Five days ago, I could have told you some war stories about covering Comic-Con. I could have told you about the long hours, the multi-tasking, yet euphoric nightmare of learning dozens of long sought after facts in a single day and the delicious exhale that comes from the damn thing being over. Hell, I could have even recounted schedules from years’ past with a precise clarity. It all would have sounded good on paper too, but you see, there would have been a certain hollowness to my ravings because until five days ago, I’d never actually attended Comic-Con.

You see, while my co-workers were busy shuffling their feet and filing a crazy number of Comic-Con related stories every year, I was the poor bastard back at the office trying to make sense of it all and trying to maintain some level of quality control in the midst of simultaneous live blogs, video responses, scoops, editorials and picture spreads. I was the loyal soldier in the command center, and while I knew every inch of the battlefield, it turns out I didn’t know shit.

On Wednesday, I made the trek down to San Diego. While there, I once again felt the sting of the long hours. I once again alternated between enthusiastic and pissed off when pieces of news broke, and I sure as hell aggressively exhaled on the way home, but unlike all those previous years, for the first time this weekend, I actually experienced Comic-Con. I learned the stench a mass of nerds leaves. I felt the horrific annoyance of going through an exit and having to walk in a giant circle to get back to an entrance. For the first time, I truly took it all in.

And here is what I learned.

Most People Are Less Nerdy Than You’d Guess
The average person at Comic-Con does not look like Professor Frink from The Simpsons or talk like the guys from Big Bang Theory. I’m not going to lie to you and say the lot is filled with a high percentage of star quarterbacks and prom queens, but the average person is most definitely not Screech Powers. Instead, he or she is a good-natured, basically normal person with a real job and some taste sensibilities that skew slightly toward nerdy pursuits. I wore khaki pants and a nice blue button up shirt the first day, and I didn’t feel out of place at all. Think of it like a high school honors English class. Yes, most people have read more books than the average guy, but that doesn’t mean, on the whole, they’re incapable of talking about sports, listening to good music or finding semi-attractive sexual partners.

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