If you're thinking of going to Comic-Con but don't consider yourself "geeky" enough to qualify as an attendee, think again. Over 130,000 are expected to descend upon San Diego this week for the biggest annual pop culture convention on the planet -- they can't all be geeks and nerds, can they?
Sure, once upon a time, Comic-Con may have had a "By Invitation Only" air to it, presenting itself as a place where only the most dedicated and extreme in their fandom were allowed to congregate. You couldn't just casually "like" something like Batman if you wanted to go to the Con -- you had to have a full-scale Batcave in your basement, complete with working multiple computer screens (and maybe even your own personal Alfred).
And you're damn straight you had to know every self-contradicting twist and turn of the convoluted Green Lantern mythology, because someone just might come up to you at the convention and quiz you on it.
Of course your knowledge of the "Star Wars" universe couldn't be limited to just the feature films -- you had to know the plot and character nuances of the video games, the "Clone Wars" animated series and, yes, the comic book series as well. And, if you were female and of a certain appropriate-ish age, you had to have (and wear) your own Princess Leia slave bikini costume, providing all sorts of photo opportunities for slobbering mouth-breathers who haven't seen a girl since the last time they emerged from their parents' basement, which was... well, you don't want to know how long ago.
This kind of "exclusivity" doesn't really apply to the San Diego Comic-Con anymore. Believe it or not, it's now a place for pretty much everyone, from the hardest of the hardcore geeks to the most laid-back of the casual fans who might be popping in just to snag Kristen Stewart's autograph.
You don't even really have to be into, well, comics to feel at home at Comic-Con. Its popularity has grown so much over the years that it's now the go-to place for the Hollywood studios to unveil, to whoever might be there, their latest genre projects like "Twilight" and "Fright Night" (two titles that aren't based on any existing comic book property). If you're a movie lover who's curious about some of Hollywood's hottest upcoming projects, then Comic-Con is the place to go.
Oh, you'll definitely find the ultra-passionate nerds there, the ones who can go for 72-hour HeroClix matches and the ones with the 200-page dissertations about why the science behind Red Hulk is completely impossible. But we think you'll find that the majority of Con-goers are there because they dig the kind of stuff that's on display, but the convention isn't the be-all, end-all reason for their existence.
Ultimately, the San Diego Comic-Con is an event where people with the same passions (however extreme) and interests (however bizarre) can meet and gather for a few days to celebrate the things in life that bring us joy and escape -- and, if you're into that sort of thing, to check out and take pictures of all the girls in the Princess Leia slave bikinis.
So come one, come all! Every fan needs to try it at least once, if possible. If nothing else, you'll have some stories to tell your jealous friends back home -- and not just the kind that are told with four-color panels.