in no seriousness, here are our great suggestions about what to do – and not do – at a major convention!

  • In 1983, Carrie Fisher was 5′ 1″ and 95 pounds. Please remember that before deciding on a Slave Leia costume – you too, Manny. In addition, Wonder Woman is rarely portrayed as having had debilitating scoliosis.
  • When wearing spandex “trousers,” underpants are an always choice.
  • Why is it that when you park your screaming infant on my foot, you’re “Encouraging the next generation of fandom,” but when I park my foot on your screaming infant, I’m “The next generation of felon”?
  • Participation in a zombie flash mob does not mean you need to smell like a zombie. Neither does considering participation in a zombie flash mob. Nor does walking past a zombie flash mob. Nor does – okay: just take a Goddamned shower.
  • Seriously: get your fucking baby stroller off my foot.
  • Excessive ingestion of bourbon whiskey is known to make some people truculent, combative, and even violent. Please remember that before deciding on a Slave Leia costume.