The Comic Con conventions are wonderful: a cacophony of cosplay, celebrity and leather corsets. It’s a Geek Girl’s Nirvana and a place where every one of us with a leotard and a “Xena: The Warrior Princess” girl crush is welcomed with open arms.
But just like the proverbial Garden, there’s a snake in your paradise. In fact, there are three.
After years of covering every Comic/Fantasy/Monster/Zombie/Sci-Fi/Horror Con from here to Brazil as a TV reporter, I’ve culled the three key Creepers you’ll find at every Con. If you've read my story about my utterly pitiful encounter with Action Guy, you know even the most cynical or cautious of us can fall for a Con Creeper. I’ve had to gingerly pat the heaving backs of too many Princess Leias as they wept, “But it really seemed like he was into me, you know?” Learn from our mistakes!
Creeper #1: The Artist
Not ALL artists, mind you. But there is definitely a type. “Hey, hey -- so did you see that killer cover I inked for issue #3,006 of Nebula’s Web?” He’ll be wearing ratty sneakers and trying to light a cigarette right there on the convention floor.
“Yeah, everyone from Marvel’s after me, man. But they don’t get it. I’m in it for the Art.”
No, Creeper #1, you’re in it for the girls. This guy will try to impress you with his endless series of gritty pen and ink drawings that all feature astonishingly large-busted girls in skin-tight unitards that somehow cling to their erect nipples. Creeper Artist Guy will invite you back to his suite at the La Quinta Inn to “pose for a new female superhero I’m developing for DC Comics. Uh, she’s naked.”
Creeper Scale: Six. You will come out of the encounter feeling kind of sad for him and very uncomfortable about having to hold him as he wept on your naked breasts afterwards.
Creeper #2: The Podcast/YouTube Rock Star
See the guy over there in the big shorts with the goatee grown to disguise his double chin at the ripe old age of 27? He’s carrying wildly outdated equipment including a boom mic and a video camera that weighs more than your Toyota. He’ll be waving that “Press” lanyard fast enough to slice your cheek if you get too close. The Podcast/YouTube Rock Star Creeper will try to lure you in with repeated, phallus-like jabs with his camera at your face. “Hey, have you checked out my YouTube Channel? I have, like, hundreds of followers! I’ve been looking for a female commentator. You ever wanted to be on TV?"
Creeper #2 will not attempt to lure you back to his hotel room. He can’t afford one. This Podcast Powerhouse will deflower you in the back of his windowless van -- eerily similar to the one used in “Silence Of The Lambs.” In fact, he may claim to have actually purchased that particular van for its “cinematic authenticity.”
Creeper Scale: Seven. He will ask YOU for gas money as he yanks those shorts back up, explaining that he has to “get some awesomely raw footage to my editor, man.” You will see him again, because he’ll either ask for funding for his “incredible new project” or want to sleep on your couch.
Creeper #3: The Cruelest Creeper
Because actors are made for this kind of Alternate Universe: the one populated by all 1,337 of the people who saw his last movie. Lined up at his table are the fans who've memorized every line he spoke in “Kill Me With A Chainsaw."
It’s hard not to tar all the convention “Celebrity Guests” with the same brush, but the vast majority -- even the ones travelling with their wives or girlfriends -- are totally ready to hook up. (One of the most notorious Celebrity Creepers is a handsome young man from a popular kid's show. His very blonde wife will plant herself at his autograph table, angrily applying mascara while staring menacingly at everyone with ovaries who comes through the line. She's apparently not much of a deterrent, because Popular Kid Show Guy hasn't kept his jeans zipped at a single Con I've covered.)
The only person who gets a pass in my book is Stan Lee. The legendary artist is the creator of Spiderman, Thor, Iron Man and more, and he’s got serious game. Stan The Man is 92 years old and the biggest, baddest babe on the floor. He’s got more charm in one liver-spotted hand than every actor in Hollywood combined. So, yeah. Offer Stan a foot massage and see where it goes.
Back to Creeper #3: If he’s American, you’ll hear “Aw, baby. You’re so fucking sexy. Gimme a squeeze. Glad you love the show, baby.” British or Australian Celebrity Creepers will simply draw you in with their accents. You won’t have the slightest idea what they’re saying to you because they’ll lay those “ays and ahhs” down thick. But they sound so cool that you're swooning. If you meet them on the convention floor, they’ll casually ask if you’re going to their VIP (additional $150 admission) after-party.
An encounter at the hotel bar is quicker; it’ll just be “Hey, baby. My hand really hurts after signing all those autographs. Why don’t I come up to your room so you can give me a massage?” If you look like you’re hesitating, he’ll throw in, “I’ll tell you what happens in Episode 11...” The hook is set: he knows he’s got you.
Creeper Scale: Five to Ten. The Celebrity Creeper who’s fresh off his leading role on season one of some series on The WB will ask if you have a condom and then usher you out the door 30 minutes later, sometimes with a signed photo or a reluctant selfie: That ranks a 5.
The more experienced Celebrity Creeper will probably coax you into oral or anal sex so he’s not “cheating” on his model girlfriend. He’ll push you to get a room at the hotel so he can leave you -- less trouble with security having to pry you out of his suite afterwards. This one tends to be a 10 on the Creeper Scale. You grew up watching him on TV. You picture his face when sex gets boring with your boyfriend. You will leave the encounter with one of three things: disillusionment about his penis size, herpes, or a childhood hero turned to dust.
So, what have we learned? Remember that nice boy that brought you to the Con? The one who hand-stitched his Green Power Ranger suit and helped you find that knockoff latex to make your Catwoman suit? When you get home and fall onto your futon to make mad, passionate Geek Love, he’ll still be there when you wake up. Even with his morning breath, and his part-time job at Starbucks, he's completely, utterly yours.