Prior to 1994, let me tell you what San Diego ComicCon used to be. It was the Mecca for comic book fans from all over the country. If you were serious about collecting Golden Age comics, or buying that hard-to-find issue to complete your collection, or if you were trying to expand your audience for your small press book, or maybe even get a job with one of the big companies, San Diego was your destination spot. It was the place you simply HAD to go to.
And it was big--sure, the biggest comic convention in the country. But understand, it was almost all comics. Of course, whenever there was the rare movie or TV tie-in, you could find those people at ComicCon. Mostly. I mean, sort of. You know, Lou Ferrigno, he was always there, and so were a number of ex-TV and movie super heroes. Just not, you know, the BIG stars, because, well, it's a room full of comic book fans. Who would want to hang out with us?
Oh, the times, how they have changed.
|From Last Year, at the Ape Entertainment Booth. This was|
a Light Traffic Day.
I've been a handful of times since then. The most recent was last year. I do not recognize San Diego ComicCon anymore. What it has become is not the place to network, to build a business relationship, to be a comic collector and wallow in back issues. San Diego has become the reward. The place you go once you've made it. If you're debuting a hot new book, or if you are the next Marvel super hero, or if you are Chris Hardwicke, or Felicia Day, or any of the other Celebrigeeks, then San Diego ComicCon opens up to you like a flower towards the sun.
|Behind the Fake Ginger there. See it? That's a Tuscan Raider|
moving single file to hide his number.
If you've been with the convention since the early days, and already have your booth space claimed, then San Diego is a great, profitable show, one that you can rely on to help you engage with your fans, and sell art, or comics, or whatever it is you are doing as a creative person.
If you're an UberFan, and you like to be the person in your peer group that tweets pictures of Nathan Fillian from seventy yards out, and break news that's flying onto the Internet thirty seven seconds before the rest of the English speaking world gets it, and you don't mind spending literally eight to twelve hours standing in line for that privilege, then San Diego ComicCon is your convention of choice.
|This was a line for a panel. And not the Tru-Blood panel. |
If you wanted to go to that panel, you had to line up the
NIGHT BEFORE and CAMP OUT. I am not kidding.
If you want to be in the same airspace with G4, Entertainment Weekly, and all of the other Faux-Hip magazines, TV shows, Internet channels, and webisodes, you will find no better starfuckers than the people running San Diego ComicCon. That's assuming you can get in. Or get a hotel room. There's now a lottery in place for the latter, and a Byzantine registration system for professionals. Not to mention the fans who just want to buy tickets. There's so many people that want to go, that not everyone can.
I've talked to a number of people, pros and fans, and folks who work in the industry, and whether they are going or not, they have all said the same thing: "it's gotten too big."
|A Hobbit's Eye view of the trolls from the Weta Workshop|
Booth. They weren't selling anything. They were just,
you know, there, because, well, it's cool, and stuff.
I'll get to do that at other shows. And I'll get all of the "hot, breaking news" from SDCC via facebook and twitter, along with the rest of the world. They'll even have the trailers and film clips up on YouTube shortly after each panel. So, aside from hanging out with my friends, I'm not missing anything. Well, I never got to meet Jack Kirby. I'll always be sad about that.