San Diego Comic Con (SDCC for short) has been the big man on campus when it comes to pop culture conventions. During a long weekend in July we are all treated to the news of upcoming movie, gaming, and (of course) comic books from the creators themselves.
It had its humble beginnings as a gathering of comic book geeks on March 21, 1970 with a whopping 300 attendees, but has since become a behemoth that attracts geeks of all varieties with roughly 135,000 at the con. I have been to this gathering of geek many times over the past decade or so, and have seen this change first-hand like this exponential growth. With this growth many things have changed, and not for the better regarding many aspects of this con.
All these changes with SDCC have really annoyed me to no end! Let’s touch on a few of those, shall we.
Getting a badge used to be an easy process: get up early on badge day, buy your badge (or badges if you could not score the 4 day badge), and log off happy. Once at the convention you would then be able to walk up to a booth in the Sails Pavilion at the San Diego convention center to buy next years badge. Simple, right?
Well, the folks running SDCC decided that it would be great to set up what can best be described as a virtual queue. Get up early, but instead of getting your badge right away, and moving on you are now put into a line (Oh we all love SDCC lines don’t we?). Maybe you might get a badge, or maybe you might get to stay home. It really is luck of the draw, and it annoys the living crap out of me.
Add this to the hell-on-earth, that is getting a hotel room around that time, and you might as well just give up on hoping to go SDCC that year. I mean, come on, your room is going to cost at the least $1155.00 a night for something within walking distance to the convention center (and that is being optimistic). You could Uber in from a cheaper hotel for the bargain price of $422.00 a night.
We all have to wait in lines for one reason or another, so you would think that waiting in lines would be an expectation. I mean, headed to places like Disneyland you are treated to lines of people wanting to see various shows, and attractions.
The lines at SDCC are a special place where you wait hours to get into a panel. In some cases this can lead to the dedicated geek to wait overnight for a panel by sleeping on the side of the convention center under the bright lights provided by the city of San Diego for illumination. Then when the panel you would like to get into starts up you may notice one thing: THE LINE HAS NOT MOVED! The reason for this is they do not empty out the hall after each panel. You can have some smelly bastard sit there all day, and because of them, you would then miss your chance to see the one thing you waited all that time to see!
If that line does not bug you then the line to buy collectibles might. The worst of them is at the Hasbro booth, but this one I can kind of understand. Hasbro does have some awesome figures to buy, however, the line is pure insanity. You have to get in on a random lottery to hopefully get a good spot in line with no guarantee you will be able to buy the goodies you want. Ridiculous wait + no promise of the Star Wars figure I want = 1 annoyed geek.
Costuming (I refuse to use the term cosplay. You did not dream up the back story for the character you are dressed as. Stop it.) is HUGE at SDCC. There are many skilled costumers out there, and they have the chance to show off their finest work during the SDCC fashion show (Masquerade).
At its essence it is fairly innocent: you walk on stage dressed in your costume to show it off to everyone in attendance. Then it takes a turn to annoying when many people have a routine built into showing off their work. Is it really necessary to have a song and dance routine to show off your costume? No, no its not. Walk across, show off, go sit down. It’s that simple. Now go away before I taunt you a second time!
This should be the only time they prance around, but you have many amateur photogs stopping every costumed person while they are walking the show floor (Yes, great. They are dressed as your favorite sci-fi/anime/ fantasy whatever. Take a picture where people are not walking!).
In the end I find SDCC one hell of a time, but plan on being annoyed with a few things that will bug you to the point where you may (or may not) beat your head against the nearest wall.