Another year, another Comic Con. Well, a second year, a second Comic Con. This was only year two for me when it comes to San Diego, but that didn’t stop it from feeling weird that Nick opted out this time. I don’t know how outlets with only one reporter cover this thing – there were two of us there and it was almost impossible to get what we did get, and that wasn’t even everything we wanted.
Yesterday I gave you a Saturday night look at some of the stuff that came from the Con, so if you’re looking for thoughts on the Spider-Man 3 trailer, go here (or here for Dave’s Grindhouse wrap-up). This is just a couple of thoughts about the Con itself, and maybe some advice for attendees:
Don’t pose. I yelled at a Boba Fett on Saturday because as I was hurrying from one interview to another through a crowded passageway he decided to strike a dramatic pose for a guy with a cameraphone. From a purely civil standpoint it’s rude as hell to stop in a busy area and take up double your usual amount of space with a pose; from a humiliation standpoint you’re looking like an even bigger doofus than you did before. Which is impressive.
Don’t bootleg the panels. It’s so uncool that images and video from the Spider-Man 3 panel have already shown up on the web. That kind of stuff will effect Con attendees in the future – getting into Hall H, the biggest room at the place where they hold the major Hollywood panels, is already a pain in the ass. Imagine if they instituted a bag check at the door? The next step after a bag check would, of course, be the end of cool stuff like the Spidey trailer at Con – if the studios think their stuff will be bootlegged right away, they just won’t bring it. Con gives a big buzz boost to films, but I imagine Spider-Man 3 will still get the Con crowd without showing footage. And of course there’s always the “Why would you want to see a shitty bootleg when the real thing will be hitting in weeks” factor anyway.
Institute a tiered press system. This one is for the Con people themselves. This year there was almost a riot when a group of press who had been doing roundtables with the Spider-Man 3 cast found themselves unable to get into the Spidey panel in Hall H. Some people acted like massive babies, but the fact is that they’re right – the press should be able to see the presentations. The problem is that Comic Con gives out press passes like candy, and so press badge holders don’t get a ton of respect from the Con security (we do get a ton of respect from the publicists, though. Con is the one time of the year when an online writer is treated like a king). There should be a tiered press system, which I understand Sundance uses – the higher your tier, the more access you get. Joe Bob Comic Blog wouldn’t get the same access as Coming Soon or IGN or hopefully CHUD – aka the people who are going to be writing about these presentations for the widest audiences.
I give up on newsing the Con. There are people in Hall H who sit there all day and liveblog the panels. For me it creates a situation where there’s no point in trying to get the news out there – since I’m so busy at the Con I won’t be able to write about any stuff until well after it’s hit the net. What makes me feel weird is the knowledge that there are people spending their weekend not at Con but rather at home frantically refreshing the liveblogger’s content.
Say hello to me. I had a couple of people stop me at the Con to say hi. If you see me, feel free to stop and say hello, unless you hate me, in which case continue on your merry way. One guy said hello to me as he walked past quickly, so I didn’t get a chance to say hi back, but it’s always nice to meet the people who are reading this stuff. If you see Dave Davis, feel free to offer him a sensual massage.
Get there early. I won’t lie – I love blowing past the long lines of people when I check in and get my press pass. But I can only imagine what a bitch it must be to stand in an impossibly long line in the summer heat, waiting to get in and be smushed in with 130,000 people. The lines are long all day, but it’s worth it to get to the Con pretty early to get your badge and all that. This also applies to seeing things in Hall H – plenty of people camp out there all day, and many people get into the hall hours in advance of a good presentation. Be aware that if you show up ten minutes before the scheduled time you may not get in – and that’s a room with 6000 seats.
Figure out your future. Again, this is for the Comic Con people. The Con seems to be at a really interesting crossroads – it’s outgrowing even the Convention Center, and the Hollywood aspect threatens to dwarf the comic stuff. While I was walking on the floor today with Daniel Robert Epstein of Suicide Girls and Newsarama, he sadly noted that the crowd thinned out when you left the Hollywood/video game/toy booths and came to the pure comic book section. This year Universal brought Accepted, a college comedy that doesn’t fit into Comic Con’s usual line-up except that it appeals to men 13-34. And by the way, this year the female contingent seemed very strong, so is it possible that we’ll be seeing non-genre girl films at a future Con? It’s plausible, I think.