It’s Not You, It’s Me –The Comic-Con Break Up
By RM Peavy
Dear San Diego Comic Con,
We had a lovely, and passionate run. You opened me up to new and awesome things, and as my “Nerd Mecca” I am glad I got to experience you for years. But, I don’t know, I’m different. You are different. You have gotten too big for your britches. I’m working too hard and not getting any satisfaction from you. You are a selfish lover. And if I stay, I may Force Choke you like Anakin does Padme in Revenge of the Sith.
I’m skipping you this year as an attendee. It seems to be the consensus that most “regular” attendees are only going if there is work in you- as media or professionals, and this year that’s me.
But as an attendee, the magic is gone, darling. You can’t just call your patronus anymore and think everything is ok. You are just too big for your britches, and I am quitting this relationship. I am happy for you, I truly am. It’s great that you are so popular and everyone comes to see you. And for the overall cause of Geekdom we are going to inherit the earth. But I can’t do it with you anymore.
8 Reasons Why I am Breaking Up With You As An Attendee:
1. Hall H Line: The lines are crazy, and it has become the norm to camp out overnight outside the convention center in order to get a seat in a hall. The day gets wasted. We camped out for Hall H 2 years ago at 5am out in the cold. I didn’t sign up for the Night’s Watch. Do I look like Jon Snow to you? It was nice conversing with folks but I missed about 4 other panels throughout the day and when we got to the front of the line, at about 3pm (right before our 4pm panel) we were turned away. We didn’t even get to go in.
2. No Room to move on the show floor.
I can’t even move, much less see anything in a booth. This never used to bother me, but it seems to be getting worse. I’m not very tall, and smelling Nerd-Pit isn’t really my idea of fun anymore. I do have a zombie survival plan, but I’m no Daryl Dixon.
3. I’m over Wetzel Pretzel Dogs and prepackaged salads.
I brought lunch a few years, and this is trivial, but I want to tell you everything. Lembas Bread isn’t enough. I need sustenance where I don’t have to go on Bilbo’s Quest to the Gaslamp Quarter to get. The nachos will always be good. Steamy, lovely, cheesy, nachos.
4. Purchasing badges: Every year, it feels like the Hunger Games and the odds never seem to be in my favor. We have been together for at least ten years now, and every year it gets worse and worse. There are virtual waiting rooms, crashing sites, lottery systems, a line to get in a line, and half of you was wasted so I could maybe get a ticket for the next year to see you. No thank you. You should be making it easier for me. Have you ever thought about ME? There is no more advance purchase for next year for those already attending. I used to be able to walk up on Friday and purchase next year’s ticket, and now I don’t even know what building it is to register. It’s like I don’t even know you.
5. Getting a hotel room.
Is almost as annoying as purchasing a badge, and it’s an upwards of 200 dollars a night. If you don’t get in that lottery system or registration time, then you have to get a hotel room in Solana Beach, which is dumb because I live in San Diego. Also, you stagger everything, so starting in January (6 months before) I am constantly in anxiety trying to figure out if I am going to a convention in my own city. I suppose I can just travel and go home, but the parking is atrocious.
6. Panels seem to be getting shorter and shorter.
The panels we wait for hours on end to attend last about 30 minutes, and that’s just not long enough for an 8-hour wait.
7. There are other places I can go to see a majority of the stuff throuought the year.
Yep, I have found other conventions, and events where I can get the same satisfaction. I don’t have to stand in long lines, and I can still enjoy everything nicely. I would rather drive to LA for an hour long book signing, or go to Paley Fest or WonderCon or Stan Lee’s Comikaze and just enjoy myself without the crowds. Also, outside of the Convention Center there are things like Nerd HQ and WootStock and Geek & Sundry and Nerdist Industries. Yeah, I’ve been cheating on you already. It’s been wonderful.
8. You’re Too Spendy.
An average attendee spends about 2000.00 for their stay at Comic Con. Could be more or less if they share a room, a ride and depends on what they buy. There are other fans that can tell you how cheap they do it, but I don’t care about them right now. I am trying to make a point so stop interrupting me.
I can go to Paley Fest, see a two hour Lost Reunion Panel, and hotel room for about 300 dollars total. I know, it’s not the same thing, but the sooner I leave you, the sooner I will have more money.
