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Cachoo
06-26-2011, 03:56 AM
I read an article about how this started as a small convention for comic book lovers and has just exploded. I know the event is not until July but has anyone here been to past events or have news of past events? Do most fans come in costume? And I wonder if the "oldtimers" mind how big the convention has become. Are events sold out or are then even set up as events that can sell out? Truthfully I really didn't know much about it and still don't but watched an episode of "Entourage" that was set at Comic-Con and now I'm curious. Your impressions (good or bad.)

Spareoom
06-26-2011, 04:16 AM
I went in '07, because I run a Narnia fan-site, and Disney was going to be presenting a panel on the upcoming Prince Caspian movie that weekend. Other than that, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

It's not for the faint of heart, I will say. It was insanely crazy back then, and I've heard it's only gotten crazier nowadays because Twilight sort of introduced a whole new legion of fans to the convention. You hear about people camping out overnight or multiple nights in order to get into the elusive Hall H panels on Saturday? When I went, I walked in 45 minutes before the first panel started and still got decent seats. Don't think you can do that anymore. :p

Comic-Con is the mecca for the nerdiest nerds and geekiest geeks and the most extreme kind of fans, so you'll definitely see some interesting people. There's always a TON of people in costume; some of them are amazingly well-made and most people are more than happy to pose for photos and whatnot.

It's a sensory over-load and is nearly impossible to see and do everything. That being said, the one year I went I was pretty clueless as to what exactly it entailed, and I still had a great time. I'd go back, but I moved out of state the following year and there's no way I could fork over the money to do it again. Next year ought to be good, what with the Hobbit sure to have a lot of stuff coming out.

I will say, if you are thinking about attending this year, you need to buy your tickets NOW, if they're even still available. Those things sell out maddenly fast.

Angela-Fan
06-26-2011, 04:17 AM
I went to one in NY. I'm not a fan of comic books but fiance is. There was a lot of people dressed in costumes. It was quite a sight lol. I'm not sure about how fast it sells out. You can buy comic books and there regular books as well. I got 2 regular books completely for free. The books had not even been released yet. That was cool. Also, the guy that played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I think his name is James Marsters) was there signing autographs. I almost didn't recognize him lol. I think they also sold video games.There were video games that you could play so you can see if you like it before buying it, like the michael Jackson dancing game for the wii and a final fantasy game but I don't remember what console it was for. It might have been an online game. They also sold video games, old ones that are hard to get. I almost Final Fantasy VII but was :eek: at how much they were charging. I ended up buying a used copy from Amazon. I'd say if you're not a big comic book fan, it is not really all that. I mean, I guess I had fun and I like that I got free books and I wouldn't mind going again if someone else paid for the tickets and the train fare Lol.

reckless
06-26-2011, 04:41 AM
I read an article about how this started as a small convention for comic book lovers and has just exploded. I know the event is not until July but has anyone here been to past events or have news of past events? Do most fans come in costume? And I wonder if the "oldtimers" mind how big the convention has become. Are events sold out or are then even set up as events that can sell out? Truthfully I really didn't know much about it and still don't but watched an episode of "Entourage" that was set at Comic-Con and now I'm curious. Your impressions (good or bad.)

I went with a friend last year We had tickets for two days -- Friday and Saturday -- but only stayed for a few hours on Friday. The convention is far too big for San Diego and it was a nightmare trying to get into anything. Here a few thoughts and examples.

First, for the main convention, there are just tickets to enter. That allows you access to the huge dealer room and to all the panels. There are some satellite movie events and activities that are separately ticketed. The convention tickets should be long gone by now.

Second, the dealers room is pretty overwhelmed by film, TV, and video games. There are definitely cool things to see, but it's very removed from it's comic book roots. We got some decent swag -- some free t-shirts and some other movie-related stuff -- but I've heard that last year's swag wasn't nearly as cool as in previous years. The really disappointing thing was to see a bunch of comic book artists sitting at the edge of the dealer's room, at empty tables. They were almost completely ignored.

Third, the panel events were virtually impossible to get into. There are two large rooms that are used for the big panels. But to get into those rooms, you basically have to get in early and stay there. The one panel we absolutely wanted to attend was the True Blood panel, which was late on Friday (I think around 5 pm). My friend and I decided to go to the dealers room first for a few hours and get into line for that panel around noon. Five hours should have been enough, right? Wrong. At noon, the line for that room (one of the large ones) was wrapped down the length of the convention center, around the outside another length, and then inside. Security would not even let us get into the line because it was so long. (We were told that about half of the line would be able to get into the room, but that was only if the room completely emptied.) We heard stories from other people about getting into line at 7 am for afternoon panels.

