The Fruits of Your Labor

Every now and then, I remember that there’s no San Diego Comic-Con this year, and I get newly sad all over again.

I mean, it only makes sense — even if organizers and the state of California had made the utterly nonsensical decision to go ahead with the show for some ridiculous reason, I don’t think I would have actually attended, because, well, global pandemic and all — but, still. I write “I don’t think” intentionally, because before the show was actually cancelled, I found myself thinking, please just properly cancel it, if you go ahead, I know that far too much of me will still want to go even though it’d be far too dangerous. I know my dumb, dumb limits.

It’s not just that I’ve been going to SDCC for more than a decade now, although that matters, somehow. It’s part of my year, every year, when I map it out in my head — there’s a week long break that’s not actually a break, but actually a stressful, enjoyable, surreal work-filled experience, in the middle of the year every single year that I look forward to. A week unlike any other, for better or worse, when it feels like things get turned up to maximum and it’s just go go go. I love that.

I love the San Diego trip every year — the weather, the break from routine, the seeing familiar faces that I only get to see once or twice a year but adore nonetheless. There’s a very specific, hectic, frenetic rhythm to the trip, the way that the boredom of the traveling transfers into a palpable anticipation and tension as the actual show nears, and then pow, it’s happening and it just stays happening for five days. I love that rhythm, as unhealthy as it is. It’s become tradition, or more, by now.

San Diego Comic-Con is also personally important in ways that are near impossible to explain; professionally, it’s easy — I’ve made connections, friends, there that are important and necessary. But there are memories and moments from multiple trips that have nothing to do with work that matter just as much, if not more so; the epiphanies I’ve had, feelings I’ve felt, during those shows that have changed and shaped my life moving forward. The show matters to me, on some strange, real level.

And so, no San Diego this year. Next year, who knows…? But until it returns, until I return, I’ll miss it and, every now and then, miss it and think about what it means to me.

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