I've got something of an open-ended question today: is it possible/advisable to seek romance within the comic book community?
Comics, as you've probably figured out, are a BIG part of my life. And, although my soon-to-be-ex-wife has denied that they had anything to do with her leaving, I can't help but figure that there was some negative impact on our relationship because of them. If nothing else, it was a big part of my life that she actively did not want to share. (To be fair, though, she made quite an effort. And even though she enjoyed some of what she read -- heck, I'm the guy who turned her on to Neil Gaiman in the first place -- she never really "got" the medium on the whole.) I think it stands to reason that, in any healthy relationship, the two people involved are not going to completely agree on everything. Take that as a given. But it makes sense that there ought to be some overlap, at least on the most significant aspects of your life. It's not infrequently cited that significant differences in religious beliefs often are the cause of marital problems -- in large part because those beliefs generally form the very core of a person's identity.
So for someone like myself, who really, really enjoys comic books, I have to wonder if my "soul-mate" can really only be someone who's relatively passionate about the medium as well. Or would it be sufficient to be with someone who at least appreciates what comics have to offer, and regularly read a handful of titles?
I'm aware of a handful of folks who met and/or fell in love through their comic book connections. Harvey Pekar met his wife Joyce while she was hunting down a copy of American Splendor #6. I believe Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern met their respective wives at comic book conventions. The owners of my LCS are a husband and wife team. And my buddy Dave is dating a woman he met at a convention -- I also happen to know their first date was at a showing of Ghost Rider.
That being said, though, I'm obviously only aware of a small portion of those relationships. I'm certain that my own marriage looked perfectly happy to any outsiders before she left. But it seems that comic books can at least provide something of an anchor for those couples to help prevent them from drifting apart. So maybe part of what I need to do is simply keep a more attuned eye out on the convention circuit. Someone attending a comic book convention is likely to have more than a passing interest in comics, right?
The downside, of course, is that comic book conventions aren't exactly prime hangouts for the fairer sex. The industry on the whole tends to cater to a Y-chromosome crowd, which makes for a significant initial gender disparity. Then, of course, you've got to figure there's a percentage of women who are unavailable -- either because they're in an existing relationship and/or they simply aren't interested in pursuing one with a man. And that doesn't even begin to speak to other issues of compatibility!
The next hurdle, it seems to me, is the nature of conventions themselves. What percentage of people at any given convention do you suppose are going to take time away from the convention-ing to do something else? For the women who dress themselves up in skimpy Wonder Woman or slave Leia costumes, they're going to be in a state of perpetual defense to ward off the inevitable gawking fanboys. Then most of the rest of them are going to focus their attentions on the back issue bins or the creator signings or the industry panels or whatever it is that interests them. The convention, by its nature, has a finite time limit and forces people to budget their time.
The next problem I'm sure is not unique to me, but it's not one that necessarily is universal: striking up a conversation. Me? I'm absolutely abysmal at starting conversations out of the blue. Or, for that matter, engaging in an existing conversation with more than one or two people. I'm not even talking about chat-up lines here. ("I've got a Giant-Size Man-Thing in my pocket...") Anything beyond "Hi" and I'm pretty much at a loss. I suppose I could carry on a conversation in a more informational sense ("Do you know where the Warren Ellis panel is?") but unless I was the one answering questions, it'd sound forced. Because I'd already know the answer to any question like that.
That all being said, I'm not discounting all hope! Stranger things have happened. (Hell, I got married in the first place, and I was sure that was never going to happen!) But the reason I'm bringing all this up, mainly, is to solicit stories from you folks. If you and your significant other met somehow through comics, how did that come about? Are comic books necessarily a part of your continuing relationship? Am I just way over-thinking this whole subject?
Thoughts, stories and anecdotes would be appreciated.