Fourth, hotels are ridiculously expensive. The convention books some hotels at reasonable prices, but they fill up very early and the selection process is bizarre. You submit your request, identifying 10 hotels by preference, through a website that goes live a few months before the convention. My request was submitted 8 minutes after the site went live and we got none of the 10 hotels I requested, but were offered a hotel about 20 miles away, which kind of defeated the purpose, imho. I had booked an alternative hotel at inflated rates three months earlier, so we stayed there. When we decided to leave early, they told us we had to pay for the full weekend, but they relented because my company uses that hotel a lot.

I will say that it was fun to hang around the Gaslamp area at night and hit the clubs. There were some great costumes and a lot of spectacle, but it was definitely not an experience I will ever repeat.

MacMadame
06-26-2011, 05:00 AM
I live in SD for 11 years and never once managed to make it to Comic-Con. Now I'm sorry because I missed a great experience. It was small back then and I even happened to know the President personally. I'm still kicking myself for not going at least once.

Kruss
06-26-2011, 05:04 AM
My sister goes every year for her websites (she runs true-blood.net and the chucktv website/podcasts with her business partner), but she's lucky to get credentials. Sometimes she has to wait in lines, but she's always guaranteed getting in to the ones she is covering for her websites. Last year my niece went with her - niece graduated with a BFA in photography, and went as photographer for the websites.

As for people in costume, some celebs have been known to go in costume and the people there had no idea who was behind the masks. :lol:

znachki
06-26-2011, 05:54 AM
Tickets for this years ComicCom have been sold out for months - in fact, I believe they sold out within a few days of going on sale. There have been some interesting articles in the last couple of years about what the event has become, whether it should move out of San Diego.

In fact, many of the big studios are reasessing whether they should come:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/13/business/media/13comic.htm?_r=1

But, as a celebration of all things geek - it can't be beat.

Anita18
06-26-2011, 06:53 AM
I went twice (07 and 08), and I don't think I will go there again, because as it's been mentioned, it's just gotten SO BIG. My first year, tickets sold out a month before. Last year, they sold out in February. This year, you couldn't even get 4-day passes unless you bought them at the previous Con!

My friend went for a few years before I did, and from she's described, more people used to dress up back in the day. :lol: The last year I went, Adam Savage of Mythbusters actually walked the floor dressed as Hellboy and nobody recognized him because the costume was so elaborate. :rofl: He showed us at the Mythbuster's panel, which was one of the most hilarious things I've ever experienced. Oh, and I had to line up for THAT 1.5 hours beforehand and sat through the Kyle XY panel for. :P

As for San Diego being too small for the event...I'm a little afraid of how much bigger it can get! The con floor (where all the booths are) is probably 0.5 mile long as it is, walking back and forth to the different panels is friggin exhausting! And Hall H, the largest panel room, fits 7,000 people IIRC. Which is 5x the size of the college I graduated from. :P It's gotten so crazy that you literally have to sit through a whole days' worth of panels just to see one you want.

You do get to get up close and personal with some pretty cool creators though. I dragged some friends to a special Coraline footage screening, and we were personally acknowledged by Neil Gaiman. :swoon: And we got a signed limited-edition Coraline poster as well. That was probably one of the nicer pieces of swag I've received, aside from the numerous free bags and XXXXL t-shirts. You can also often buy books before they're available to the public. In 08, Tori Amos had a comic book anthology coming out, and SDCC attendees could buy it before it was available to the public. I had NO IDEA that she was going to be there beforehand, but you bet I attended that panel and bought the book and got the artists to sign it. :lol: Oh, and I got Randall Munroe of XKCD (http://xkcd.com/) to draw a small comic for my IT friend. :lol:

But yeah, the larger studios are acknowledging that advertising at Comic Con is just preaching to the choir and that their marketing dollars are better spent elsewhere. Among the movies well-received at Comic Con but flopping at the box office: Snakes on a Plane (my friend reported the panel was standing-room only), Kick-Ass, Tron, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. There'll still be a lot of things for TV shows and video games and such, but I feel that the comic book and camaraderie among creators is being bled out of it. It's all about consuming now, buy buy buy and sell sell sell to the ubergeeks.

I still might go down to San Diego for that weekend, not for the Con (because I obviously couldn't get tickets), but for Trickster (http://trickstertrickster.com/), which is a takeback of what Comic Con was supposed to be, by some pretty famous comic creators. :cool:

Lanie
06-26-2011, 08:40 AM
Some of my friends have gone and another friend was there as she is on the show The Walking Dead. It sounds totally crazy.

