” Eventually, I find myself falling into that inevitable first date trap, imagining what it might be like to spin a conversation into a relationship with one of these people. I hesitate for a moment and respond noncommittally, “Comics, I guess.” It’s not as popular an answer as I expected.
All the standard dating factors play a role, of course—intelligence, wit, attractiveness—but now there’s a new, equally important category in play: subcultural compatibility. On the female side, at least, anime fans have a healthy lead over fans of American comics.
But a love scandal ripped hearts in two during one of the sessions on Saturday, leaving lusty Princess Leias and sexy Superwomen without partners in crime fighting.
The molten hot asteroid of several women's eye was a man dressed up as Bane, one of Batman's arch enemies.
I choose my favorite New Mutants character for the lady in the Nightcrawler T-shirt (Warlock, for the record).
With the woman dressed like an anime character I don’t recognize, it’s a frank discussion about the fan response to M. I discuss the works of Haruki Murakami with one woman and Hayao Miyazaki with another.
Glitch announces reassuringly to the line of guys that he met his “lovely assistant” at a past event—C5, he tells me later, short for Celebration, a semi-annual Star Wars convention, the fifth of which was held this summer in Orlando.
It was the first time Glitch’s one-man company, Lightning Fast Speed Dating, had taken part in such a show, and it was a rousing success, by most accounts.
It’s only after an assistant hands him a black leather jacket and fake plastic shotgun with a bright orange tip that he’s more than just a speed-dating host; he’s a cyborg sent from the future to facilitate nerd love, offer water bottles in exchange for Star Gate trivia, and crack jokes of questionable taste in mixed company.
Ours is the second of three such sessions held over the course of New York Comic-Con’s three days, and something about speed dating during the convention seems to have captured the imagination of the show’s attendees. That I’m here to report on the event, undercover.“Are you single? I nod.“Are you here just to report, or are you hoping to find somebody? Only now, with the women lined up against the wall facing us, is the contrast made painfully obvious. Nearly all of the women, however, are decked out, or, at the very least, have an accessory: a pair of goggles, a bright purple wig, the aforementioned pair of Freddie Krueger claws.
The lines are long, and Glitch will ultimately turn people (mostly men) away before opening the doors. ”“Well,” I answer, “you never know.”It’s a good enough answer to get me through the door, to where a DJ is playing the Star Wars Cantina theme on the other side of the room. The men are all instructed to grab a nametag, numbered one through 15. For the next hour, women refer to me as “Number 15.”Now it’s the women’s turn to enter. An odd contrast, to be sure, but one I’m thankful for when the timer sounds and a chorus of “hi”s echoes through the room.
Given the unlimited conversational topics presented by the jam-packed convention happening above our heads, I would never have guessed we’d broach the work of the “Tik Tok” singer so soon.“There’s a song,” the woman explains, “Take It Off.” She recites the chorus, There’s a place downtown, Where the freaks all come around. Of course, there’s nothing particularly “dirty” going on in room 1A20.
The room is sterile and well-lit, with 40 folding chairs neatly organized.