It’s over. It was over 2 years ago, when I had to watch Chris Hardwick on a big screen in some random hall introduce Pacific Rim, and not in real life. It was over when I missed Damon Lindelof mediate the Phineas and Ferb Panel because I was sitting in line for 8 hours.
I loved seeing old friends, and being with fellow geeks and nerds as we made our way through the halls and witness reveals, previews, new art etc. You are a hodge-podge of everything I can think of. I just loved being with my kind of people, and everyone is so passionate and fun. To see celebrities and people I admire geek out about the same things is one of my favorite things when I attended you.
It’s actually freeing to not worry about you, and to not have the angst of wondering if I am going to see you. I know I am not, and that’s ok with me.
But, we are done. In the words of the Gatsby of Nerds, Zachary Levi, in First Date Broadway: Goodbye, hit the road, find some other chump that you can fleece…
Share and add us on
FB – https://www.facebook.com/EpicGeekdom
Google+ = https://plus.google.com/communities/102191452944358349371
Twitter – @EpicGeekdom
” I’m skipping you this year as an attendee. It seems to be the consensus that most “regular” attendees are only going if there is work in you- as media or professionals…”
Woah woah woah, speak for yourself.
The Panel Complain are true. But the rest is just whining. WAAAAAA!!!! ITS TOO POPULAR. BY HIPSTER.
…says the hipster.
Please, some of us have been attending for YEARS as either a regular attendee or a professional. I’ve been both. I’m still Pro. I didn’t go last year in favor of riding my new Xootr scooter around OUTSIDE SDCC. I don’t want to see the crowds, and it’s far departed from the comics. It’s all mainstream mishmash, and there are far better experiences out there. Even if I do get in for free, I don’t want to go anymore. It’s too crowded and too frustrating. It’s not fun anymore, and that’s fine. There’s still WonderCon (operated by the same people) and a bunch of other cons throughout the years.
SDCC is just not a rite of passage anymore.
I swear, People that plan well have not had an issue. This sounds like a butthurt person that can’t buy tickets on time anymore. Bye Bye!
Boo hoo, don’t go! Your complaints are invalid, just know how to work the systems and you are golden .
I beg to differ. His complaints are certainly valid. SDCC used to be my big ticket convention, and I worked all the systems to get what I needed. Avoided the SDCC sponsored hotels, booked early, got a Trolley multi-day pass to avoid parking OR bought parking permits ahead of time. Flew down if I could, or just carpooled with people in exchange for gas money or food money. Bought lunches away from the convention center, at Ralph’s or something else. A decade of SDCC teaches you to work the system, or you lose.
But, he’s right too. Hall H is a joke. No one should have to waste their convention standing in a line. Might as well be the Line Ride on South Park. I should get my picture taken at the end. Picture of disappointment. It is far too crowded in the Exhibit Hall. Aside from the far ends, which loosely adhere to still being about comics, the whole middle is a forest of immovable people, slowly drudging along like the sheeple they are. The halls alone practically don’t afford enough room to stand let alone walk or possibly buy something.
I dunno what the other commenters are on about, ’cause I thought this was spot on.
I would add (being a cosplayer) that people aren’t really interested in cosplay anymore, standing around nerding out and chatting, taking photos, etc. It’s all business and everyone’s got someplace to be.
Plus, 4 days of cement floors wreak havoc on your feet – and there’s noplace to sit because there’s a million people and security yells at you if you try to sit in the hallways – and the hotel is like a mile away with a million people in the way…
Yep. Skipped SDCC last year and will probably skip it this year, and that’s really sad to me, but it’s just not worth it. This is more than some hipster going “now that it’s popular I don’t care anymore” – what you list are real, practical things that are making our experiences less and less enjoyable.
– Why are you complaining about renting a hotel room in San Diego when you LIVE in San Diego? That just seems wasteful.
– “An average attendee spends about 2000.00 for their stay at Comic Con.” Are you kidding me?! That’s just not needed. It’s called budgeting yourself and planning right and in advance. And even when it comes to expenses at the convention itself, you can easily survive all 4 days spending very little money. I went to NYCC all 4 days this past year and I don’t think I spent as much as $300.00 probably WAY less. And that was only on food and merchandise that is actually worth buying.
