It felt vaguely "weird," but not the least bit alarming. In fact, it feels a bit exciting too. A thought or two to hold you until my body's had plenty of sleep and recovered from my annual San Diego sinus infection/headache...

If Comic-Con International: San Diego 2007 is any barometer of the industry at large -- sellouts, movie stars and costumes be damned -- I'm not as worried about the state of comics as I have been in the past.

Why? The "Geek Vegas" experience (thank you again Pam Noles) that is Comic-Con is now firmly part of the mainstream and, by default, so is comics. You may find that concept exceptionally hard to swallow, especially if you wear your nerdom proudly like a shield against all that is safe, conventional and predictable.

All those movie studios, filmmakers, T-shirt makers, publishers (of words and words and pictures) actually want and need us! In fact, we may even have some clout if last week's pre-game Comic-Con story in USA Today is to be believed at all. Which means Joe Q. Average isn't laughing about the action figures adorning our desks or wearing the occasional Bat-Buckle (thanks to Callum Campbell, my newest and bestest pal from Down Under, for that contribution) on casual Fridays. And, don't be surprised if your friends ask where they can get some of that geek swag for themselves.

A quote that ought to reassure comics geeks they aren't aliens to the rest of the world comes from Seth Rogen, one of the most famous pop culture icons in America at the moment and a professed comics nerd, again from USA Today: "It's strange to see so many fellow freaks. But when [Comic-Con] gets this big, you have to think, maybe nerd has become normal." So the Spartans of 300 wouldn't have stood a chance against the estimated 125,000 who attended Comic-Con either.

BTW, it's less than a year, and a Batman sequel, away from doing this all over again... In the meantime, check out the senses-shattering conclusion to the Things I Learned at Comic-Con!