How To Fix San Diego Comic-Con

How To Fix San Diego Comic-Con

No, SDCC isn't really broken, but the giant, sprawling leviathan could use a few patches to make things easier on the hundreds of thousands of dedicated fans who show up.

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from what read in the article and what I heard on the Podcast, it seems that every attempt over the last few years to Improve SDCC has just made things worse. I never been to Comic-con or any convention for that matter, but it seems that they have all the important stuff concentrated on Hall-H. What if they just kinda had all the important stuff sort of spread out maybe?

Logistics. The only place that can hold that number of people without sacrificing space is Hall H. The next biggest room only holds about half the number that Hall H can hold, so it's really the only way to seat that number of people.

Comic Con is a business, it hasn't been about or for the fans in a long time. As long as they keep selling out and making money, there is no incentive to change that.

That's a shame. As much as I would want to see all the stuff in person, i'm not sure the lineups are not worth whatever cool stuff you see.

Point of clarification: Comic-Con is not a business, it's a registered NPO (non-profit organization).

Given that you titled this particular column Social Justice Warrior, I half expected a rant about racism and sexism in Comic-con, which thankfully no one seems to be talking about as I am taking that to mean people had less to complain about this time around.

On the other hand, I kinda zoned out for a while, as I've never been to comic con and so I have absolutely no frame of reference concerning logistics for them to run this event.

I have to give props to the mega fans that will wait overnight to see some footage that will eventually be released to the public, or will basically be shown once the movie comes out. I'm not making fun of them, but that's just something I would never do. For all these big events, I would rather hear about the big companies information from the press, because then I didn't spend time and money to either not see it and hear about it from the press. If I go to a convention, it would be a smaller one, and I would go to see things from smaller companies and you tube personalities, such as Jesse Cox and Angry Joe. Hopefully things do improve, because for those who love this kind of thing, the less the hassle the better the experience.

Blaine Houle:
The article made some good points but one of critical initial lines pissed me the hell off.

"I'm not going to pretend that SDCC isn't one of the greatest experiences you can have as a fan and as a geek. And trust me, it's even better when you're there as press"

Go to hell. The author here is one of those entitled twits who most likely gets their ticket paid for, their airfare and rooms paid for by their companies, don't have to fight to get in the door, and have special privileged access to everything thanks to that accursed press pass. So the author can go to hell.

Honestly, they need to just ban the press from EVERYTHING at the big cons. Just keep them the hell out. It is supposed to be an event that is for the fans and if 15,000 tickets are consumed by professionals and the press... and there can't be 5000 dealers and professionals there, then that means there is way too many 'privileged' spots taken up. Cut the press out and make more room for the actual fans to go or make them fight for tickets like the rest of the fans trying to get in.

Oh, IGN or the Escapist or Polaris or some other agency couldn't get in the door? Oooops, oh well... we don't get to have pretentious articles on every little tiny bit of minutia that gets chucked out, often shown exclusively for only the convention goers. I can live without endless tags of 'SDCC 2014' news posts and worthless blurbs on youtube of some overly excited 'reporter' talking about how incredible something is while poorly describing it or posting a very pathetic video with the promise that they will like the full video as soon as the studio bothers to do so.

All the while enjoying their paid trip, the parties that being part of the privileged press pass group can get into, and just having a good old time doing what ever they want, guarantee access to all the best presentations, and then can go goof off and just wander about pretending to work... I mean, going to the dealers halls looking for toys and autographs.

In short, how to fix Comic Con? Get rid of the press pass entirely. Make them have to fight to get in like the rest.

Wow... Jump to conclusions much. Jaded a little methinks. Read the whole article.

WWmelb:

Blaine Houle:
The article made some good points but one of critical initial lines pissed me the hell off.

"I'm not going to pretend that SDCC isn't one of the greatest experiences you can have as a fan and as a geek. And trust me, it's even better when you're there as press"

Go to hell. The author here is one of those entitled twits who most likely gets their ticket paid for, their airfare and rooms paid for by their companies, don't have to fight to get in the door, and have special privileged access to everything thanks to that accursed press pass. So the author can go to hell.

Honestly, they need to just ban the press from EVERYTHING at the big cons. Just keep them the hell out. It is supposed to be an event that is for the fans and if 15,000 tickets are consumed by professionals and the press... and there can't be 5000 dealers and professionals there, then that means there is way too many 'privileged' spots taken up. Cut the press out and make more room for the actual fans to go or make them fight for tickets like the rest of the fans trying to get in.