– If you don’t want to wait 8 hours in line for a panel then DONT GO! And if you do wait 8 hours than that is your own decision and can’t complain about wanting to do so. I stopped caring about going to panels a long time ago. It’s 20 minutes of them interviewing the guests and then 40 minutes of questions from socially awkward and annoying fans.
I think that $2000 counts hotel and airfare.
I keep saying it: DragonCon, GenCon, BlizzardCon, Heroes, etc. These things are your annual rituals. SDCC in turn is Mecca. You go once or twice in a lifetime. I don’t think anybody should get so huffy that they never go if they can handle crowds. But it’s a “sometimes food”, something you do periodically or once every three or four years or once ever, not an annual ritual unless you’re promoting something. I think it’s a lot easier to handle it as a concept that way.
I don’t funamentally disagree with a lot of what the author says so much as I think you could say the same thing without being upset about it and comments like his desire for pre-sales for the next year showcase that he’s NOT fully at peace with what SDCC is, which is something you’re not expected to do every year as a fan. People cycle in and cycle out. That’s how it is. It’s almost part of the odd charm. Stable rituals are for other cons and both have their place and I think it’s ideal if everybody gets to see both types at least once.
I’ve easily racked up $2000 in past years on hotel, parking, food, travel and general mish-mash of goodies. It’s highly possible regardless of being in the city or outside of it. It’s true, there are other conventions. Hell, even ones that actually stick to their foundations of being what they’re supposed to be. It shouldn’t even be a Comic Con anymore, it’s not really about them anymore.
SDCC was a rite of passage. I don’t think it is anymore. Gallifrey One has become my annual ritual for me.
NFL fans hit the same realization ten years ago that SDCC fans are now. I can see the panels on YouTube. Oh, you waited eight hours but you were there when Loki did his little speech? When Nathan Fillion took a call from Joss Whedon? I saw it on YouTube from the comfort of my own home. Thanks to G4, I caught interviews the SDCC people didn’t.
I’m not going to see the Super Bowl live when I can do it from home in high definition. The same can be said for SDCC. I’ll stick to my couch, thanks.
[…] “It’s Not You , It’s Me — the Comic-Con Break Up” — R.M. Peavy at Epic Geekdom explains why a trip to San Diego isn’t in the cards this year. The site may need to find a new masthead image… […]
The comments here seem to come almost exclusively from the kinds of folks I’m least likely to want to see in real life. Enjoy your worm pile, creeps.
Ok, I’ve never done SDCC, but for the past 3 years I had some interest in going, but because of these simple facts, I will never go. Before I get flamed for commenting on a convention that I’ve never been too, just know I’ve been to MANY conventions. Since the early 90s I’ve done Comdex and CES. I’ve done Star Wars and Star Trek conventions. I’ve been to E3 and Tokyo game shows. I’ve also done smaller Comic conventions.
The point is SDCC is getting out of control. If millions of people have 1 minute to buy a ticket online before they are sold out, there is a problem. If they physically don’t have space to fit the attendees, that’s a problem.
The organizers of SDCC need to split it up over several weeks. Each week should feature a different genera. This will spread the attendees over a larger time frame. Instead of having millions of people trample each other over 4 days, they can allow attendees target the genera they really want to see.
If they don’t change, I foresee SDCC becoming “professional/business” only. Basically the elite or those “in the industry” will only be able to attend.
Rusty Shackleford was right, it’s like the NFL. Only the rich and the elite can attend an NFL game. The common man no longer has the means to see these games. Unless of course you are cool with sitting in the nosebleed section with a telescope. I’ll stick to the smaller Comic Cons outside of CA.
You are spot the on correct. Been going to SDCC yearly since the 1980’s and loved it but stopped going several years ago for all your stated reasons. Sure, I have ins, always got a Pro badge, and knew how to work the system, but the pain-in-the-ass parts became too much. Still going to other cons and having fun – just not going to SDCC.
We fly in from North Carolina when we attend the Con. The peripheral stuff is what makes the trip. Visiting friends and walking beaches….trying to summon the bravery to dip more than a toe in the icy Pacific.
The panels seem hopelessly broken. My family and I wasted the better part of a whole day in line and were turned away. I think Dragon Con empties out the room between sessions. I wish SDCC would do the same. I have an issue with someone basically being able to camp out there all day at the expense of other paying attendees.
