Dennis O’Neil: ComicCon National Holiday?
I wonder if there will come a time when banks and post offices close to commemorate The San Diego Comic Con.
Because for at least some of you, the con is already a holiday. Not one of the important holidays, the kind that observe the primitive realities of our existence and offer hope for their continuance; you know – Christmas and New Year’s (the return of the light), Thanksgiving (the harvest), Easter (the renewal of growing things)…Your particular tribe may have different labels for these remembrances. (I’m still toting around bits of my Irish Catholic boyhood, and so I cite Christmas instead of, say, Hanukkah. Like the fella says, write what you know.) But certainly your tribe, somehow, celebrates them, subject to local variations, unless yours is a very exceptional tribe (and if it is, I cheer.)
Then there are the other holidays that have little to do with survival and everything to do with… I don’t know. Something happened in the past that some folk want remembered and this event is remembered on a given day every year and that day has been declared a holiday: Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, your birthday… I’m not knocking them, but I think we can agree that they lack the depth of meaning the celebrations mentioned in the previous paragraph have. Whatever their genesis, these events have begun to be about money – gifts, decorations, gluttony, journeys that require either fares or lots of gasoline… That’s true of the days mentioned in this paragraph and even more true of the ones previously mentioned. (What did St. Patrick do, exactly? Who cares, ‘cause it’s paaarrrt-tay time!)
Which, believe it or not, brings us back to The San Diego Comic Con. Shall we propose a new holiday? Let it be observed in the middle of summer and so serve as a kind of temporal punctuation mark, a semi colon; what’s gone before is pertinent to what follows, but it’s different, too. Or something. For many of us, the annual trek to the west coast is a family outing, or a revisiting of old friends who are mostly out of our lives, or an opportunity to acquire souvenirs – oodles and oodles of thingies that will strain the seams of your suitcases and maybe get you a cocked eyebrow from a security guy.
Oh, yeah, there is plenty for sale at SDCC, just as there are at Christmas. Thousands of items? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Citizens, I call upon you too let your credit cards be your amulets and a sneer on he who doesn’t need to buy additional luggage.
Let’s call it “Comicon Day” and let’s tell the world that it celebrates the geeks and misfits who, in school, suffered the persecution of the jocking class and past school wrote stories and poems and made pictures and films and played music and invented computers and devised software and sent ships into space…That’s what we’ll tell the word that Comicon Day is about, the misfits and geeks who are today’s true heroes. But we’ll know the truth, won’t we?
All those things, all those hundreds of thousands of things for sale…