Monday, July 26, 2010

There And Back Again: A SDCC Journey

Five days, a huge stack of comics, and a hundred fifty bucks later, I'm back to tell the tale of the San Diego Comic Con. They say that pictures are worth a thousand words, so just check out my haul:

Like most years it was overly big, overly crowded, and overly exhausting, but man was it good time. From the random celebrity sightings (Nathan Fillion! Joel Mchale! Graboski from LOST! Sean Patrick Flannery!) to the offsite shenanigans (Tron, Machete, Jackass 3d, Scott Pilgrim, take your pick), this year's Con was chock full of goodness for everyone. If you have any geek inclination, there's something there for you.

That said, I'm no stranger to the event, so I could tell that things felt a bit different this year. I don't want to go off on a rant about how Hollywood is ruining the con, but it's certainly changing things and not necessarily for the better. It's not just the influx of new fans or LA douches that just want to be seen; no, it's more how separated the Hollywood celebs are and the growing seperation of fan and celeb at this traditionally level event.

This notion really took hold when I was gathered around the Warner's booth to get a glimpse of the guys from Supernatural (shut up, it's an awesome show. Plus the GirlFriend wanted pics). Warner, along with a few other booths like CBS, built in a VIP section on their booth so the celebs could walk around unfettered by the teeming mob below who were just aching for a glance from these elites. It felt... I dunno, very Hollywood to be treated like a lesser person because I wasn't on a list or something.

I had similar occurrences at the Jackass 3D and the SyFy party. At Jackass 3D, the only reason I got in is because I knew someone with a clipboard. Meanwhile the SyFy party had a red carpet facsimile leading to it so the fans could cheer on their favorites, while their favorites got their drink on away from all them nerds.

That's not to say that there hasn't been parties like that in the past at Comic Con; But I hazard to guess that ten years ago those comic parties didn't have legions of security guards keeping out the fans.

It's become a weird event, The San Diego Comic Con. I've decided there are two ways to experience it. You either A- Stand in line for panels and get into maybe half of the ones you want to see, but make connections with your fellow geeks in line (I know I did in the one line I stood in) and get to see all the cool stuff; or B- Traverse the floor, experiencing the lifeblood of the con, spending lots of cash, and experiencing the insanity that is 140,000 people. While each way is ultimately satisfying, it's a choice that you didn't used to have to make while going to the Con. Personally I like a little bit of both, but I'm not about to sacrifice half my day at the place just to stand in line.

In the end, I really did have a great time and I can't wait to go next year. Even though next year will probably be even more stratified than this one. The only thing I hope is that the San Diego Comic Con stays in San Diego where it belongs.

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