Walking the convention floor is an activity I have to do in small doses. It definitely has a cow chute vibe to it. If I wanted to slam into that many bodies I’d be in a mosh pit. I realize by my very presence I am part of the problem.
Glad I got to see it at least once, back in 2003 when you could still get into a panel discussion and companies actually tossed out a few freebies that I wanted to keep. We’ll be back once more before the kids graduate from high school, but I have a lot of the same feelings the author harbors.
I agree about getting a hotel room. Whether as an attendee or now as a professional, it is absurd that I cannot book a room when I acquire my ticket to the event. At this point, with professional registration done, I should be able to book a hotel room for an event that I have a ticket to attend. They should update the system to allow confirmed attendees (professional or otherwise) to immediately go to the hotel booking page after confirmation of ticket acquisition. It just makes sense.
I have to wait to find out if I am going to be able to get a room until ???? it is annoying.
I am a super planner nut and it is very annoying, like I won’t buy my plane ticket until after I book my room, because if I don’t get a room .. why would I go?
Your article is a bit disingenuous and misleading as you state you aren’t going as an “attendee”, yet you ARE GOING as PRESS. Which means FREE ADMISION, not as much stress for lines, etc.
You’re a phoney dude.
Press passes don’t let you cut lines. You need a separate pass from the hosting studio specific to the panel for that and it’s pretty much only in Hall H and B20.
I agree otherwise, SDCC gives out press passes like candy and it needs to stop.
I’ve been going for years on FREE ADMISSION. Still doesn’t cover the expense of just going. Hotels, parking, food, all of that is jacked up. Not worth it.
Guys, Guys, I am only going to respond once- to the article because I don’t really have to justify anything I wrote-
Yeah, I don’t have to go as an attendee. I am not. I am not telling anyone else to NOT go, I am saying, I’m no longer going as an attendee. That’s stated pretty well on there. And, I plan, but the way everything is done now, it’s random and even the plannerest of plannertons haven’t been able to get badges this and last year.
I’m not the only person who hasn’t gotten a ticket as an attendee. I am going as a media professional, so not butthurt about it- but lots of people are and rightfully so.
It’s not wasteful to get a hotel room since I live in San Diego, because who wants to drive anywhere when you can just stroll on to your hotel? Especially with the parties & drinking in the evenings.
Also, I love SDCC, it has been a great trip- and I hope everyone gets to go and experience it at least once. I still believe in Comic Con, I just don’t see myself going through the hassle anymore. I had a great run with it, now I will be working within it. Which is why, the title is: It’s Not You, It’s Me.
Oh boo hoo. Can we say “Entitlement Generation?”
What is it with hipster geek-chic poseurs who think that because they wear the nerdy glasses, buy a few official Doctor Who limited edition mugs, and watch “The Big Bang Theory” that somehow they’re real nerds, geeks, or fans? The moment things become inconvenient or… GASP!… too popular, they’re out like they were on fire.
Hey, here’s a hint: it takes more than a blog and a passing knowledge of Sandman to qualify you as a real fan. So if it’s just you and not Comic Con, keep it to yourself. this self-serving, self-righteous bitching and moaning was old three words into the article. If you’re such a fan, found your own con and enjoy the quiet, cozy atmosphere with fellow fans… unless, of course, it was never about that for you.
STOP policing nerds. Feeling superior and practicing elitism is exactly what the cool kids do. I love a lot of things that fall under the nerd umbrella but I don’t have an obsessive brain. I don’t memorize every detail of Nathan Dillion’s imdb page or write fan fiction but that does not make me less of a fan of Firefly. Society is full of consumers and they are going to buy things, this does not make people pseudo fans because they have a soft kitty tshirt. Judging a person based on your personality quirks as the threshold to be a “real” fan is unfair and douchy.
Hardly as douchey as someone who writes an entire article about how the SDCC sucks and then issues a partial retraction saying, “Oh no! I love it! Go! ”
The current fashion – yes… FASHION – of claiming geekdom is a tiresome one. Fans, geeks, nerds…. those titles are bandied about way too often by people who are emblematic of what they are complaining about!
