Well Comic Con 2017 has come and gone, and it has again been a most exhilarating and positively overwhelming experience. Almost too much. I have to say I think this year is the first year Comic Con seemed like too much of a good thing. Lots of pros, and some glaring cons this year. I’ll put the bad first.
This year Comic Con drew record crowds with way over 130,000 in attendance, and as much as I love my hometown of San Diego, and a historic and beautiful a setting for Comic Con, I just don’t think it can handle the capacity anymore. There was never a time there this year when I didn’t feel like a sardine in can or a salmon swimming up-river. There must have been fire code violations all over the place.I was asked to keep moving and stand up when I got tired and sat down twice by security, and I got knocked down and stepped on a one point. Granted I’m not the largest person, still that is a first for me. The worst part was no one stopped to help! All eyes were on swag and stars. And of those things there were plenty. Also, for the first time ever, I was unable to get in to one of my favorite panels, Starship Smackdown, a bracket contest from a panel of con nerds who pit favorite sci-fi starships against each other for everyone’s pleasure. Never have I seen such a line for something that has historically had a less than full turnout. Quite a disappointment for me, as I greatly enjoy it. Same with the voice actors panel. That was a two hour wait. I used to just be able to walk right in. And never mind trying to see the Justice League panel. You have to wait in line overnight for the grandiose Hall H, which houses the super star panels, nowadays. And who wants to waste all that time in lines at con?
That’s why, after 2020 when San Diego’s contract with Comic Con is up, I think it should move to Anaheim or LA, despite how much it would pain me to lose the hometown credibility of having and starting Comic Con in San Diego, because its just too big, and has to leave the nest. For its own health…and mine apparently!
But on the upside, I did get a first edition copy of a Power Rangers comic signed by my favorite author from Boom! Studios, Michael Alan Nelson. (Check out Boom! here) Yay! I got a comic at Comic Con! I admired all the fancy cosplay
played some FF Dissidia and Mario Odyssey, hit a lot of my favorite booths like Star Wars, Lego, DC, and thanks to Phuong, got to talk to event coordinators at Marvel and Square Enix! However this year’s real winner again was the time I took to look for new and original art and writing in writers and artist alley. That’s where I feel the real magic of Comic Con happens, (except for when Phuong and I happened to be at the Marvel booth at the right time and Michael Rooker, aka Yondu, appeared by surprise and judged the costume contest! You can check out our video of it here! I also met Aaron Douglas AKA Galen Tyrol of Battlestar Galactica at a sidewalk cafe downtown!)
But back to my point, at writer’s and artist alley I got some very interesting art and comics. And that’s the more intimate time at the con that I like: talking to people when you are not swarmed and in a huge line or being rushed. The act of sitting down with an artist or a writer at a table and getting to know them, and feeling the writer and artist in yourself get excited and inspired! I hope Comic Con’s size and popularity doesn’t end up swallowing those moments entirely, and I think by 2020, it may need to move to be able to hold on to itself. But despite being a bit too much in size this year, Comic Con is still my jam!