If you’ve never heard the term “Con Crud” before this post, I shall educate you. If you’ve never experienced Con Crud, I shall envy you, because I am currently deep in its throes and very thankful we don’t have to produce a comic this week.

The easiest way to avoid ever experiencing Con Crud is to never attend a comic convention, something I believe was actually true for several of you last time I asked about such things. Of course, if you have the time and money and aren’t afraid of a crowd, I still do highly recommend the convention experience, but there’s no denying the danger any time you get a whole bunch of people together from all over the place. Family get-togethers for holidays are prime breeding grounds for disease, and that’s usually not more than a few dozen folks. A successful convention means jostling around with hundreds if not thousands of strangers.

And then there’s San Diego Comic Con, which we just got back from. “Successful” is not the right word. “Nerdi Gras”, perhaps. “Conageddon”. I’d say getting out of SDCC without any sort of communicable illness hitching a ride is a matter not only of prevention but just plain luck. My dice came up short this time, no matter how many paper towels I used to open the doors of public restrooms (and I did use plenty). You will touch and be touched, multiple times. You will be jostled. In the case of some people, you will be deliberately groped, and good luck figuring out which one of the throng pressing behind you was responsible.

And yet, people will pay $700 to a scalper on Craigslist they’ve never met, just for a chance to get in those oh-so crowded doors. Don’t get me wrong, I understand. I put up with all of it, every year, because a) we’re lucky enough to be able to get passes, and b) it’s still possible to have quite a bit of fun, no matter what disgruntled veterans might tell you.

But yeah, get over 125,000 people in one spot, from all over the globe, and the bacteria and viruses do have their field day, especially when you consider the exhaustion four or five days of conventioneering wreaks on your immune system. The one sort of good thing about Con Crud is it doesn’t tend to hit fully until you get home, so you still get to enjoy yourself while you’re there… Dawn manages to specialize in getting sick or injured just before a convention, and I know which sort I would prefer. It’s just not much comfort as I curl on the couch with orange juice, soda crackers, and the gentle heat of an L.A. July.

Speaking of which, gonna get back to that now. Hopefully next week I can sneeze up some deeper thoughts instead of just congestion.