If these things in general and SDCC in particular weren’t so popular, these poseurs would have nothing to “blog” about. Or they’d be “writing” (I use that term very loosely when referring to bloggers) about the next popular thing and then waving it off when it became too commercialized.
I’m tired of it. Not everyone had to be that frightened geek clutching a Xerox copy of the D&D rules in their hands fearing for their lives on the school bus, but they should genuinely enjoy the medium or media and not try so hard to prove their geek credentials by implying that if it’s too popular, it’s no longer special.
Real fans don’t care what other people think.
If you insist. I’m more than happy not to care about what you think.
Then why did you bother to respond?
Fillion. Auto correct fail*******
I am a 16 year veteran of SDCC. The organizers don’t come out and say it, but there are now two conventions going on. Comic-Con, and Camp Hollywood. For the last two years, it has been much easier to get into “traditional” panels, and I disagree with the floor assessment- it has been no worse than normal, and there are times it is slightly lighter now due to the ticket camp and additional off-site stuff. By locking the Hollywood people up in those epic, snaking camp-lines all over the back of center it frees up the rest of the convention for the rest of us. So you’re pissed you’re in the Hall H line? Guess what, the movie panels were the problem to begin with, and you are sitting in the solution that was designed for the rest of us.
that is an awesome, AWESOME reply man! spot on
You’ve impsresed us all with that posting!
Agreed! 10+ yrs here too – have even taken my kids with me since they were tiny (and never with a stroller!) Haven’t bothered with a Hall H line (or Ballroom 20 or Indigo Ballroom, etc) line in ages and I have a blast every year. The exhibit floor is just as crowded as it was over a decade ago (I actually have a photo from the cafe wndows upstairs to prove how packed it was then) and the small panels are still great and easy enough to get into without lining up for hours. I would say anything off-site and anything outside the convention center is way more of a complete PITA though since folks without badges linger in all the walk areas hoping for pix or free stuff preventing me from getting from point a to b efficiently, and I end up hanging out at the hotel rather than going into downtown for off-site experiences. It is still my favorite summer geekaway though! Smaller cons are fun and fine, but SDCC is still my favorite.
As a fellow San Diegian I feel your pain brother. About 4 years ago I saw the writing on the wall and quickly used my geek connection to land a spot as a staffer. Its now the *only* reason I am staying with SDDC is because, well I am working for her. :/ You will be missed brother, but I understand this is for the best. *salute*
If the Comic-Con gods are smiling this year will be my 29th visit to SDCC. As a long-time attendee who has supported the con through thick and thin, good and bad I feel kicked to the curb. I wish my loyalty was rewarded and my love for all things Comic-Con was returned. I haven’t given up on Comic-Con but I believe they have given-up on me.
When I was younger I always wanted to go to SDCC, but every year it got more expensive and I knew after tickets/passes, room and board and transportation I wouldn’t have enough left to buy anything cool let alone several cool things.
I would end up seeing the density of the crowds getting worse and worse over the years, and each year I ended up happy I didn’t go. Then I would see coverage of crap that didn’t honestly belong at a CBC, like a “Lost” panel. WTF?!? I couldn’t care less about the show, but it was somehow booked into the convention.
Now I’m making more than enough money to attend and even bring along my son, but I won’t. Time is too precious. I’m not going to waste it standing in lines to stand in other lines while missing epic quantities of the things I do want to see. Common sense just won’t let me do it.
Common sense SHOULD be keeping all the attendees from dealing with that ridiculousness, but you know what they say about common sense …
Many reasons why I prefer smaller, more intimate comic cons like the Asbury Park Comic Con in New Jersey.
As a long-time SDCC-goer (1995,1998,2002-2013) I’m in the same boat as the author. It’s not like there aren’t enough conventions now for the younger Anime crowd (ALA, Anime Conji, WonderCon, Anime Expo, Comikaze, PMX – and a whole host of even smaller cons then those) especially when they got pushed out in favor of the Hollywood crowd. I know more locals who used to buy badges to the con now “ghosting” the con outside in downtown.