Oh, IGN or the Escapist or Polaris or some other agency couldn't get in the door? Oooops, oh well... we don't get to have pretentious articles on every little tiny bit of minutia that gets chucked out, often shown exclusively for only the convention goers. I can live without endless tags of 'SDCC 2014' news posts and worthless blurbs on youtube of some overly excited 'reporter' talking about how incredible something is while poorly describing it or posting a very pathetic video with the promise that they will like the full video as soon as the studio bothers to do so.

All the while enjoying their paid trip, the parties that being part of the privileged press pass group can get into, and just having a good old time doing what ever they want, guarantee access to all the best presentations, and then can go goof off and just wander about pretending to work... I mean, going to the dealers halls looking for toys and autographs.

In short, how to fix Comic Con? Get rid of the press pass entirely. Make them have to fight to get in like the rest.

Wow... Jump to conclusions much. Jaded a little methinks. Read the whole article.

Yeah. I am jaded. I am tired of pretentious rejects who claim to be media talking about how utterly wonderful it is, why they need to stop doing anything useful what so ever prior to the convention, tweeting endlessly on social media about how much fun they are having that sound pretty much like this... 'sorry peons, I am having such a good time, you enjoying my blog, twitter, facebook, instragram, and tumbler posts on everything I am doing?' Oh, lets not forget posts about how tired these so called reporters are after staying up soooooo late partying and got in way after midnight. 'Oh, it is so exhausting but great, I wish you were all here, really I do. Honest. It's more amazing than words.'

And then these media darlings get to come home, whine about picking up the con flu, how they are so utterly tired and thus need at least a week or more to recover... in the mean time, here is some smattering garbage they managed to catch on their grainy as hell smart phone that is out of focus and the audio quality is right in the gutter. But don't worry, they are there to tell you everything you can't see and explain how incredible it is.

This will proceed for a few weeks till they finally are done using up their filler and can actually return to doing something actually interesting or not convention related. But then... looming on the horizon is the next big super convention for geeky kind that they got to get all prepared for and do it all over again. Again, paid for by their company so they get another 'working vacation.'

Meanwhile, if a fan was to try to do what they get to do... three to five major conventions spread across the country at the very least, they are looking at thousands and thousands of dollars out of their own pocket, spent vacation days they may or may not actually have, and all after hoping they managed to actually get a badge/ticket to get in the door. Meanwhile, these t-shirt bedecked 'new media professional reporters' move from event to event, con to con, pretty much acting like a con goer but with a special badge that lets them in where ever they want. What ever.

Yes... the article had good points that could make things better for the regular convention goer but hell, there is only one real entry in there that addresses the fact that there is an overly privileged class of goof offs that get paid to go to a convention and eats up seats that could be given to actual fans who paid their own money to be there.

Personally, I've been to the NYCC twice, and only because it was coupled with the NYAF, and I can't recommend it. Putting aside the fact that anime stuff was essentially pushed to the side, which I expected, the NYCC and the SDCC both prove that you cannot have a worthwhile convention with so many people. I think the only way to "fix" it would be to cap it far below capacity- I would say to something around 70-80k for both SD and NYCCs and severely limit the number of press/industry passes, or eliminate them altogether. Even then I think it's pushing it a bit, but you wouldn't have quite as many problems with massive lines. After you cap it, just do a lottery. Maybe up the ticket price a bit to make up the money a bit.

Conventions tend to be a whole lot more fun when they're medium sized- big enough to attract some really big events, guests, and exhibitors, but not so big that you can barely move during peak hours and have to wait two hours in line for smaller events and screenings. It's gotten to the point that even if someone paid for my plane ticket, badge, and hotel, I would still probably turn it down. I guess it just doesn't seem as magical when you've frankly had better experiences at smaller conventions.

Blaine Houle:
Condensed

3) Ban the press from Hall H. Yes, that includes me.

I think he covered that pretty concisely, and considering he pretty much agrees with you, i find your tone in response to this article strange.

Also, you complain about people like the escapist getting a free pass to all areas, however

Yes, those of us from The Escapist who attended Comic-Con had to wait in this line to get into Hall H, but I'm not complaining for myself. I was paid to be there, and while the process was frustrating, I at least had the benefit of not having gone broke to attend Comic-Con. It's the actual civilian fans who got most screwed, and who have been for years. So how do we fix it?

Guys and Ladies from small publications (yes in the grand scheme The Escapist is small) have to work pretty damn hard at these events, and they aren't posting info from all the things they see their to gloat and rub your face in it, they are doing it because reporting on things like this is their job.

I know i sure as shit wouldn't line up for 14 hours to get in a big sweaty room even if i was being paid. So hats off to the journo's from places like here that put themselves through that crap to give us plebs, especially those ones like myself who are not from the USA, a glimpse inside these events.

