ComicCon Reflections Part Deux

A long and uneventful drive back home from Chicago in a post-ComicCon haze, and I can say with conviction, this is not my last one. I am now addicted. Which is bizarre for me, really, since I do not do well in crowded artificial environments. Maybe it’s the stale air or flickering lights, the echoing din of hundreds of people mashed into essentially a large warehouse. I become quickly over-stimulated, all my senses on hyper-drive without a moment’s rest. Pretty soon all the overflowing booths and sea of humanity dressed in quirky costumes begin to mold together.

Yet I am hooked! And arriving home content and happy with all the world. A large part of this is that, as mentioned yesterday, I met the amazing James Marsters. For the uninitiated, I have been a longtime fan of the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I started watching from the very first episode that aired in the spring of my freshman year of high school. You could say I grew up with the series. And I was riveted by one actor in particular – James Marsters as punk vampire Spike. I also discovered his music along the way and that sealed the deal for me. As a writer, I appreciate good poetry, and James’ music is poetry to a dangerous mix of blues and rock.

So when I began to research attending a ComicCon event (thanks to the influence of my niece Erika, who’s into horror makeup, acting in haunted houses, and reading fantasy, science fiction and manga), and I discovered that not only would James be at the convention, but there was a party celebrating his birthday, I knew I had to be there. However, my upcoming journey to Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands means my budget is tight. Six weeks of backpacking through Greenland, hiking and kayaking in Iceland, and flying over to the Faroes are not cheap, even when I’m living out of my backpack and bunking up with the locals. How could I possibly justify to myself spending so much money on one day?

My husband Mark sealed the deal. I have converted him – he is now just as dedicated a fan of James Marsters as me.  He offered to help out, we would both go together and make this our anniversary trip. What an anniversary! We spent the day wandering the convention. Highlights were the panels with James and also the Final Five from Battlestar Galactica. I relished every interaction with James – he seemed to get a kick out of autographing the wooden stake my husband made just for this convention and he was really in the moment with every single fan he met. I also enjoyed meeting Claire Kramer, who played Glory on Buffy, and Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander. Both down-to-earth, so friendly.

In the evening, Mark and I attended a private party for James and his fans. We sang a rousing, if very off-key “happy birthday” to him as he admired his rather unique cake designed to look like his guitar. Mark and I socialized with fellow fans and met so many nice people from around the world. The highlight of the entire day was presenting James with his birthday gift. I am pretty shy as it is, so I honestly have no idea how coherent I was, but James seemed pleased with what we gave him – an instrument from Nepal that the Tibetan Buddhist monks use during their meditation. As James is one of my favorite musicians and I first developed my feverish need for travel in Kathmandu, Nepal, it seemed a fitting gift from me.

We are home and settling back into the regular routine, but the glow has yet to wear off. I will definitely attend a convention again. Maybe next time I’ll coordinate my visit to my family on the West Coast with a ComicCon so that I can drag along my science fiction engrossed twin brother. For now, I’ll enjoy the memories and somehow convince myself I really did meet James every time I watch him as Spike.


About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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4 Responses to ComicCon Reflections Part Deux

  1. Serene says:

    Oops, you mean Nicholas (or Nick) Brendon, not Brendon Frasier – they both have Bredon in them, which is unusual, so easy to mix up.

    • chronictraveler says:

      Now I KNOW I’m tired! I mix up names all the time, even among my friends, and never realize it. Thanks for calling me on it and I’ll fix it asap!

  2. Tonie says:

    So glad you enjoyed the con, and james’ party. I saw the gift you gave to James and how much he appreciated it. And he will keep it, you know. Thanks for adding to the festivity of the evening.

    • chronictraveler says:

      This was my first time attending an event with James and I am so glad I did! Was rather nervous but everyone there made me feel at ease. Thanks for your encouragement – I put a lot of thought into his gift, so it’s nice to know he will appreciate it.

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