Cosplayers used to hang out in the outer halls of Ballroom 20 and the Sail Pavilion – but when the con got too big and started shoving them out (quite literally), they started holding their group gatherings off-site in the areas nearby. Soon, I think most of the Cosplayers will be “ghosting” the con too – and part of the attraction of SDCC *is* the cosplayers. Jessica Nigri got her big start at SDCC when people found photos of her from the con and saw her name on her SDCC badge. So as a Cosplay Photographer who started at SDCC, it’s sad to see this element starting to fade from the con itself.
Really, the only panels I go to now at SDCC is the Blizzard Entertainment and Capcom panels. That’s a far cry from the early 2000’s where there were 2-3 major anime panels a day and they were packed. Now it’s down to just Viz and Funimation, and they don’t really do much anymore – and nearly all the manga publishers are gone as well. But that’s the sign of the times – things come and go.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll be attending SDCC myself, but I’m thinking that will happen sooner rather then later.
Also, just tossing the idea out there — of splitting the con into segments. Putting the Hollywood aspects in PETCO Park and using that 20,000 seating bowl to good use, keeping the comics at the convention center, move anime into it’s own hotel (ALA-style “party” con), move gaming over to Gam3rcon, and whatever else can stay at the convention center and rotate shuttles around the different venues. And of course, because the only incentive would be the money-aspect – you can charge different prices for different parts of the con. Gam3rcon already charges it’s own admission, so it’d be paying for the admission to the things you want to see and not paying for the rest. And with Hollywood moving to the ballpark, you can free up Hall H for more exhibit space for those booths that have been in the waiting list for 3 years and counting. TBH – I would be sad to see this happen, but at this point, it might have to be done.
I’ve been going to Comic-con for years and have enjoyed myself almost every year. The one time I didn’t it was because of personal things I had going on. Does everything go perfectly. No but it’s not so bad I can’t enjoy myself. Hall H is a choice. It’s full day thing to see the popular Hollywood offerings. Don’t want to waste a day, don’t go. I’ve skipped Hall H for years, no regrets. Con food? I didn’t eat that overpriced junk when the convention didn’t fill half the space. Yes the show room floor is too crowded. Would a big venue fix that, yes temporarily but then more people would attend and eventually you are back to square one. When I first started attending SDCC they had half the space and didn’t use it all. The room had a lot of people but wasn’t crowded. The show’s popularity grew and so did the crowd. They’ve capped the tickets which people complain about, and when everyone decides to hit the sales floor at the same time you are going to have problems with the crowd. For such a big show the crowds get bad but they are handled. Do some of the volunteer go on power trips managing the crowd? Yes they do but I’ve also seen attendees get hot under the collar because they are asked to follow the same rules as everyone else. That’s just a people problem. The prices have gotten higher but that’s hardly solely the conventions fault. Airline tickets are just higher in general. The show is San Diego’s biggest annual event and the Hotels jack up their prices for that weekend because they know they can get away with it.
Sure you can go to others shows but depending on what you are into you are not get the same thing out every show. Small show offer fewer things just because they are smaller. I crack up at the notion that smaller shows offer the same experience just without the crowd. SDCC is the most diverse con I’ve been too. Smaller showed have their own personalities. They can be fun, they can even be your favorite but the aren’t the same experience.
But end the end I find a way to make the best of the show, enjoying as much of it as I can. And I usually do.
I totally agree with Peaves, and I’m confused at the aggressive and angry responses to this perfectly well-reasoned article, which is obviously based on experience. I feel exactly the same about SDCC, there should not be this much stress, spending and general exertion to do something that 10 years ago was easy and awesome. I’m getting too old for this s***.
As a 34 year attendee, i still love the show. 5his year was one of the best ever for me.
The Hall H issue actually has been sorted out; no more camping out and sitting in the Hall all weekend to see a panel on Saturday. They hand out wristbands for each day. Yes, you wait in line to get them, but then you go on about Con until the day of your panel. Yes the floor can be crowded, yes the hotels jack up their prices, but that happens with any popular event.
Who even eats the food in the convention center? The Gaslamp has great places, and there’s so much to do there now, free for everyone, not just attendees.
As far as cosplay, best and most creative year to date. More couples and families doing it together, and it’s awesome. For the first time ever I saw not one, but two people playing Zorg, and spot on. Leon and Matilda, Priss AND Rachel, a slew of Rey, Moana, and Wonder Woman, all a great thing, and all outnumbering HQ.
