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:
|This is the Comic Con 'Food Court'|
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.