Since 1999 I have attended every SD Comic-Con and for the first time I was unable to bring a guest, specifically my nephew, but more broadly his friends which have become mine as well. Now I did talk to some people and did go one day with a friend, but the “fun” of The Con was not there for me this time by a longshot. I am not alone. Sunday night there was a live radio cast from The Con and one guest noted, “… This year, for better or worse, all the people I talked to, it was all about business.”
Other than my family and friends missing, including Marc Svenson, (comic book historian extraordinaire who I met while on my honeymoon in France), there are other elements gone from my experience this year. For instance…
Costumes – A lot less cos-play, and what ever happened to the once ever present Klingons? All of them either big, fat bearded men or buxom busty women, annoying everyone with their insistence on speaking in Klingon. It’s just not the same without them.
Old guys – Most of the Golden Age artists are now gone and the Silver Age artists are right behind them. These men and women are the foundation of this event. I do not think Comic Con would have come to being (a pop culture event) without their work. Only Star Trek conventions have anywhere near the scope of Comic-Con.
Marc Svenson – Yes, I mentioned him before. You used to see him at EVERY panel setting up cameras then running off to set up or check up others. No chance to talk to him until after 7pm (unless you helped him carry some equipment) , and even then he was off to an after hours panel to set-up and check-up on his cameras.
Food – Yes there is tons of great restaurants, but for me and my friends the favorite is/was The Field. Some misguided chef switched out the traditional mustard sauce with some Thai infusion stuff for the sausage rolls. This is supposed to be Irish Food… sigh. And the service was sub par as well.
Julie Strain – I know, she’s too old now., but where are her replacements? There used to dozens of sponsored bikini models dressed up, promoting their comics.
Tickets – Getting tickets is next to impossible. My first year I walked up without waiting in line and bought a ticket for something like $40.
This was the first Con I went to since 2009 where I could afford to buy stuff again. Of course the one item I saw that I wanted was $100 out of my budget and a limited print. I asked the vendor if there is going to be another print… Nope.
I will say this, being around so many creators, I was inspired to finish my Graphic Novel and to make sure I can afford to get a booth and bring a support staff. I think that way, even if I lose my investment, I know I’ll still have fun.