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Comic book lovers, science fiction aficionados, and history buffs all share some characteristics, no matter how disparate their interests may seem on the surface: they are passionate about their pidgin, they plumb deeply into the lore of their fields, and they are all just a bit off-center from the rest of "normal" society.

Let's face it--it's 1961, and conformity is still the rule of the day. We're expected to wear suits and hats (though our new President seems to be a trendsetter in the "no hats" arena). We're supposed to abandon the frivoloties of youth and settle down to hard work and raising a family. Heaven forbid our interests should stray outside the socially acceptable pasttimes of sports, religion, politics, and cocktail parties.

But for those of us who refuse to "grow up", we still want to belong somewhere. We don't want to go it alone; we seek out others of our ilk. The weird ones. The creative ones.

The Fans.

So we form clubs, some associated with centers of learning, others with geographic districts. We create fan circles that put out fanzines. We form readers' groups to share our self-penned works.

And...we hold conventions.

These are generally smallish affairs compared to their business-oriented cousins, with attendance running into the hundreds. But for the fan who normally has a local community of just a few fellows (and perhaps many more as pen pals), going to a convention is like a pilgrimage to Mecca. One meets people with completely different experiences, different perspectives. There is the opportunity to get news from far and wide on exciting new projects, both fan and professional. And the carousing is second to none, both in the heights of enthusiasm and creativity.

Take a look at my newly developed roll of shots from "WonderCon", a sizeable affair held last weekend in Los Angeles. These are some dedicated fans, some fabulous costumes, and some terrific times!

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)

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