Those in the area of L.A. Live on Saturday and Sunday might have seen some strange people, costumed as superheroes, monsters, and nerds, going in and out of the Los Angeles Convention Center. A crowd of 30,000 fans, according to some estimates, geeked out the large indoor space for two days.
Josh N. Mebreaux, member of USC’s fraternity Î¡Î”Î‘ and a key BroCon organizer at USC, was not impressed.
“I’m sorry, but they’re just not organized. Not Comikaze, not Comic-con, none of them. They only muster these things once a year. BroCon has events at least three nights a week year round, and I would put a keg–no, two kegs–against anyone having a better time there then they could on the Row.”
Mebreaux maintains that while fan conventions attract a great number of people and have been going on for a long time, bro culture predates and surpasses them. “Chill people have been getting together since way before nerds and partying it up. Maybe nerds feel special at cons, but then they just have to go back to feeling like nerds when they go home and take off their weirdo costumes. Every bro knows that life is the party–you don’t just get it together one day a year.” He also rejects the comparison between nerd camaraderie and bromance: “If that was a thing, they wouldn’t need celebrities to feel special. Bros know the truth: we are celebrities.”
For Mebreaux, however, it’s not just about knowing oneself special, it’s about being special, creating an awesome party. And comic book conventions fall utterly short of his expectations.
“They have parties, yeah, but not in the convention space itself. All they have on the floor are merchants, a few artists and actors, and panels. What the hell is a panel? A panel is just five guys sitting behind a table talking. I mean, we’ve got panels, but they’re about important stuff, like how to pick up girls and brocabulary. Plus, I’ve got something even better: five guys on each side of a table, racing to chug their drinks. It’s called flip cup.”
The “clear misunderstanding of partying” among the nerd community irks Mebreaux. “Look, Comikaze was twenty bucks for both days, but for what? The opportunity to walk around a big, crowded hall with no beer, overpriced crap and too many nerds and ugly chicks? Parties on the row are drunker, cheaper, and hotter, so why would you go to Comikaze?”
Even more irritating to Mebreaux were reports of Comikaze vendors selling bro-mocking merch. One shirt takes the Poke’mon franchise character “Slowbro” and depicts it dressed in classic bro fashions–a “Slow Bro”. “What’s that supposed to mean?” asks Mebreaux. “Are they saying we’re slow, literally slow? I can chug fifteen cans before they finish singing that theme song. Or are they saying we’re stupid? I don’t get it.”
(Photo Credit: Liz Luu)