It’s grown, it’s changed, it’s still awesome. Unfortunately, some people didn’t grow with it, see it for the wonderful thing it still is. I attend smaller cons as well, and love them, but there’s only one SDCC. I’ll be 80, and slowing down floor traffic, my backpack hanging from my walker.
I agree wholeheartedly.
I attended the very first SDCC and watched it grow from orange crates full of comics to a multi-media extravaganza. It became no longer fun, practical or comfortable to attend and I gave up the ghost two years ago as I wrote in my zine Orpheum: http://tinyurl.com/mc9udbb. I am saddened as there are so many memories, but now I think SDCC has crested the wave and thanks to social media there is a new age of smaller more convenient and friendly cons to attend.
This happens to every con that exceeds a certain size, like DragonCon.
Stick to smaller cons. Stop feeding the beast.
We are not going to SD Comic Con anymore. We moved to Seattle last year and discovered the Emerald City Comic con. It reminds me of what SD was 15-20 years ago.
I’ve been going to Comic-Con as a professional about 20 years now. It feels like wasn’t too long ago that I could walk into a Hall H or any panel a few minutes before it started with no problem. I would bring a stack of books with me to a Neil Gaiman reading knowing that I could just walk up to the stage when he finished and he would sign and chat with me for 10 to 15 minutes before we were ushered out for the next panel.
This is why I loved comic-con. My first year I was able to meet and talk with every single living comic book illustrator that I admired as a kid. They were all there. Plus other cool stuff I never imagined existed. This was long before eBay was a thing.
Two or three years ago I asked the manager of the Pan-Am booth why they were at comic-con, their show felt like it was going after a different demographic. Dr Who made sense but Pan-Am? He was very nice and politely explained to me that they would rather be at a different convention, there just isn’t a convention like Comic-Con to get the word out about their show.
This in a nut shell is the problem. I’m not being an elitist or anything but if shows like pan-am are pushing out the individual creators that comic-con was made for then the convention is turning into something else.
I have a ticket to this year’s comic-con, and I would like to go. I still enjoy it but for be it is a question or cost effectiveness. I work really hard for my money and my time is valuable. For me to pay that much money to go to a convention where I can’t go to any of the panels is just not worth it to me.
I’ve been seeing other conventions and they’ve been far more fun and entertaining. I’ve run into a lot of other people who feel the way I do and those conventions have gotten bigger. This, I hope, is the future. Instead of one big convention that no one can get to, lots of local conventions. Creators have more opportunity to get their stuff see by more people. I haven’t decided if I’m going to skip this year but I’m very tempted. But I will definitely be going to WonderCon, Long Beach and APE. See you there.
Having never made it to SDCC due to family commitments we’re planning on being in NY this coming October for the first time in 20 years. Desperately hoping that NYCC is nowhere near as bad as SDCC seems to have become. And by the way did you all see the guys on this week’s ep of Big Bang?
NYCC is less crowded than SDCC, but it’s still going to be packed.
nycc is just as crowded (though the attendee #’s arent as high) and its getting more and more like sdcc every year
Did you all see the guys on Big Bang this week?
Having never made it to SDCC due to family commitments we’re planning on being in NY this coming October for the first time in 20 years. Desperately hoping that NYCC is nowhere near as bad as SDCC seems to have become.
Thanks for this article.
As someone who freaks out with big crowds and already resides in a crowded city (NYC), this con is probably not the best one for me.
I enjoy going to cons where the focus is on the artists and comic books. My favorite con is The Baltimore Comicon, the crowds are really friendly and warm and you get to see the artists supported – meaning the artists are not crammed next to a loud booth at a tiny table. You can actually have a conversation with them. I’ve heard from some cartoonists they enjoy that con as well.
I pray it continues to be artist-centric as it’s one of the most fun to attend.
Great article, my thoughts exactly… I’ve been trying to find a way to talk to my son about not going this year. He’s never gone and I always said I’d take him when he was twelve, and that’s this year and I don’t want to break a promise but I don’t plan on going. I didn’t go last year and probably won’t ever again. I started back when it was held at the old convention center downtown by the jail when I was about his age, Now I’m 41 and I definitely understand change, I mean nothing will ever stay the same, no matter how good it is, but it seems to be the shape of change.
