Here’s what you’ll see at 2022 Comic-Con, probably
The big nerd thing is back, so here are my predictions on what’s going to be there
For the past two years, the plague has foiled Comic-Con, San Diego’s premiere gathering of people who love walking slowly and waiting in line. Yes, there have been virtual iterations and mini-versions, but 2022 marks the convention’s return to form, and nerds are rejoicing.
Can’t say I’ve really missed it. Our lives are so dictated by the monoculture (Marvel, Star Wars... everything owned by Disney, really) that everything Con-related feels redundant. But let’s not forget that I’m also a shell of a human who thrives in misery ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Being a person who obviously follows the pop culture trends, here are my predictions on what we’ll see at this year’s Con.
Stranger Things shit
No way there’s going to be fewer than 100 Vecnas walking around you at all times. Or people with Hellfire Club shirts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they would be pumping Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” over the speakers 24/7. My only hope is there will be a pop-up salon that would give lucky participants a signature Will bowl cut.
I expect Kevin Smith will be everywhere at Comic-Con this year. Crashing in your hotel room, riding public transportation to get out of the heat, cutting in line at the Tilted Kilt (but in that way where if you do it really slow and avoid eye contact, no one can get mad at you), and standing outside the convention center waiting for people to recognize him. There’s a good chance that you’ll end up in a rideshare with Kevin Smith, and he might even split the cost of it if you say something nice about the Clerks III trailer.
You might be thinking, “Oh, I would never shell out money for an illustration of a bored ape.” But when you’re neck-deep in the frenzy of mass consumerism and flash-in-the-pan pop culture hysteria, those scruples fly out the window, and before you know it, you’re stomping on some tween’s face to get that limited edition Comic-Con bored ape (it’s wearing an Iron Man costume or something).
As we speak, TV and film producers are combing through a catalog of intellectual properties with which they can exploit our obsession with nostalgia. And for my money, there’s no IP more worthy of resuscitation than Cheers—everyone’s favorite sitcom about functional alcoholism. Just imagine the uproar when George Wendt takes the stage and the entire Hall H yells “NORM!” If I know anything about the young people these days, I know they’d go ape for Carla’s acerbic wit, Woody’s small-town naïveté, Sam’s loveable cockiness. Don’t forget Frasier Crane’s sage wisdom! Yep, kids love Cheers.
If it’s from the ‘80s, it’ll probably be at Comic-Con. I don’t know what these were or how you used them or if anyone actually did use them, but every kid had one when I was growing up.
The Woke Mob
Fair warning: there will probably be people at Comic-Con who want movies to include people that aren’t straight white males. There’s only one term for this outrageous demand for respect, representation, and compassion: wokeism!
Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka
Comic-Con is not known for music stuff. Why not? If anything has crossover appeal, it’s the Flaming Lips’ 1997 four-disc oddity where each CD was meant to be played simultaneously on a different boombox. It’s pretty much like a multiverse for music!
Oh god, if only. This is my dream. Strap a big ol toilet on me, paint me green, and push me through those convention center doors.
Just been seeing a lot of them around lately.
A group session where everyone at Comic-Con gets to write the next Star Wars movie
For years, studios have caved to the demands of fandom. Remember when Sonic the Hedgehog’s entire look was changed because people on Twitter didn’t like it? Same thing goes for the course-correcting Rise of the Skywalker after fans got angry about The Last Jedi for reasons I can’t remember but which I’m sure were stupid. This year, Disney should just save everyone the trouble by rounding up every Comic-Con attendee and have them write the next Star Wars movie. It will be identical to the 1977 original, but with, like, three Spider-Men in it. It won’t be good, but it will make a billion dollars and no one will be angry.
Pop-up Winkies from David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive
A few years ago, there was a futuristic Taco Bell set up in the Gaslamp, which I think had something to do with the movie Demolition Man. When I walked by, MFers were lined up around the block to get into it. A Taco Bell. I think that was when I realized that the experience trumps everything now. So, in the spirit of that pop-up Taco Bell, I don’t think I’m alone in expecting The Con to finally deliver the experience of being at Winkie’s, the diner from David Lynch’s 2001 masterpiece, Mulholland Drive. What comic-head would not salivate over the chance to experience pure existential dread and nightmare logic? I know what fans want. Put me in charge of Comic-Con.
A lot of Covid
WIth our county’s positive test rate at 16%, there’s no way Comic-Con won’t be a petri dish writhing with Covid. But, you know, worth it to get that exclusive Funko toy.
Comic-Con begins July 21.
SADISTIC SUMMER BOOK & MOVIE CLUB
In case you missed it, I’m organizing a summer book/movie club where we watch one of the most controversial and banned films of all time, Cannibal Holocaust, and read Kea Wilson’s excellent novel We Eat Our Own. For those who are interested in learning about some truly transgressive art, read more here and then sign up here.
AWKSD GUEST LIST
The Guest List gives AWKSD subscribers the opportunity to see live music for free. Just reply to this email and let me know which show you want to see, and I’ll hook you and a friend up.
**It’s a Til-Two Club spectacular! All the AWKSD Guest List shows this week are going down at Til-Two.**
Thursday, July 14
Moon Talk, The Martens, Kelp Beds, Tsumii: A few weeks ago, I confessed my love for HUM, one of the greatest underappreciated bands. Moon Talk gives me serious HUM vibes. Their music is both heavy and delicate; abrasive and beautiful. I imagine this will be an incredibly moving show.
Friday, July 15
Bay Street, Years Down, Lost Dakota, Avenue Army, No Hard Feelings: Bay Street reminds me of early 2000s Thrice: vicious vocals over melodic hardcore harmonies. I’m glad bands are still making music like this.
Sunday, July 17
Near Beer, The Pretty Flowers, Cloud Clipper: I love me some sad dad punk—bands like Menzingers or Restorations that are able to deliver woeful tales of aging in three-minute blasts. Near Beer is that kind of band, and their song “Mixtape Generation” is really good.
Monday, July 18
Honey Creek, Crash Overcast, Neverlyn, Resider: Ah yes, Midwestern emo punk. It feels good and it’s healthy for you. Honey Creek sounds like they could’ve held their own against pre-Stay What You Are-era Saves The Day.
Tuesday, July 19
Civerous, Fratricide, Conjurieth, Desecation: With a band name like Civerous, I didn’t even have to look them up to know they were metal af.
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