My son invited me to go with him and his friend to the Anime convention in Connecticut called ConnectiCon in mid July. Not many 20-year-old kids want their Moms with them among their peers, but this is an unusual bunch (see Asperger’s Adds Color to the Universe―and while you’re at it, see The Big Bang Theory –The Excelsior Acquisition on CBS).
So my son and his friend, who shall remain nameless to preserve what little dignity they have left, pulled me into a corner and wrapped me in garb that marked me more as a decoy than a reporter incognito. People were actually asking to have their pictures taken with me—not what I was going for. They told me the name of my character many times, and I forgot it every time, although some of you readers will probably recognize me. Personally, I think it was a character from The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.
So I moved as an accepted member of this particular enclave of aficionados of graphic novel culture (aka comic books), accosting those who caught my interest because of their costumes, ranging from Avatars to these giant bugs (again, I know I will be corrected), one of whom did a nifty Michael Jackson number,
to my personal favs, the life-sized GI Joes, complete with the little plastic footboards.
These are clever people. They live in our homes, communicating with the home planet via those little instruments we see and even own, and still have no concept of how to actually use. They are taking over our technology to rule us, and now they are taking over our arts. They draw comic characters and hold these conferences where they share what they have done in places called the “Artists Colony.”
Do you hear that? They are colonizing, making them the Pilgrims of their species! They teach each other new techniques and network to build larger audiences. They go on Twitter and Facebook and talk about where they’ve been and where they’ll be next. Their numbers are growing. Oh, and they all have swords. How will we stop them?
This weekend, the mothership has landed in San Diego and is calling to them. Some 30,000 of them are descending for the ritual event they call Comic-Con, where the Grand Poobahs will teach them the secret handshake. They bring in new recruits through the art show and the largest world artists alley.
While I was at ConnectiCon, a large group formed in the lobby. They drew close in a circle, like Klan members planning a raid. I watched from outside the circle, wondering what would happen next. The rhythmic keyboard music from a small boombox began and the crowd of nearly a 100 in costumes began to sway back and forth, the energy of the crowd growing until they all broke out….”just a smalltown boy, born and bred in South Detroit…it goes on and on and on and on.” So that’s their plan. Their message, “don’t stop believin’” but in what?
I followed a few of them into a large conference room. Two people with signs on their chests stopped me with physical force. They opened their arms and reached out. The signs read, “Hugs for Free.” And then they did. They hugged me…. and I was absorbed.
I watched this huge crowd of artistic, warm-hearted, gentle beings for another few hours, and when I peeled of my costume to head home with my two aliens I realized, if these are the people guiding our world into the future, then count me in. The natives of this planet are the friendliest I’ve seen in a long time.
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