There are a lot of things one might expect to see, to do, and to learn at a comic con. Largely I believed they were about comics, horror, super heroes, sci-fi, or the human capacity to endure having their toes stepped on and torso bumped into in a crowd.
I expected to see super heros, anti-heroes, super villans, really scantily clad women, men in spandex, comic takes on characters long loved, and characters I’ve never dreamt or heard of. I also expected to find comics, videos, toys, clothes, posters, accessories, and so much more in the way of merchandise. I even expected I would purchase some of it. And I did. I saw it all and I even got cute little caricatures of my daughter and I and a she-hulk t-shirt.
But there was more. Something I didn’t anticipate.
I didn’t expect that both my daughter and I would walk out of there with a life lesson.
After our initial wander around the place to get the lay of the land and a read through the schedule to make sure we could make it to our photo ops (yes… we did) and a couple of must do panels we wandered over to a Q&A session with the one and only Arthur Fonzarelli. Yes, the Fonz. And yes I know his real name. And yes I know the impressive list of credits he has built up over the years as a writer, director, producer, and children’s author. I didn’t know he’d written a book on Fly Fishing but other than that I was well aware that Henry Winkler had made an amazing career for himself out of his leather jacket. What I didn’t realize was that the man is a philosopher. Sitting through the 45 minute session he delivered so much inspiration and so many pearls of wisdom that we walked out of his session feeling like we’d been to a particularly effective intensive self help session.
“Never put a period on the end of a negative thought.”
He followed it up with a big laugh. He punctuated it with silliness. The crowd ate it up. But it wasn’t silly, and it’s how I think I’d like to deal with things.