ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

As we said in the introduction, this mini-magazine has been dedicated to all the people who make San Diego Comic-Con what it is: the greatest geek convention in the world. As we say goodbye to Hall H until next year, one thing is clear, and it's that one thing that keeps people coming back year after year. Simply put, the Comic-Con atmosphere is like nothing else you'll ever experience, for so many reasons. The most important one, however, is love.

Maybe it's something in the air, the fresh breeze from the harbor that sparkled just behind the convention center. Maybe it was the bright blue sky. Maybe it's the humming sense of anticipation, the knowledge that at any second, you might bump into one of your idols. Most likely, it's all of those things. But there's a pervading sense of sunny-eyed optimism at Comic-Con that hasn't been diminished by the inexorable move toward the ever bigger spectacle of commercialism. And that spirit, that refreshing lack of cynicism, is a testament to the culture that has been so painstakingly built by everyone involved with Comic-Con. At a time in which it feels like it's not cool to be too passionate or excited about the things you love, when the hyperbolic shallowness of the internet is a race to see who can give less of a shit about anything that's near to one's heart, the people who attend Comic-Con simply don't care about any of that. They love what they love and they're not afraid to show it. And that goes for fans and stars alike. No matter who you are, it's okay to geek out at Comic-Con and let your fan flag fly.

Because, despite what the media might be writing lately, geek culture is still, at its heart, one of the most giving, inclusive groups out there when it comes right down to it. Fast friends are made at Comic-Con, simply due to sharing the same fandom. If you're part of the same fandom, you're family. It's as simple as that. When you walk past someone in an amazing Peggy Carter or Naruto or Master Chief cosplay and you call out to them, for a moment, you're bonded by the guileless, shared love of all things geek that runs through everyone who is a fan.

And through those four to five days of the convention, despite the interminable lines, the lack of sleep, the price gouging, everything seems a bit brighter. It just seems a bit purer, a bit better. A little bit of your jadedness ebbs away, and how could it not, in the face of such widespread good cheer? Pedicab and taxi and Uber drivers freely dispense the wisdom of locals upon their visiting passengers, happy to share their city with so many temporary tourists. Strangers make fast friends overnight in the Hall H line, chattering away like old acquaintances. Friendly convention center concession employees keep smiling brightly, hungry, tired customer after hungry, tired customer. Panels become reciprocal love affairs between the celebrity speakers and their adoring fans.

And in certain rooms, particularly the hallowed Hall H, the atmosphere is absolutely electric. Tears and cheers flow freely, because in the world of San Diego Comic-Con, there is no room for cynicism.

That's what we on the Moviepilot staff will take away from our incredible time at the convention. Maybe the effects of our trip won't last forever, and maybe they will. But, for a while at least, we're all reminded that there's no shame in geeking out, and that it is absolutely cool and right to care.


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