In a just universe, I would at this moment be seated in what these days passes for the more luxurious section of an airliner, en route to San Diego for Comic-Con International. I would also have a bulging pocketload of disposable cash, which by the end of the weekend would be consumed in purchases of graphic novels, t-shirts, a copy of the first issue of The Fantastic Four autographed by Jack Kirby, a whole boxload of indie tabletop RPG manuals, a life-size remote-control Dalek, and at least one ill-advised but memorable hookup with a couple of particularly charming cosplayers. This is not a just universe, however, which means that I’m sitting in the Berkeley hills, sipping my morning coffee in a semi-dressed state while I write up this piece.
On a more somber note, however, in a just universe, there also would not be thousands of dogs lingering in shelters waiting for someone to give them a home. In this universe, there are. And while there seems to be no one striving to rectify my situation, the Helen Woodward Animal Center is using Comic-Con as a way to find homes for some of those dogs.
If you happen to be in the area, on your way to plunder the merch tables and listen to Tatiana Maslany talk about the next season of Orphan Black you can drop by and meet some of the center’s adoptable pets, who will do their own version of cosplay. Friday morning (from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.), the Woodward center will hold what it calls “Paw-Micon” — a miniature version of Comic-Con for animal lovers. It’s true that it won’t have any life-size, remote-control Daleks, but if you decide to adopt one of its adoptable animals, the center will probably be even more rewarding. For one thing, you won’t have to worry quite so much about a rehomed dog exterminating the neighbors.
All joking aside, the Paw-Micon Convention sounds like a wonderful and charming idea. Of course, it probably wouldn’t be a very good idea for someone to adopt a pet and take that animal straight from Paw-Micon to Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center. Coming into a new home is confusing enough without first having to confront a crowd of noisy geeks waving light sabers around. But Comic-Con draws well more than 100,000 people to the area every year, and that makes it an excellent opportunity to promote not only the Woodward center and its work, but the idea that there are lots of dogs out there that need to be rehomed.
To commemorate the event, the Woodward center will dress up its adoptable dogs as canine versions of some of the great geek icons, including Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Wolverine, Gumby, the Punisher, and Sulley (from Monsters Inc.).
This isn’t the first time that the Helen Woodward Animal Center has held Paw-Micon. It has done it alongside the more well-known event since 2012, and it has, understandably, always been a success. No one appreciates costumes like geeks, and costumed animals have an edge on even the most imaginative human cosplayer. The Woodward center will give gift bags to the first humans who show up dressed as a superhero, supervillain, or character from Star Wars, Game of Thrones, or a Pixar/Disney movie.
Whether you’re in San Diego for Comic-Con, or just interested from afar, you can follow #Pawmicon on Twitter to keep track of the happenings.
The Paw-Micon Convention will be held on Friday, July 25, at the Davis House Park at the corner of Fourth and Island between 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
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