Bigger and Better isn’t always the case..this is “bigger” for sure, but way over the top. And what happened to the comics? Now it’s just media con, that’s fine for plenty of folks but good luck if you’re someone who wants to shop for books or spend time in artists alley. I know a number of people in the industry who won’t attend any anymore, which kills me because a lot of them I met at previous SDCC shows. Some only come if they have a panel and spend most of the time away from the convention…
So I think my excuse for my son will be that I couldn’t get tickets (probably not far from the truth, although I am pre-registered…), and the cost is outrageous (sorry don’t mean to bitch, but I mean, you’re paying to go in and shop!)… anyways Wondercon looks good for my son this year, and maybe Long Beach next year.
Go ahead and call me a hater… I don’t really mind. I felt vindicated when the last time I went down I didn’t find a prominent artist who had been attending for years, illustrating for all the major companies as well as having use of the “big characters” always sharing the same booth with someone else who is also a big presence. His spot had been given to another pro and I didn’t know what happened, maybe he was sick?
Anyways when I got home I dug up his number and gave him a call and he told me that he rejected the invitation and would never go again because it was too damn big now!
I’m sure it’ll be a blast for a ton of people, what really kills me (a bit of added grief) are all of the people I know across the U.S. who want to go “just because”… it’s an event now and they want to be involved, want to say that they went… that they were there.
I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from. I DID take my son to SDCC when he turned 12 in 2012. After years of receiving gifts and swag from my trips, he was anticipating the shining city on the hill. I did my best to manage expectations, having watched the con transform since the mid-90s, but even so, the ratio of logistical hassles, transpo and food issues, and line management to actual fun was…less than ideal. He was not clamoring for a return trip in 2013. And I couldn’t blame him.
I think you’re right on the money with Wonder Con. I’ve had a great, mellow experience there the last few years. Though it is growing…
It’s like I wrote this.
[…] It’s Not You, It’s Me –The Comic-Con Break Up […]
[…] San Diego Comic Con has taken on a life of it’s own beyond what can be controlled… and RM Peavy declares a breakup online. With 8 reasons as to […]
[…] With ticket sales for San Diego starting yesterday, here’s one person’s Good-Bye To All That: It’s Not You, It’s Me – The Comic-Con Break Up. […]
Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to
say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do
so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great post.
What i do not realize is if truth be told how you’re now not actually much more
neatly-appreciated than you might be now. You’re very intelligent.
You know therefore significantly when it comes to this subject, produced me in my
view consider it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be involved except it is one thing to
do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. At all times take care of it up!
I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any
interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.
In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content
as you did, the web will be a lot more useful
than ever before.
It’s hard to find experienced people about this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
Hello! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new
apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through
your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!
Quality posts is the crucial to interest the users to pay a quick visit the site, that’s what this web site is providing.
Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy
reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over
the same topics? Thanks!
Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
your useful information. Thanks for the post.
I’ll certainly comeback.
I completely agree.
I live in San Diego and I can’t even go to MY town’s comic-con.
I use to settle for the outside block parties and side shows like XBOX exhibit but now even those events require a comic-con pass to attend even though their off campus. I have better luck getting Super Bowl tickets. I’ve completely given up on attending locally and will look for a comic-con in another town to attend.
I’m attending this year and it’s redicilous, it’s impossible to go anywhere, everybody bumps Into each other, the security guards, organization is a mess, you have to walk all over the place to get anywhere, food lines are full everywhere, even blocks away. Stay away from SDCC!!! IT’S main stream trash. If you are a gamer line me go to Pax. I’ll say it again this article was in 2014, I looked at the attendance that year, it’s nothing compared to 2016 and 2017, ITS TOO CROWDED
Dude, come to DragonCon. Yeah its across the country in Atlanta and yes its crowded but they treat fans better since its run by fans and not a corporation. I won’t deny it has some hiccups. Hotel rooms are tricky if you want to be in a host hotel, but its Atlanta and it has mass transit so you don’t have to. Costumes are better and some kick ass fan tracks and parties that SDCC doesn’t have a clue on.
Well put,and spot on. I can’t say it better myself.
This is really fascinating, You’re a very skilled blogger.
I’ve joined your rss feed and stay up for in quest of
more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social
Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort to
make a great article… but what can I say… I put things
off a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly