Given the unlimited conversational topics presented by the jam-packed convention happening above our heads, I would never have guessed we’d broach the work of the “Tik Tok” singer so soon.“There’s a song,” the woman explains, “Take It Off.” She recites the chorus, There’s a place downtown, Where the freaks all come around. Of course, there’s nothing particularly “dirty” going on in room 1A20.The room is sterile and well-lit, with 40 folding chairs neatly organized.
Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender adaptation (frankly, she’s shocked the director would even show his face at this convention). One woman seems genuinely impressed by the fact that I’ve attended San Diego Comic-Con.Only once does the topic of what I do for a living come up.” Eventually, I find myself falling into that inevitable first date trap, imagining what it might be like to spin a conversation into a relationship with one of these people. I hesitate for a moment and respond noncommittally, “Comics, I guess.” It’s not as popular an answer as I expected.All the standard dating factors play a role, of course—intelligence, wit, attractiveness—but now there’s a new, equally important category in play: subcultural compatibility. On the female side, at least, anime fans have a healthy lead over fans of American comics.She just really, really likes Freddie Krueger, it turns out. We talk for a second about horror movies, once the topic of Ke$ha has been fully exhausted. She answers in the affirmative, though that one, she insists, didn’t scare her. “I’ve had some dates that I wished lasted three minutes,” I tell one of the women.
They don’t scare her, she tells me, except for ones about elevators. It’s not a great joke, sure, but under the circumstances, it’ll do.
When we first spot him downstairs at the Javits Center, however, he has traded his Jedi robes for sunglasses and a black T-shirt.
It’s only after an assistant hands him a black leather jacket and fake plastic shotgun with a bright orange tip that he’s more than just a speed-dating host; he’s a cyborg sent from the future to facilitate nerd love, offer water bottles in exchange for Star Gate trivia, and crack jokes of questionable taste in mixed company.
Each round, the cosplayers sat knee-to-knee, facing their partners, and were given three minutes to determine whether the costumed superhero or heroine was relationship material.
There’s something about sitting across from a masked or disguised stranger that increases both the anxiety and intrigue of speed dating.
“They call me ‘Giganakin,’” Glitch announces before the session kicks off, “because I’m overweight, and my costume is Anakin.”The statement isn’t entirely accurate.