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| Culture |

A Miami Geek at San Diego Comic-Con (Photos)

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See more Comic-Con photos in our Cosplay on Display at Comic-Con 2012 slideshow.

Slowly shuffling through crowds.

Paying out the ass for action figures.

Selling your soul for free pieces of plastic.

All this, while surrounded by wrong-looking palm trees.

Another San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and it was the biggest one yet.

I was stuck working at a booth, leaving little time to roam, and no time to wait in line for the myriad panels and Q&As. However, it was clear that the con has come a long way since it started as the humble Golden State Comic-Con over 30 years ago. Gaming, television, and movies are slowly dwarfing the con's namesake in popularity, and exclusive items such as My Little Pony's Derpy pony (seriously) are selling for as much as $200 on eBay. Autograph signings from the casts of shows like Fringe, True Blood, and The Big Bang Theory created nerd black holes from which no one with a cameraphone could escape. The crush of the crowd was almost unbearable.

The cosplay, however, provided a sight for sore eyes. Marvel (The Avengers & X-Men, mostly) and DC (Batman, especially in anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises) were well represented. I did find myself wondering if I was back in some bizarre time warp where Waldo books were the bees' knees. I must have seen about 15 of them stroll past my booth all weekend.

Tastes of home were close by. Burn Notice star Bruce Campbell signed autographs in support of The Amazing Spider-Man video game at the Activision booth. D-Wade figurines were on sale. El Chapulin Colorado was truly a sight to behold, and he looked surprised and relieved that someone actually recognized him.

If you want to get your own piece of the action, you're in luck. Tickets for next year's con will be on sale online in August to 2012 attendees and open to newcomers later, a change from previous years where con-goers could buy tickets (to sell-out proportions) for the next year's event on-site. Some longtime fans of the convention lament this change, worrying that their loyalty to the con is going unrewarded, and that some "Twilight Mom" is going to take their hard-earned spot in line. Whether you were a Twihard (groan) or Trekkie, this year's SDCC was proof positive that geek was chic, and it's only getting more fashionable to be a fanatic.

--Elisa Melendez

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