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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

deep thought (re Comic Con)

One of these years, I will get to San Diego Comic Con.

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  • nyjm

    Dragon*Con is better: http://www.dragoncon.org/ (Bias alert: I live in Atlanta and attend religiously.) You’d be more likely to meet the personalities than at the industry-run ComicCon. And if you ever come to ATL, I promise to stand in line – for hours, if necessary – to get your autograph!

  • Mo

    …And it had better still be there by the time I finally do! (Durr faddish corporateness gumming it up.)

    I so wish I could see ‘The Pandorica Opens’ up on a big screen with everyone there. *sigh*

  • Lisa

    Me too! It’s only an ocean away!

  • nel

    still kicking myself for not being there to see last year’s Who panel with the Tennant. thank god for the video but it just makes me long to have seen it in person.

  • Vera Cobb

    The first few years I lived in LA, I used to drive down for ComicCon every year. A few years ago I stopped going. The convention has outgrown its space. The fire marshall regularly shuts down the lines, meaning if you didn’t get in early, you’re out of luck. If you leave for lunch, you might not get back in. Getting a hotel room anywhere inside city limits is nearly impossible, etc.

    Most of the panels can be found on YouTube. The industry presentations are usually trailers. It’s very hard to shop when there are so many people you can’t move and the list goes on and on. It’s just become so unpleasant that it’s not worth the exclusives.

    I’m looking forward to next year’s DragonCon. we’ll see if that’s outgrown me also. I haven’t been in a few years. There’s got to be a Con that still gets multiple fandom media guests and remains medium sized. I’m just not sure where it is.

  • Keith

    I used to live in San Diego, back when I went to college. I think I had heard about it, but didn’t have much money then and had no car most of the time I was there, so I didn’t make it there either. I’d love to go, but it is a little far from where I live in Texas. I may try to go to DragonCon, but still working out the details with friends of mine.

    I know some people here to are part of the sci-fi group I’m involved with. They used to live in San Diego too years ago and said they used to volunteer at the San Diego ComicCon. A few people I follow on twitter are going and many of them talked about all the effort they put into finding lodging a few months ago.

    Some of the recent local cons here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area have had trouble with their venues not being large enough for the amount of interest they generate. I can only imagine what it is like with how famous SDCC has become.

  • San Diego ComicCon is the Big One, no doubt, but unless you’re a major insider getting into that con takes a lot of planning and money. Hotels get booked years (!) in advance.

    As a New Yorker there’s got to be a big local one you can attend. ( there looks to be one this October check it out…) Personally I’ve done the Orlando MegaCon, and if you ever need to visit central Florida I can warn you which places to avoid.

    Big tips to attending a convention:
    1) Have a good idea who it is you wanna see among the celebrities and self-published artists.
    2) Budget accordingly if you’re going to shop. Weapons cost at least 50 bucks. Prints and original art by the artists range from $10 and $20 (simple sheets) to $100 (24×40 poster) depending on the size of the artwork. Be wary of the DVDs and fanvids: video quality of the duping is questionable at best.
    3) Walking shoes. Even small comic cons have no chairs or benches for resting. Larger ones (like MegaCon) involve walking an area the size of a football field, and that’s just the vendor/autograph floor!
    4) If you cosplay, figure out the costume contest day (usually Saturday) and get to work. Bonus points if you can actually fit a superheroine outfit. Do note whenever a comic book movie is out a lot of costumers will dress based on that movie (2009 had a slew of Rorshachs and Silk Spectres at MegaCon), so if you wanna be original stick to a recognizable but unfilmed hero/heroine.
    5) Pre-order tickets. You’d be amazed how many people come in on just that day to buy tix at the booth. MegaCon this year had a massive line (about 1,000 people) waiting in line for tickets by 11 am. I pre-ordered for me and two friends and we got to the pre-order booth no line and got the wristbands for entry and boom done and done.
    6) There are events other than the vending floor. There will be discussion groups (How To Get Published type sessions), gaming rooms (Magic, Pokemon, Yugio, et al), anime episode viewings (relax, no hentai!), interviews and chat sessions with stars of recent or to-be-released films, and other. Find something you like to sit in: it helps rest your feet from all the walking.

    Did I miss anything?

  • @nyjm, if you go to DragonCon, do me a favor and swing by Jeannie Breedan’s Devils Panties booth… and if you’re a guy, do it wearing a kilt. You’ll be pleasantly surprised…

  • e

    I went for the first time in 2008, and it really is just too big, we managed to find a hotel room relatively last minute, but it’s still crazy. I enjoyed it for the experience, but without a plan/experience, it’s rough to see the things you want. I would agree that unless you’re part of a panel/etc, it’s less worth it. There’s probably tons of better smaller cons that are also closer.

  • I think I’ve said it before – ComicCon is just not nerdy enough. The big studios have decided it’s where they’re going to roll out their big TV and Film hype, regardless of geeky content (I’m sorry folks, Glee, Burn Notice and It’s Always Sunny.. are not geeky). I’m not even a huge Comics fan, but I’d prefer it go back to being an actual Comic Book convention. Barring that, genre only. Waiting in line for literally hours and then getting seated half a football field away from the stage where you’re merely getting shilled to by a major studio has a tendency to make one feel dirty.

    And while there are non-major-studio-shilling events, the whole place is so crowded it’s impossible to cross a hallway in a decent amount of time. Not to mention the only foodstuffs available being low-tier mall pretzel type things.

    A better convention has a greater costumed nerd to mundane person ratio.

  • Me too!! But, as a comic artist! (Click me link :))

    That’s why I haven’t been around much lately. Running your own site is a shit-ton of work, even in the brand-new stage.

    Though, all your stories make me wary. Perhaps I’ll look into DragonCon instead.

  • Christy

    I recommend Dragon*Con as well. It’s on the east coast, which is always a plus, and it has a more broad geek appeal than GenCon (which I also attend every year).

    I grew up in Atlanta, so Dragon*Con was my first convention. So far, no other convention has measured up. (including MegaCon. Sorry!) It does keep getting bigger every year, but it never seems to lose track of its starting fan base, unlike Comic Con.

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