The San Diego Comic-Con is a monstrous cacophony of stimuli overload. I have never stayed the entire time–from Wednesday preview night to Sunday breakdown. This year I did so and I realized that I don’t have the stamina. Aching feet notwithstanding, Profiles in History had a great show. The booth was well-received and we got tons of press. Sean Astin was great on Saturday. We made a lot of new friends.
And I did have a great time, because work aside, I enjoyed the people-watching. The past week at Comic-Con was a social and anthropological Petri dish. I enjoyed all the costumes, from the casual to the well-thought out (and the not-so-well-thought out) to the seemingly professional. People made the effort and that counts as much as anything. As the largest multigenre convention in the western hemisphere, Comic Con is a celebration in the vein of Mardi Gras and Carnaval.
If I had to boil last week down to one concept, it is this: Comic-Con is proof positive that America’s greatest export is pop culture. From film, television and music to toys, books and comics, American pop culture is engineered for mass consumption. American pop culture is a pervasive force that breaks through class, culture, gender and politics. It is the common denominator that connects each of us to one another. It connects San Diego, CA to La Junta, CO to Sao Paulo, Brazil to London to Hong Kong to Tokyo. It allows the young to relate with the elder; the rich to share with the poor; the outcast to be as cool as the jock; the meek to be as strong as anyone. And Comic-Con is the fire pit where we are all rendered helplessly geeked-, nerded- and dorked-out.
Thanks to social media and technology, popular culture has permeated even more of our daily lives. American pop culture is even more of an unstoppable tidal wave. The rest of the world never had a chance.