Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope

artistic obsession

My friend, Duncan, drawing comics at the Barnes & Noble cafe.

I'm attracted to passionate people. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. These are the type of people I like to fill with my life with. If you get bored often or don't dream*, I'm going to struggle with how to fit you into my life.

Comic-Con Episode IV is FILLED with people with a dream. This documentary follows the lives of six uber-fans as they prepare for their big moment at San Diego Comic-Con.

  • Holly is the mega-talented costume designer who can recreate video game and comic worlds from scratch. She's preparing to compete in the Masquerade costume contest. 
  • Chuck is a dealer who owns Mile High Comics in Denver and is struggling to keep his business afloat in the face of a changing comics market and Comic-Con's growing focus on the broader entertainment market. 
  • James and Se Young are young fans who met and found love at Comic-Con. 
  • Skip and Eric are aspiring illustrators that hail from different parts of the country and have radically different origin stories. Both make their way to Comic-Con to show off their drawings and hope to be discovered.

Interspersed with each fan's journey are clips of fanboy (and girl) heroes like Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Josh Whedon, and Harry Knowles talking to the camera about the comic book scene, evolution of Comic-Con, and pretty much whatever floats their boat. Kevin Smith, always funny as hell, was a particular favorite.

I really dug this documentary. I found it equally endearing, inspiring, and at times, laugh out loud funny. It's a largely hopeful look at normal people trying to live the dream and little bit of an oral history of San Diego Comic-Con rolled into one. While scenes of the massive crowds and multi-day lines did nothing to quell the notion that this crowd-fearing introvert would wind up huddled in a corner, it did make me want to pick those Avengers comics back up and continue the comic book project I started last year.

*I'm not picky. Your dream could be to find the best tater tots in the state of Illinois or your passion could be memorizing your favorite lines from BSG.