The Five Stages of Comic-Con Grief

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Editor’s note: Here’s a classic but still-relevant article that we ran last year about Comic-Con. It still applies!

It’s that time of year again: San Diego Comic-Con. Comic Con is exciting and it’s a treasure trove of geeky information and awesome exclusives. But let’s face it, if you’re not there, Comic Con is just plain harsh. But don’t worry, readers. We’re here for you. Knowing is half the battle, and we’re here to walk you through the five stages of Comic Con grief.

Comic Con

Stage 1: Denial- “I didn’t even want to go to Comic-Con”

Denial is the first stage in the proper Comic-Con grieving process. So what if you didn’t get tickets to the most amazing convention of the year? You didn’t even want to go! Plus, you have better things to do. That backlog of Netflix TV shows isn’t going to watch itself and this way, you’ll always be ready for the Steam flash sales. If anything, it’s better this way.

Too Cool for this Planet

Stage 2: Anger- “Cousin Joey is going?! He doesn’t even like comics!”

Once you’ve reached the second stage of Comic-Con grief, there’s no turning back. Comic-Con anger can take a few shapes: anger at yourself for missing early registration, or anger at others for getting to go (and tweeting about it the entire time). Either way, you must have an outlet to channel your anger. So put on your hulk gloves and SMASH.


Stage 3: Bargaining-“I’d give my mint condition Amazing Spiderman Issue #1 to go!”

The third stage of Comic-Con Grief isn’t pretty, and it can often get you into trouble if you’re not careful. At this point, the hope that there’s still a chance to rub elbows with hot girls in cosplay (and who knows, conquer the notorious hover hand) remains, even though deep down you know it’s not happening. Rest assured, no one at San Diego Comic-Con wants your “slightly worn” Doctor Who costume so don’t bother with the Craigslist exchange ad.

shut up and take my money

Stage 4: Depression-“What’s the point anymore? I’ll never meet Stan Lee!”

That tiny glimmer of hope is gone by the fourth stage of Comic-Con grief. At this point, you may find that you would rather be alone with your thoughts of all the missed meet and greets that could have been. You start eating cookie dough ice cream by the pint while watching Stan Lee’s marvel movie cameo reel. You think you’ll never be the same again, but recovery is on the horizon. Side note: I’ve met Stan Lee; we discussed the best latkes in town.

Stage 5: Acceptance-“I’m going to be okay! There’s always next year!”

In the last stage of Comic-Con grief, individuals begin to come to terms with the fact that they missed the boat on this year’s festivities, and thus the chance to meet Nathan Fillion.  But that’s okay because the wonderful thing about Comic-Con is it happens every year. This way, you have plenty of time to perfect your Captain Kirk impersonation and your pose for your Wil Wheaton photo op.

Oh Yeah!

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