The Value in Comic Con's Decline
I live in San Diego. Getting to Comic Con, and arranging accomodations is all a non-issue for me.
This is the issue:
Comic Con has sold out beyond the fire-marshall's safety capacity now (in general, 2008 tickets will still be available for a while, I'm sure), and it looks like it is so popular it will continue to do so for the conventions in the near future.
It's so busy, that I'm very serious - you book your hotel reservations a YEAR in advance or you chance not getting a room (by 6 months out, it gets pretty hairy). And I'm talking that hotels out of town, 20-30 minutes drive into to the Con every day are booked up. It is the single, largest draw to San Diego (all at once) for any event, all year - based on our Chamber of Commerce business review reports.
That's all well and good for my hometown's economy, but what about myself who just wants to enjoy a lot of the panels? I got the latest edition of the Comic Con magazine that interviewed one of the fans who started a line for an event at Comic Con the night before!
Let me tell you, I got into Paramount's panel that had Leonard Nimoy and the new guy playing Spock, JJ. Abrams, and by satellite, Harrison Ford, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Shia LeBouf, Karen Allen, and so forth - all live for the Star Trek / Indiana Jones panel.
I did so by cutting the line and faking out a security guard. The shut the doors on a lot of people who spent their day at Comic Con waiting to get into that. I got this cool Indiana Jones poster book for attending. But I didn't know it was going to be that hard to be seated in an event with chairs for possibly several thousand, and I made the most of my opportunity having already gotten down there (to the Con) in the first place.
But I have no desire to hang out all night in line to see Michael Bay and a test shot from Transformers 2 or whatever they might do down there next summer. What about Star Trek, as it should have been mostly filmed by then?
Well, I'll see the whole movie when it comes out. At the Star Wars C3 event, I really loved going to see the movie previewed (before E3 came out) and a lot of it was shown - in film sequence even - put to music very close to John Williams' style. That was awesome! And the forum filled and over-flowed. But I had to wait in line for maybe only an hour or so to get into that and I could go to other events.
As it is, I barely have time to wander the dealer floors at these things and I never feel like I get to stare and gawk at Hasbro's showcases enough.
I just might not bother with the struggle for a while.
That being said, I way take a ride downtown for lunch or dinner each day, to meet as many SSGrs as I can. That's a great part of every con - seeing many of you!
I haven't decided yet, but I know that unless I cheat lines and take advantage of others who have waited patiently for events they arrived at from out of town, hoping to see, I'm not going to get the most out of Comic Con. I don't think I really want to play that way if I know now that I can avoid it.