Comic-Con: Do It for the Merit Badge

Friends, this year marks my 10th year at San Diego Comic-Con. Do anything for a decade, and you begin to notice certain repeating patterns, archetypes, and tendencies. Put me on the show floor and not only can I navigate my way to any booth, I can do so in the most efficient manner, taking into account distance, traffic patterns, and ease of travel. A lot of a con is cyclical, and I've seen a lot of cycles.

I thought I was alone in my crusty jadedness — until I met Claire Hummel, an exhibitor who has combined my comprehensive knowledge of con life and my inherent need to receive token recognition for my narrow, specialized knowledge into one niche product. Introducing Con Rangers!

Con Rangers offer a series of merit badges memorializing common con achievements/annoyances.  There's a certain dubious pride to being overcrowding a hotel room, camping out for a panel, or putting up with street preachers. Thanks to Hummel, now you can display your achievements for all to see.  Though anyone can purchase and affix them upon a sash, honor prevents those who haven't racked up these accomplishments from displaying false valor.

All told, I've probably earned every merit badge 10 times over, but now that there's a system to chart my achievements, I feel motivated to earn more. Who knows?  I might make it all the way to Eagle Scouts of Con Rangers.

If you, too, want to display your con-cred, go to booth Q-15 in the small press section. Badges are $5.00 apiece or six for $25.00. The lines have been out the door, so move quickly!

About Will Romine

Dear Red, If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Will Romine.