What I spend my money on while at cons


John: I love when it’s time to head to a con. Why? It’s like Christmas or a birthday for me. I’m long past the age where people give me gifts. As a grown man, I now buy stuff for myself with money I don’t really have. I have a pre-con warmup that I go through every time. Find my trusty backpack that’s too small to actually hold anything that I might buy, grab my favorite nerd t-shirt, throw a couple munchies into my bag, and deliberate on how much cash to bring to the con. Whatever amount I decide on is moot, since I actually pull out an extra $100 “just in case”.

When I get there, I usually see two types of buyers on the con floor; the people who rummage through long boxes for books and the people who look for collectibles. I am most certainly in the second camp. Here’s a short list of stuff I’v20150316_222319e bought: a 3’ stuffed Domo-kum, 3 DC Collectible Lanterns (Green, Red, and Orange), 4 Perfect Grade Gundam models, a statue of Deadpool, at least 5 Valkyries from the various Macross series, etc. If it looks cool, I want it. Never mind there’s no place in my home to put it. My old room at my parent’s house is over-flowing with stuff (including my old Sega Dreamcast that I will NOT let my mother throw out).

I’ve never really gotten why people rummage through the long boxes. I can understand if you’re looking for a back issue or a book to complete a story you’ve been meaning to catch up on, but it seems like the vendors are bringing the overstock to dump at a “discount” to con attendees. To each their own, but I find so much more meaning in finding a figure/collectible/prop/whatever of a character or story that I love. There’s an excitement carrying that heavy ass box around from panel to panel knowing that I get to open it when I get home. Yes, that’s right. I open the stuff I buy. Books and back issues can be had anywhere, anytime. Seeing and lusting after the limited edition Lego Millennium Falcon when you see it before your very eyes, priceless…

Yes, that’s right. I open the stuff I buy

Alek: I see that this blog post was created purely to antagonize me…well, game on, sir.

For me, comics books have always been about two things: the satisfaction of completion and the excitement of discovery. Thumbing through a long box is the manner by which I can accomplish both. It’s almost meditative – flipping through each trade, letter by letter, publisher by publisher, discounted and super-discounted. That’s obviously the practical appeal (and obvious delusion) about the whole endeavor – the concept that any book I pick up is 20%, 30% or 50% off. Those few dollars off allow me to release all inhibitions about buying things that sit in that questionable purchasing zone. At $20, that trade of “Un-Men” stays on the shelf…but at $10? Why the fuck not?

Which is why I’m confused about your purchases John…

The collectibles you find are typically priced even higher at a convention. You could easily find these things online (and you have), yet you pay a premium…and then force everyone to delicately walk around you as your glare at them while awkwardly holding the box you’ve purchased. Seems like a win-win situation to me.

‘Tis better to purchase something on sale that you may not like, than to purchase something overpriced that no one likes. ;P

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