It’s no surprise, given the general theme for the gaming webcomic Weregeek, that cartoonist Alina Pete would eventually delve into the realm of conventions with her favorite band of geek-protagonists. While I find it a tad incongruous that the societal views on these geeks has allowed for an organized band of killers and brainwashers to target geeks without a massive media outcry (not to mention the shadow war that the Accountants at Games Workshop would wage in return to protect their clientele and profit margins… fear the Accountants of GW. Fear them…) yet also allow gaming conventions, it’s been fun seeing the convention experience through the eyes of a gamer geek.
Of course, conventions are common fodder for a number of webcomics; Jennie Breeden’s The Devil’s Panties spends a significant amount of time teasing readers with various hijinks that Breeden has seen over the years. Perhaps part of the reason I’m enjoying Pete’s take on conventions is the fresh perspective that touches on a few things that anyone who has gone to conventions in the past can relate to. I know I’ve seen more than my share of scantily-clad female (and male) cosplayers who often stay warm purely due to the massive press of bodies around them (by which I mean conventions often are crowded)… as well as the photoshoots that often occur with those cosplayers with spectacular outfits.
Given that I’ve been to a decent number of conventions (including the San Diego Comic Con back in 2002), I suspect the real reason I’ve enjoyed Pete’s take on conventions is that we’re seeing them through her character’s eyes. Each character has a life of their own, from Mark (who’s new to the gaming and geek traditions) to the seasoned and serious geek Joel (whose use of a backpack to transport purchases is one I’ve not thought of before, though it wouldn’t work well with the costume I tend to cosplay; opera cloaks and backpacks don’t mix), to even a fairly quiet Abbie (whose outfit drew photographers like moths to a flame). In many ways they help encompass the multitudes of geekdom who find common ground at conventions. And perhaps that’s part of why I’ve enjoyed these latest comics so much. It is because I can see a small part of me in each character, and their (and my) enjoyment of conventions.