Comic Con: debunking false prophets

Jake Hamilton, Opinion Editor

I recall a scene, strolling across the convention center with my girlfriend at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. All was in harmony: the Deadpools break-dancing, the Tweety Birds chirping, blonde Wonder Women holding hands with hairy Supermen.

And then the virus.

They came in, a mass, a swarm. They almost looked human, until we saw the starved eyes, the bared teeth, the impossible strength. I tried to stay on my feet. My girlfriend cried out as they pulled her away. Their snarls drowned out my screams. You can’t save her, I thought. Save yourself.

I crawled out and looked back at the chaos and destruction. I glanced around, hoping my girlfriend escaped the massacre. All this, I thought somberly. All this to see the cast of the Walking Dead.

That’s right. This was all caused by the cast of the popular zombie TV series Walking Dead entering the convention center. I couldn’t see any of these actors’ faces, but I’m sure they were strained with genuine terror, much like those hopeless faces they constantly wear on the show. Only this time for real, because they were dealing with what I only experienced a fraction of: a crazed horde of fans.

And that’s scarier than any amount of zombies could ever be.

It’s hard to believe now, but things must not have always been this way. I imagine that Mark Twain could have sat down with any schmuck in a bar and had a nice chat, without anyone screaming his name and trampling over fellow fans. Jack Kerouac probably would’ve gladly signed a copy of On the Road without crowds crawling on the floor in hopes of touching his sneakers.

But today we have a massive schism between these once friendly peoples–fans and celebrities–leaving both sides dehumanized.

And sure it’s not everywhere. And often it’s the celebrities themselves who aren’t down to earth. And there are plenty of respectable fans out there. But I’m addressing the screamers. The grabbers.

The horde.

My message to you is simple: Andrew Lincoln is not some divine prophet, Steven Yeun is not a religious zealot, Norman Reedus is not Zeus himself.

They’re human beings, and for that matter, so are all of you. There’s no reason to hound them like mindless zombies.

I remember seeing Tony Hawk at the beach when I was ten or eleven. The guy who’s name was on my clothes, who I played as in the video-games, who I saw on television. The God.

My friend and I approached him feebly and asked if he was in fact this legend. He smiled and said, “Yeah but you can call me Tony.” We chatted, met his family, and saw that he was just a normal guy; then, sure enough, after saying hello to Tony Hawk, we said goodbye.

Behind every Jon Bernthal is a Jon, behind every Chandler Riggs is a Chandler. There’s no hope on the show, but this virus can end.

I hope I’m getting through to you. I’d hate to be stuck in another riot like that. And frankly, I fear for the safety of the cast. Despite the Biblical parallel on the show, Andrew Lincoln is not Moses.

And I doubt that even he could part a sea of crazy fans.