With over 130,000 people attending last year's comic book convention in San Diego, and this year's event selling out in 93 minutes, the success of science fiction and comic book cultures is an indicator of how we have become a nation of outsiders. We increasingly root for immigrants and underdogs who have become symbols of our self-made ideals, and the way individuals can still climb up social ladders to impact mainstream culture in a positive way. In this sense, even when only 300 people attended the first Comic Con in San Diego in 1970, geeks and nerds who were otherwise social outcasts found refuge and solidarity in their love of comics.
The San Diego convention today brings together and celebrates different kinds of pop culture, including video games, toys, movies, and anime. And it has become a premiere venue for presenting the hottest projects. This Saturday, I, Frankenstein will get its first big showcase. 300: Rise of an Empire, and the much anticipated Hunger Games: Catching Fire, will also be presented with other exciting projects on the same day.
Perhaps the biggest draw to being a comic book geek today is the excitement of belonging to a diverse culture where you can learn from a spectrum of different perspectives. Science fiction and fantasy novels like Brilliance, and comic books in general, have become a sacred place where you can discover and defend your identity, a stage where you can play out different ideas about the future. "Instead of just a team, or even a tribe, we imagined a fully formed Homo superior society finally emerging into the light of emancipation," wrote Morrison about the New X-Men in Supergods. And at least for a moment, comic book conventions have become the sanctuaries of this advanced society, where ordinary children and adults can be transformed into the heroes of tomorrow.