Being Spider-Man And Holding A Pig At San Diego Comic-Con

Johnathan Brendle wrote from San Diego Comic-Con for Bleeding Cool,

One of the most notable experiences at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California is being in cosplay. I was there for my second year in a row dressed as Spider-Man (with a considerably better quality costume this year than the last). For four days, I didn't just respond to Johnathan; I responded mostly to "Spidey" or "Spider-Man". That was a cool experience where you almost feel like a celebrity! I didn't know whether or not I should be offended that people mostly wanted photos with me when my mask was on. It was a challenge, however. After about thirty seconds, the lenses begin to fog up and you literally cannot see what's in front of you. Lucky for me, they were magnetic lenses in which I could remove or lift up to wipe but that only solved my problem for another thirty seconds.

On the floor, I got a lot of high fives and a lot of people who would look at me and smile. I really felt like Spider-Man, as cheesy as that sounds. Kids left and right wanted a photo with their favorite superhero and that was great! For about five minutes in line for a panel, I had a conversation with a three-year-old boy about Spider-Man. He had a lot of very great questions and I had only hoped my answers were what he was looking for in his role model. Another small kid, not long after that panel was over, asked me to hold his hand as we walked down a set of stairs. It's moments like that where holding your bladder most of the day to avoid re-living the morning struggles of putting on this pretty body glove are so worth it.

Being here with Bleeding Cool made it all the more fitting. I was usually around with my camera, a Canon 60D, and many thought it was merely a prop I was using to pull off this costume. My backpack was not filled with a delicious sandwich and some school books but rather a notepad, pen, and any free comic and posters I could pick up. One of the struggles of being press in costume is that it made running to the other side of the convention for a press room or panel a lot more difficult.

Some cool stuff did come out of it, though. While walking back to the convention center from some of the outdoor convention activities like Adult Swim and FX Network, a woman had stopped me and asked if I could hold her pig for a photo. I, of course, obliged as that seemed like the best photo opportunity of my life. I mean Spider-Man and a pig? How many times have I heard the Spider-Pig song from The Simpsons Movie since? Probable 34,708 times, if I had to guess. A couple of hours later, I found myself on the SYFY Network's website for Day 1 Cosplays. Even later, I found myself on the front page for Snapchat's Discovery page where there are feature articles. Overall, a great experience. For someone who would otherwise be sitting at work doing behind the scenes nerdy stuff or teaching people how the Space Shuttle Orbiter worked, I was a celebrity for four days. Looking back, as I did last year too, it really made me feel like I should change careers and just be a full time celebrity. Couldn't find any openings, though. If anyone sees one, let me know.

So, what's next for Spider-Man? If you have heard about the trailer for the new Avengers: Infinity War, you will know that Spider-Man is wearing his new Iron-Spider suit from Tony Stark. Maybe I need to get a new suit for next year! In the meantime, I will probably use my suit for good. Defeating sadness and sorrow and bringing smiles and laughter. I plan on visiting some of the many Children's Hospitals and medical facilities in the Washington DC area. As I learned this week, there's no better feeling than seeing the genuine excitement on one's face when they lay eyes on Spider-Man in the flesh. Sure, I'm not Peter Parker, but that doesn't mean that I cannot be a hero.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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