So, I was at the New Orleans Convention Center this past weekend for Wizard World New Orleans, more commonly known as New Orleans Comic Con. I’ve attended this event for several years running—it’s appeared in this space before.
I wrote about my attendance two years ago; and the very first picture I used on this blog was from Comic Con 2012. As I reflect back on this past half-decade plus, the common denominator, and the thing that makes Comic Con so memorable for me, are the family and friends who have accompanied me.
Back in 2012, it was niece Cece. I learned a lot about Doctor Who as we waited in line to get our entrance passes. Later that same year, myself, Cece, and one of her friends spent fifteen hours in a movie theater for the Avengers movie marathon. I think my legs (and neck) might still be stiff.
In 2016, niece Kate gave me a briefing on what was going on at school and with her friends as we waited to get our picture taken with Hayley Atwell. (Hayley Atwell was promoting her Peggy Carter character from the Agent Carter television series.)
For 2018, I was accompanied by niece Cherie, and got an education in not only Doctor Who, but also what used to be called the Star Wars expanded universe, and especially the character Revan.
I’ve also had the pleasure of attending with my good friend Sabrina, who instructed me on all things Outlander. And also best friend Kristen, who pops up in this space from time to time. For the past two years I’ve met her and her family there. Her son and daughter are just coming into their own fandoms, and it was especially fun to watch them take in the weird Comic Con wildness the first time around. They handled themselves like old pros this time.
It’s worth noting that Kristen introduced me to comics, specifically The X-Men, many, many years ago. And here’s the thing—we were roughly the same age as Cece, Kate, and Cherie the years they were my primary Comic Con companions (a little nod to Doctor Who there). We’re talking about that span between sixteen and eighteen years old: formative years indeed.
That’s the real treasure for me. Cece, Kate, and Cherie are all cousins; they each sprang from different siblings of mine. Spending that time together, apart from their siblings and parents, and finding out what’s rocking their individual worlds at such a flourishing age—it’s something that stays with me. Like the springtime plays in City Park’s Sculpture Garden, Comic Con has been something of a winter tradition between me and the nieces.
As I writer, discovering what these young women find compelling is invaluable. But as an aunt, and dearer to my heart, making these memories with such remarkable and beloved kindred is something I hold very close.
And one of these days, I’ll finally settle in and start watching Doctor Who.