Its Comic-Con time again here in Silicon Valley this weekend, & since it was my son’s most wonderfully favorite day evar! last year, we’ve already got our two day passes & are prepping for crowds & cosplay & celebrities. And lines. Always the lines.
Last year, the boy had 2 goals — #1 being to meet Adam Savage & nerd out about his dream of being a future Mythbuster. That was all he talked about for weeks… that is until it was announced that Grant Gustin would be there. As a massive fan of The Flash tv show, getting an autograph from the “Scarlet Speedster” (heh) became his priority, & after several hours in a line & a couple hundred dollars later (I did get a “thanks Dad!” at least) he seemed like the happiest kid in the building.
We wandered the halls on Saturday & Sunday trying to catch Adam out in the open (& I did suspect he was inside that Totoro costume… #TrueFan), but never quite made it.
But all was not lost: We played games, bought comics, felt guilty for not finishing my R2D2 build (yet!) like these other guys, met the one & only Adam West, I got teary-eyed talking to the genuinely wonderful Caroll Spinney (Big Bird! Omg! Don’t mind me… just… remembering… my childhood… *sniffles*) , & we just had a grand old time among the artists, fans, & pop culture.
Then we found out late Sunday that Adam was meeting fans down near his “Cosplay Cave & Repair” area (a great service to those sweating out the crowds in costume btw). We trooped down & joined a very…very…long line that snaked around 2 corners. Everyone there was genuinely excited to show Adam bits of their costume or to just say “hi” & squeee at him.
After a hour or so we were getting closer to the door, & finally the unthinkable happened: it was getting late, the convention was wrapping up, & they had to let Adam leave. The line was cut off just one spot in front of the boy…
To his credit, he blinked back his disappointment, pretended he wasn’t *crushed*, & talked up what a great time he had all weekend, despite this little bit of bad luck. Its tough to watch your kids feeling letdown, obviously.
But I wasn’t upset, and I didn’t mind him missing his “hero”. Not at all. For real.
The difference here, & what made the line that afternoon so long & so slow… was that Adam Savage was actually meeting the fans. There wasn’t an advance setup or announced photo op. We didn’t prepay $50 or $100 to get an signed 8×10 or an extra $100 to spend 10 seconds next to him & have a photo snapped like one of the other celebrity assembly lines.
No, he was talking to people, admiring their handiwork, encouraging their hobby (& their love), & being a genuinely kind & present human. I wouldn’t trade any of that just so my kid could get his moment. And I think he also realized it would have been wrong to want it any other way.
It was an overall great experience: to feel that communion with other fans & the joy of sharing what you collectively love, but missing Adam Savage, even just barely, made us appreciate what he was doing, & after a long weekend of bristling against the more commercialized & marketed aspects of fandom I appreciated him all the more for it.