Blaine Houle:
snip

Banning press from any kind of event is ludicrous, and I shouldn't have to explain why. Even if press were banned, then they would just do the exact same thing with a regular attendee pass, so it wouldn't even make a difference. Also, complaining that someone gets a free trip to a convention to do their job is kinda ridiculous too. They're still doing their job; they're not just dicking around doing whatever they want the entire time. And according to the article, press had to wait in giant lines to gain access to events just like other attendees. Hell, I'd say that it's worse to attend a convention as press because you can't just spend your time however you want and have to work while you're there.

Blaine Houle:

WWmelb:

Blaine Houle:
The article made some good points but one of critical initial lines pissed me the hell off.

"I'm not going to pretend that SDCC isn't one of the greatest experiences you can have as a fan and as a geek. And trust me, it's even better when you're there as press"

Go to hell. The author here is one of those entitled twits who most likely gets their ticket paid for, their airfare and rooms paid for by their companies, don't have to fight to get in the door, and have special privileged access to everything thanks to that accursed press pass. So the author can go to hell.

Honestly, they need to just ban the press from EVERYTHING at the big cons. Just keep them the hell out. It is supposed to be an event that is for the fans and if 15,000 tickets are consumed by professionals and the press... and there can't be 5000 dealers and professionals there, then that means there is way too many 'privileged' spots taken up. Cut the press out and make more room for the actual fans to go or make them fight for tickets like the rest of the fans trying to get in.

Oh, IGN or the Escapist or Polaris or some other agency couldn't get in the door? Oooops, oh well... we don't get to have pretentious articles on every little tiny bit of minutia that gets chucked out, often shown exclusively for only the convention goers. I can live without endless tags of 'SDCC 2014' news posts and worthless blurbs on youtube of some overly excited 'reporter' talking about how incredible something is while poorly describing it or posting a very pathetic video with the promise that they will like the full video as soon as the studio bothers to do so.

All the while enjoying their paid trip, the parties that being part of the privileged press pass group can get into, and just having a good old time doing what ever they want, guarantee access to all the best presentations, and then can go goof off and just wander about pretending to work... I mean, going to the dealers halls looking for toys and autographs.

In short, how to fix Comic Con? Get rid of the press pass entirely. Make them have to fight to get in like the rest.

Wow... Jump to conclusions much. Jaded a little methinks. Read the whole article.

Yeah. I am jaded. I am tired of pretentious rejects who claim to be media talking about how utterly wonderful it is, why they need to stop doing anything useful what so ever prior to the convention, tweeting endlessly on social media about how much fun they are having that sound pretty much like this... 'sorry peons, I am having such a good time, you enjoying my blog, twitter, facebook, instragram, and tumbler posts on everything I am doing?' Oh, lets not forget posts about how tired these so called reporters are after staying up soooooo late partying and got in way after midnight. 'Oh, it is so exhausting but great, I wish you were all here, really I do. Honest. It's more amazing than words.'

And then these media darlings get to come home, whine about picking up the con flu, how they are so utterly tired and thus need at least a week or more to recover... in the mean time, here is some smattering garbage they managed to catch on their grainy as hell smart phone that is out of focus and the audio quality is right in the gutter. But don't worry, they are there to tell you everything you can't see and explain how incredible it is.

This will proceed for a few weeks till they finally are done using up their filler and can actually return to doing something actually interesting or not convention related. But then... looming on the horizon is the next big super convention for geeky kind that they got to get all prepared for and do it all over again. Again, paid for by their company so they get another 'working vacation.'

Meanwhile, if a fan was to try to do what they get to do... three to five major conventions spread across the country at the very least, they are looking at thousands and thousands of dollars out of their own pocket, spent vacation days they may or may not actually have, and all after hoping they managed to actually get a badge/ticket to get in the door. Meanwhile, these t-shirt bedecked 'new media professional reporters' move from event to event, con to con, pretty much acting like a con goer but with a special badge that lets them in where ever they want. What ever.

Yes... the article had good points that could make things better for the regular convention goer but hell, there is only one real entry in there that addresses the fact that there is an overly privileged class of goof offs that get paid to go to a convention and eats up seats that could be given to actual fans who paid their own money to be there.

Dude: my point is that I have it good, and despite having it good, I think the fans are getting screwed. Essentially making it clear this post wasn't anything to do with my own personal grievances. So I suggested a bunch of ways to improve things for them at this specific convention. I even suggested making it harder for journalists like me! Since unlike me, fans do this without getting paid or put up at someone else's expense.

 

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