Imagine it’s 1970 (I can’t, I’m not old enough) in San Diego. You’re at the U.S. Grant Hotel in the first days of August. Among the guests there is the King, Jack Kirby. And welcome to San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con.

It was a different era.

I honestly didn’t even hear about “comic con” until about ten-ish years ago. Maybe it was before that. I don’t know. I was a late bloomer. But the San Diego Comic Con has seen steady growth since its beginning, when it had 300 guests. It eclipsed the hundred-thousand visitor mark in 2005 with 103,000 visitors. That was a year after the “meager palace of Midgard,” Hall H opened. In 2015, 167,000 of you crazy bastards were there.

As far as information goes, we nerds anxiously, if not patiently, await the goodies that come from San Diego each summer.

Since San Diego’s International Comic Con became such a big hit, other cities have begun holding similar events. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Kansas City, and Seattle are just a few places to host their own. And there are promotion companies like Wizard World who bring their Cons to various cities. And it has branched out beyond that. Smaller markets have smaller Cons, but still provide a great atmosphere and bring good names to regions and areas that may not ever have the opportunity to meet these creators or actors again.

It’s why I think very highly of these Cons. I was asked to give my opinion on the rise of the numerous comic cons. There’s my answer. I love ’em.

Now, my social calendar for the year includes a comic con trip. For the last three years, I’ve made the short drive to Cape Girardeau, MO for the Cape Comic Con. I’ve been able to meet writers and artists, actors and cosplayers, wrestlers, and a promoter who truly cares about the product he puts out there for his guests. Everything about this is top-notch, and Ken’s a helluva guy who has been doing this in Cape for over a decade.

I get to go down there, get some audio, hopefully put together an episode or two of the podcast. But I also get to spend some time with some of my best friends. And I’m hoping my schedule allows for that again this year. Ken has Cape Girardeau ready for another amazing weekend at the end of April. I just hope to be there to be a part of it.