Yehudi
06-26-2011, 02:09 PM
I'm going this year with my geek brother and have been reading up on the survival tips. It does sound like a zoo but the "veterans" are also very helpful and are willing to dispense plenty of advice to "newbies". The one thing they keep saying is to plan ahead and make sure you have backup plans. I.e. if it doesn't look like you're going to get into the true blood panel, there are still a bunch of other interesting ones going on. Like last year, it looked like Spartacus (with Lucy Lawless) was being held around the same time as True Blood.

icecat
06-26-2011, 03:01 PM
I used to be one of the organizers of the Chicago Comicon.( yes the spelling is correct) it was the 2nd biggest after SD and we sold it some years back to Wizard Magazine. It was held over July 4th weekend at Rosemont Convention Ctr. Again, it grew exponentially over the years from a small local convention to the Sheraton ( where we had to add a separate tent one year to accommodate IMAGE (almost blew away in a near tornado) To Rosemont. It took a full year to organize ( I managed the office) BUt what a great time.Since the 4th was also my youngest daughter's birthday ( the skater) she has a whole portfolio of comic characters on ice that many of the artists did for her as she was growing up. ( I think my favorite is Vampirella on Ice) All night gaming and anime, awards dinners, portfolio review, all the panels and seminars.One of my favorites, I think was Comicon Late Night: A talk Show format, when we had a ping pong challenge between a local DJ and Walter Koenig ( Chekov from Star Trek). Walter brought his own paddle and used it as a clip board to sign autographs all day. It was a great time when Rich Kos ( Svenghoolie) filmed his TV show on the floor( I still have an autographed rubber chicken) We had to expand the receptions out to the hotels, but they were all great to work with and extremely cooperative. ( big$$$ in that weekend for all of them)
I loved working with the Golden Age artists. That's one thing Wizard lost completely when the bought us out; respect for comic history and original creators. It's all what's hot now with them and though their bankroll has been able to pull some good LA guests, I think it's lost it's soul. I worked SD the year after we sold Comicon ( about '96 I think) and while Faye and committee run a spectacular convention, it was outgrowing the conv. ctr back then.
They were some of the best years I ever spent.

Yehudi
06-26-2011, 03:46 PM
I still might go down to San Diego for that weekend, not for the Con (because I obviously couldn't get tickets), but for Trickster (http://trickstertrickster.com/), which is a takeback of what Comic Con was supposed to be, by some pretty famous comic creators. :cool:

There are a lot of interesting events happening outside of the Con that weekend. I'd love to go to W00tstock but not sure my brother and I can go.

http://sdccblog.com/offsite-events-2011/

AYS
06-26-2011, 03:56 PM
I read an article about how this started as a small convention for comic book lovers and has just exploded. I know the event is not until July but has anyone here been to past events or have news of past events? Do most fans come in costume? And I wonder if the "oldtimers" mind how big the convention has become. Are events sold out or are then even set up as events that can sell out? Truthfully I really didn't know much about it and still don't but watched an episode of "Entourage" that was set at Comic-Con and now I'm curious. Your impressions (good or bad.)
My daughter (will be 17 next month) went to the one in NY last year and has gone to a local one in the Philadelphia region and had a great time at both. She and her friends went in costume and many people were in costume. She is into general cartooning as well as specifically the anime style.

Cachoo
06-27-2011, 04:09 AM
You do get to get up close and personal with some pretty cool creators though. I dragged some friends to a special Coraline footage screening, and we were personally acknowledged by Neil Gaiman. :swoon: And we got a signed limited-edition Coraline poster as well. That was probably one of the nicer pieces of swag I've received, aside from the numerous free bags and XXXXL t-shirts. You can also often buy books before they're available to the public.

I am envious regarding the Coraline footage and Neil Gaiman. I think I would really have to be a huge fan of someone appearing to go and it sure sounds like there needs to be some good (strategic) planning to see who/what you want. Thank you to everyone for their responses. Whether positive or negative the event sounds interesting: I think I would be more of an observer than go in costume and participate--but that is just me. At any rate I am in a situation where I just can't get and up go (family health issues.) Maybe one day...

danceronice
06-27-2011, 03:59 PM
If you have never been to a con, possibly the WORST place to start besides Dragon*Con in Atlanta is SDCC. It has turned into a promo ground for the TV/Movie people and is a massive, overpopulated zoo, so God help you if you're there for books or comics or gaming. Not to mention not a cheap city to visit. The popular panels require camping out. NYC ComiCon is, ironically, a little less jumping off the deep end, for gamers GenCon in Indianapolis is good, there's Origins in Columbus, Chicago usually has good events, especially for anime and I heard is getting the next WorldCon...SDCC is HUUUUUGE.

Costuming, eh, it kind of depends. I would say you'll see the BEST costumers at SDCC, but more general walking-around people at Dragon*Con. And if you want to see a majority of con-goers in costume, that's more common at Steampunk events (but steampunk/Victoriana is more of a lifestyle choice for a lot of us than just a fandom, so some of us wear bits and pieces of our garb in daily life, never mind in groups.)