Boston Comic Con 2017: My Trip Through the Convention

Boston Comic Con 2017: My Trip Through the Convention

The recent Boston Comic Con was held in the city, and the weekend was packed with nerd culture - as usual.
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As per the annual tradion, I recently attended Boston Comic Con – well, FanExpo Boston as of the convention. I've been going every year for three years now, and when they started announcing guests, there was no question that we would be there again. Cosplay costumes were made and put together, collections cataloged, and suitcases packed. This year, however, was a different feeling, and not just because of the new ownership and the new venue. It was much more noticeable that there was such a wide range of people at the event, all coming together for a weekend celebrating geek culture. My experience is my own, someone else may have a different one. And that's the beauty of a comic con.

The con truly began on Friday, though we did arrive on Thursday and visited the Lego Store and ThinkGeek in Peabody before returning to rest up for the next morning. After getting our wristbands and waiting in a ticketing room until the con opened at two o'clock in the afternoon, we entered the con floor. This was very different from past years, where we would line up outside then enter the room at the Seaport. The convention was held in the actual Boston Convention Center and Expo building, and the floor showed the upgrade – a larger and more open dealer room, artist alley to the side of the room, and the celebrity autograph area to the back and opened up for people to move through. Groups such as the New Hampshire Ghostbusters, the 501st Legion, and the Rebel Legion were there offering photos and donations to select charities. My goal for Friday was to get the majority of the autographs I wanted to get, as to free up time on the next two days. Bouncing line to line, I met Barry Bostwick, Nell Campbell, and Patricia Quinn all of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame; Charles Martinet, the voice actor behind Mario; and Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3PO in every Star Wars movie. All five were very nice and a delight to talk to, and liked telling stories about their projects with the hordes of fans. Once the autographs were obtained, I continued to walk the floor and made a few small purchases. It wasn't too crowded, which is once again par for the course.

Saturday was an early start, with the doors opening at ten. And considering it was a Saturday at the convention, the crowds were difficult to manage. It was a typical day though – we looked around at the comics (one dealer had an Amazing Fantasy #15 – and no, I did not buy it), checked out the art, and added more items to the collections. However, we did begin to see some organizational problems – specifically the placement of the makeshift “Main Theater,” which was high curtains set up in the back corner of the room. This caused the entire con floor to be able to hear whatever event was going on there, like around noon when a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show was held. Parents covered children's ears, and people just sat near the curtain to listen in on the room. As the day went on, we constantly checked the line to meet Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who) and finally when the line wasn't too long, we jumped in and waited. The sign said he would arrive by 3:15, but he didn't get there until about IV:15. Once he got there, the line moved quickly and we were able to meet the actor who's Doctor got me into the series way back when. Originally, I was planning on meeting Daredevil star Charlie Cox, but after Matt Smith, his line was too long and it was already IV:30 – we were planning on leaving around 5:30. And so, we continued about our way, walking around, buying things and taking it all in. The “Stan Lee Zone” where they had Lee himself and merchandise was a packed area, the Main Theater events continued to be audible to anybody passing by. As we left, there was still people pouring in, for an evening at the con.

On Sunday, it was a smaller crowd and a day of mostly purchases. When I did get in, I went back to check the Alan Tudyk line, and as it wasn't too long, I once again joined the line of fans waiting for an autograph – but it wasn't too long a wait. After that, it was once again back to the main floor to buy things, check out art, get information on upcoming events, and admire the cosplay of all types, from high-end to simple. Slowly throughout the day, the amount of people decreased, the dealers started dropping prices and offering discounts, others were packing up. I ended up having to use two bags, just to help with the weight of things (I may or may not be a comic addict). We officially left the convention not long before they closed up, and headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Of course, we made another stop at ThinkGeek and the Lego Store on our way home, and returned Monday afternoon.

Of course, this was just my experience. One thing I noticed more this year than in the past was the diverse attendees. People from all walks of life gathered together because they all like something nerdy. People spoke their native languages – and some did speak Klingon back and forth, cosplay was worn by children, adults, and everybody in between. I saw more cosplay of Ms. Marvel on just Saturday than I had ever seen in my past three years of going to these events. There really is something for everybody at a comic convention – even if you don't like comics themselves. Up and coming artists, writers, craftsmen, nostalgia, and even clothing dealers fill up the room, of all backgrounds and stories. The event can be a different experience for each person, and everybody there has an instant conversation starter - “How are you liking the con?” For now, we just wait until the announcements are made for next year – then, we repeat the process of getting tickets, getting hyped, getting ready, and going to the convention center.

Cover Image Credit: Jack R. Herard

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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