5 Reasons Why The Comic-Con International Convention Kind Of Sucks

July 18, 2017

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 the event a couple years back (which I had to apply for by mid-December in the previous year). It would be my first year ever attending, so 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. After attending my first Comic Con, I have to share with you how disappointing it was.

Yes, the approximately 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 kind of 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 - It seems that none of the stars really want to be there. They appear at their panels and rush back to their hotel rooms in true Flash fashion. 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 on the outside curtilage of The Con. The people watching, the installations, the costumes 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. 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.

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. Skip The Con and just pack a sandwich and Uber downtown for the people watching if you want to be part of the chaos.

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.