I remember going to my first Comic-Con, back in '95. The Dork invited me to come with him, along with the rest of our circle and I believe it turned into a 4 or 5-person party. We were in college at the time; broke but inspired and bright-eyed at the prospects of our future careers. Half of our group ordered their admission tickets beforehand (the lucky guys who had bought their memberships the year before), but the rest of had to stand in line. Can you imagine that at one point, it was actually conceivable to buy tickets RIGHT THEN AND THERE?
I remember glancing at the line, immediately noticing a real-life, wannabe Elektra, a high-heeled Boba Fett who had a little swing to her walk and his/her entourage of Stormtroopers. "This is going to be INSANE!", I remember thinking to myself. Getting to the point of being registered felt very reminiscent of standing in line at Disneyland and waiting to ride Star Tours.
The only way that I can describe walking into that Exhibit Hall for the first time was comparable to "heaven" or "child with a mean sweet-tooth walking into a candy store with a million bucks to spend". We did the whole 4 days, and everyday I basked in the glory that is Comic-Con. At first, I was a little gun-shy about going up to the booths and chatting with some of the pros that up until now, had just been names on the comic books I bought on a weekly basis. I was admittedly starstruck when I'd walked past Mark Hamill, the "Art Conservationist". I attended a "How to Break Into The Comic Book Industry" seminar. By the time we left that Sunday, I felt the same as I did when going to Disneyland and trying to hit everything in 1 day X4. Burnt-out, broker than before, exhausted (yet oddly inspired) and chugging along a backpack full of toys, posters, memorabilia, trade paperbacks, artist sketchbooks, and everything else I couldn't possibly afford on a student's budget. Luckily at the time, I had been accustomed to eating ramen as a budgetary strategy, and each bowl for the remainder of the month felt justified!
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's New Hope is a documentary by Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me", "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold", "30 Days" TV documentary series-- All of which you should check out!)