5 Reasons Why the Comic Con Convention Kinda Sucks

July 28, 2014

Comic Con International San Diego, or "The Con," as it is known to insiders, is the biggest pop culture convention in the world. Being a "nerd" at heart, I was like a kid on Christmas when I received a message in my inbox saying that I had been approved for a press pass to this year's event (which I had to apply for by mid-December 2013), which would be my first year ever attending. I began reviewing schedules, making notes and planning what events, panels and displays to attend. I picked up my pass as soon as I could the Wednesday before the official opening. I got my Superman costume, drove my car2go downtown and managed the crowd to finally penetrate the exclusive convention. Now, after attending my first Comic Con, I have to share with you how disappointing it was.

Yes, the 130,000 tickets to this year's Comic Con sold out in minutes. Yes, it's all San Diegans talk about during a long weekend every mid-July. Yes, it brings TONS of money to the city of San Diego. Yes, I know that this article will likely limit my ability to ever obtain a press pass again. But really, Comic Con kinda sucks. Here are 5 reasons why:

5. The Lines - The lines at Comic Con never really end and never really begin. It's just one long crowd of people circulating throughout downtown San Diego and the convention center like disorganized blood through a body. It all starts with the ticket presell queue and from there, it keeps mounting, growing and increasing. Hall H? Fuhgettaboutit! Even if you do wait in line, there's no guarantee you'll get in. I talked to too many people who were 1-5 people away from getting in after waiting for Hall H panels for hours. The convention floor? Just another less-civilized, sweaty line of chaos. The worst part about Comic Con lines are that the smells can be horrific. Whether it's the anonymous passing of gas or just wafting body stink, there are a lot of unavoidable stank pockets.  What do you expect when over 100k people endure San Diego heat in constrictive costumes all day?! It's all just a terribly congested, logistical nightmare of stink and squalor, all in the heart of America's 8th largest city.

This is the Comic Con 'Food Court'
4. The Food - If you can manage the line at the cafeteria inside the convention, your options are limited to prepackaged crap. If you head to a local restaurant, you're competing with more crowds for rushed service and hasty preparation. If you head away from downtown, you have your best shot at decent service and food prepared with patience and attention, but good luck getting out of the Gaslamp.

3. Obligatory Panels - Besides Sherlock and Harry Potter, it seems that none of the stars want to be there. They appear at their panels and rush back to their hotel rooms in true Flash fashion. Sure, there's guys like Elijah Wood who sell out a DJ set at Bang Bang during the course of the weekend, but most celebs do their best to avoid any unscheduled interactions with attendees, and how could you really blame them?

2. Outside is Better than Inside - Actually getting a ticket and going into the convention center, attending the panels, doing whatever all these people do with their oh-so-special badges, is not nearly as entertaining as all that is offered for free outside The Con. The people watching, the zombie walk, the zip line and all the other free entertainment available during the course of the 3 day weekend, is better than what's going on inside that convention center. If you want to spend a little money and get that Comic Con feel, head to the annual Heroes Brew Fest and enjoy costumes, music and delicious craft beer all on the San Diego bay. The only really positive thing that I can say about the inside of the convention center is that there is air conditioning in the hallways. Oh, I also saw a pretty cool Street Fighter video game tournament and aside from that, a Bud Bundy sighting was my highlight.

1. The Exclusivity - Despite all the terribleness outlined above, people all around San Diego, the country and the world still envy Comic-Con goers and frequently feel slightly lesser about themselves because they aren't attending the event or don't possess the revered badge. One girl asked if she could wear my badge so she could be "one of the cool people." I told her she could have it.

Besides the costumes, of course, the best part about Comic Con is how the beautiful city of San Diego, its businesses and people embraces the event, the throngs of tourists, and all that comes with it. It's a testament to the welcoming and fun nature of America's Finest City.