(Open-palm slap to forehead!)
Well, here (bam!) is the next best thing, a way to experience all the spectacle and ceremony, all the weirdness and wonder, vicariously -- and without (ka-pow!) getting assaulted by a costumed Catwoman in a hotel elevator.
Get thee to the
But (zoinks!) this tribute to the enduring appeal of Comic-Con not only celebrates the inherent zaniness and nerd-chic of the event, but turns an anthropological and pedagogical eye on the broader social and economic implications therein. And it does so with a set replete with all-caps exclamations (which, thankfully, I'll stop imitating) and facts and interpretations inside dialogue bubbles set against the Lichtensteinian backdrop.
You can tell, stepping foot into the exhibition, that this is no mere fanboy idol-worship. Some deep thought has gone into the curating, lending the spectacle of some dude dressed as a Jedi or a dudette channeling Daenerys Targaryen of "Game of Thrones" an air of gravitas. As the introductory video shows, a local TV reporter cheekily asks a young man, "You take this stuff pretty seriously, don't you?" The attendee, not amused by the condescending tone, replies, curtly, "Yeah, I take it very seriously."
OK, so there's serious scholarship bonafides. But there's also a costume rack in one corner where you, too, can don Superman's cape or Captain America's uniform or outfit yourself in those flattering original "Star Trek" shirts. Geek out with impunity; museum guards won't bat an eyelash.
The exhibition is a partnership between the museum and the faculty and students at
Sacramento State already had its turn last year, exploring how the two rivers define our area. But San Diego State apparently decided to boldly go where no museum has gone before and examine this pop culture phenomenon, which snooty, shushing museum types might dismiss as terribly low-brow. Fischer concedes some might see it that way. Her response: "At the
San Diego State professor
"One of the very interesting things about putting together the exhibit on Comic-Con is that the convention itself raises a number of 'serious' topics about public policy, economic policy and gender," she said. "So we were able to spend the year developing an exhibit that was both really fun, and surprisingly serious.
"When it came to selecting the exhibit topic itself, I instructed the students to find a topic that revealed something important or central to
True, that. As the exhibition details,
In videos and displays, Comic-Con's numbers are stressed -- "
Quick-cut images of costumed conventioneers fill the screens at the display. What's an exhibition, after all, without exhibitionists? So there's a fleet of Jedi warriors, a gaggle of ninjas, the blue bald-domed Dr.
You don't need to know the intricate backstories of the characters to appreciate the thought and effort put into, and zaniness achieved by, these examples of cosplay. That's short for Costume Play -- seems these Comic-Con habitues are avid portmanteau practitioners. Linguistic quirks aside, cosplay folks say they feel empowered when in character. In San Diego State student
"I'm not, like, identifying with the character,"
The Queen of Hearts, a.k.a.
By the same token, the exhibition is a license for museumgoers to lighten up. Go ahead, try on that Batman mask, that Wonder Woman bodice. No one will judge you. Those other exhibits, about the Dust Bowl, World War II and civil rights, can wait.
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