If you’ve ever been in downtown San Diego in mid July, chances are you’ve walked alongside Spiderman, Vulcans, Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen.
If you haven’t, then chances are you don’t understand the full power of the spectacle known as Comic-Con. The annual event, which fills the halls of the San Diego Convention Center and spills into the streets and surrounding hotels, bars and restaurants of the Gaslamp Quarter, sells out each year in under an hour.
“Tickets to Comic-Con aren’t really bought so much as you win the privilege of paying for a ticket,” said Natalie Kaczorowski during TEDxSanDiego on Oct. 22 at Copley Symphony Hall.
The three-day event (with a bonus preview night) is so much more than just comic books, Hollywood celebrities, and nerds walking around in costume (which is more affectionately known as Cosplay).
“Comic-Con is really an invitation to celebrate self-expression,” said Kaczorowski, a regular attendee of the event and executive producer at “Tonight in San Diego,” a local late night variety talk show about all things San Diego.
While attending Comic-Con Kaczorowski would participate in Cosplay while interviewing attendees, but when the exhibit booths were taken down and the event left town, she found herself wearing nerdy t-shirts even off camera.
“That’s when who I was trying to be and who I was afraid of being finally came together. That’s when I realized ‘this is who I am supposed to be,’” Kaczorowski said.
The magic of Comic-Con for Kaczorowski is that it brings people together; connects them with their own tribe.
“No matter the fandom, fans may be strangers, but together they can define themselves as family,” she said. “Define yourself. That’s the superpower of Comic-Con.”