Is it possible to find friends in comic book conventions?

With Bernce of Hollowpoint Comics 
Every time I go to a comic book event, I try to walk away with new friends. Not literally.Though it happened once that I walked from Comicxhub in Shaw Boulevard all the way to the MRT station in EDSA with a shy comic book shop customer, who only talks as frequent as Blackbolt.

For ten minutes, I realized, I was talking to myself. But days after, he gave me some of his old  comics featuring Quicksilver on the covers because I mentioned that the mutant speedster was one of my favorite characters.

So he was listening. Or probably, using his telepathy, that's why I did not hear his responses.

Just like any other friendship, you have to pass that level of awkwardness at first, especially that most fans of the medium are guys. Who starts the conversation? Should I tell him how much I hate the New 52? Do I add him on Facebook? If I tell him to pose for an Instagram shot, will he throw the f-bomb and shut me off?

That is the thrill of making comics buddies. Because if you are not making one, then I do not see the point of going to a convention, digging old comics from the bins or having badass blank cover art and not sharing these to the world. The world, in this case, is not the Internet, but actual people who breathe.

The Internet has opened a lot of ways to forge virtual bonding. But you would only know a comic buddy could become a friend for keeps when you go beyond talking about spandex-clad heroes.

Of course, this takes time as we do not automatically divulge our personal struggles to people we have met at a comic book convention or a comic book store.There may be a lot of things that will happen before you get there. There's also the possibility that when we are halfway of trusting a person, we discover a trait or a belief that does not sit well with ours.

Me with Nixon's Bible Study groupmates. Nixon was a finalist at the Be The Next Marvel contest!
Check his works at Polyhedron Comics.

The question is - Is it possible to find friends in comic book events? I mean, people outside your work or you did not meet at school that you had no previous connection with aside from the passion of reading comics?

Skipping the details, the answer's yes. There's Bernce from indie group Hollowpoint Comics, who has also become my jogging buddy after work in Ayala. There's Nixon from another group, Polyhedron Comics, who has become a good influence to me spiritually. Both have been there for me during my trying times. It is also a good experience to be exposed to their personal worlds that are quite different from what I was used to.

So the next time you attend a comic book convention or Free Comic Book Day, don't be afraid to start a conversation with a fellow geek. I know inquiring whether someone is a Bendis fan is a gamble. But it's worth a shot!


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