Rorschach’s Journal: July 13th, 2012
I don’t sleep, not by current definitions. I lie still, lie silent, but my eyes do not close. Vigilance is the price of order. Sleep is a breeding ground for vulnerability. I tend to be grumpy in the morning. Suiting up for my second day of the maddening orgy of nerdom that is Comic-Con, I don my mended face. The tensile strength of my haphazard handiwork proves adequate. On the train, local law enforcement commence inspecting tickets. I remain calm. Costumed freaks of all ilks populate this speeding geek wagon. I should not draw much attention. My admittance is confirmed. They do not leave; maintaining uncomfortable proximity. Fists clenched, I will not go quietly. Stop reached, I am not accosted. The badged grunts turn a blind eye as I step off the train and vanish into the crowd.
Entering the convention center, the throngs exploding around me, the shrill howl of a bullhorn. Religious mouthpieces shouting promises of damnation. The almighty evidently abhors cosplay, though no such decree exists. Offers of salvation a distant afterthought to their fear-mongering. They are the greatest sinners here. I may sometimes patrol the streets brandishing my “end is nigh” banner, but that is a facade. If they think me mad, I am no threat. The irony is lost on the callous street clergy.
Walking the floor again. More requests for photos, submitting against my better judgement. The exhibition hall is even more alive today. The ground pulses with activity, swells of joyous applause occasionally roll through the room. Fools divorcing themselves of their meager savings to the siren song of booth babes. Artists starving for recognition, once promising Hollywood movies now desperate for charity in order to reach conclusion. I purchase another poster, my weakness insurmountable. The congested masses begin to aggravate my paranoia. Opt for venturing outside over shattering femurs.
Monsters exist. They are not so accommodating as to wear their fangs and scales overtly; recognition becomes tricky. I have fought monsters, vicious beasts in dire need of slaying. These beasts are man-sized and can be destroyed. Hall H is an entirely different monster. Composed of one thousand carbon-based segments, each as ravenous as they are stalwart. The central nervous system of Comic-Con proves harder to get into than the Justice League. Man dressed like bat says I have personality disorder. First attempt to brave the creature proved futile; could not even find the tail. Failure creates a bitter, coppery taste in my mouth. Drawing down a second time, I found the end of the seemingly self-consuming serpent. On the way, ran into actor Terry O’Quinn. He is taken aback by my reverence for The Stepfather.
What follows is a four-hour descent into hell. A gauntlet of familiar and fresh tortures to which I will not, cannot, cede ground. Ebb and flow of line infuriating; reminiscent of Sisyphus. The pain in my feet shoots through me like angry flames. I will see this line to the end or die trying. Never compromise, not even in the face of Armageddon. Closer now, can at least see the building. Back has become stiff, could probably only take on ten assailants if scrimmage emerged. One by one the individual events on the lineup soar out of reach. Have missed Walking Dead, Game of Thrones looks hopeless. Reach oasis of canopied lawn, fellow Hall H refugees scattered on the ground. Like cattle we are herded through a series of chutes, loaded finally one by one into the killing Hall. A degenerate attempts to jump the divider; circumnavigating the gargantuan line. He was not as surreptitious as he believed. Aggression fueled by exhaustion, I step to him. My intent is always to harm. My brutal services proved unnecessary, a cadre of upstanding line fodder lets loose a barrage hostile reproaches. Again, vigilance and order.
Entering the Hall mid-presentation. Another Hollywood remake struts its hour upon the stage. Talent paraded out like show dogs, performing for the adoring rabble. Colin Farrell is funny. Good jokes, everybody laughs. The next two exhibitions showcase original, thought-provoking science-fiction. The crowd shows its gratitude by exiting in droves. They unknowingly perpetuate corporate cinema and abject mediocrity with their silent acts of heinous collaboration. One day they’ll look up at the marquis for Battleship 2 and shout, “save us.” And I’ll whisper, “no.” Looper and Elysium show tremendous promise.
For all the pain, the interminable boredom, and the percolating rage, waiting in line yields a reward of only thirty minutes of panels. Night approaches, I venture into the surrounding city. My quarry is the vile, miscreant scum mingling unchecked with the decent convention attendees. Also several beers.