by Salomon Maya
Comic-con is San Diego’s version of hurricane season, just instead of rain and wind our beautiful city is inundated with skin tight spandex cosplay and more than likely a couple of grown men still living in their parents’ basements. As part of my normal gig, being the Creative Director for a local TV station, I was granted full press access to this convention for the first time. I had to record segments for our morning show and felt we could get some interesting content. Interesting quickly turned to unique which then morphed into annoying which then metamorphisized into “give an alcoholic beverage STAT!”
Let me at first be very clear: I love the “idea” of Comic Con. For four days, my beautiful city sits atop the news cycle. From the U.S. to China, hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the event; rising from the depths of their lairs. Founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970 by a group of San Diegans, Comic-Con International: San Diego (as its officially known now) is a living breathing entity with economic opportunities abound. Long past are the days of actual comic book fans descending with other comic book fans and just mingling about the Gaslamp. Today’s Con is more about capitalism to be honest.
What gets me a little salty about the Con now are the endless lines. The Con is now Nerd Disneyland. If you’re cool with that, well then beam on down Scotty and enjoy your convention. But if you’re (from what I believe is the majority of you sane earthlings) annoyed by standing aimlessly in lines, well then maybe you should spend your money elsewhere. And when I say lines I mean lines for everything. The other thing I noticed about the Con, well that it is a legit convention. Yes, you’ll hear about the movie trailers and celebrities held in Hall H but a large contingency of collectors teleport into the Con to obtain SDCC exclusive merchandise.
Now, not everything is bad. I worked/visited the Con every day this year and noticed that people are incredibly polite. I maneuvered with a large backpack and camera crew and every time we wanted a picture, the Cosplayers aptly struck their characters pose, smiled and thanked us. Nowhere did I hear “fake news” or even felt threatened. People at the Con are just genuinely happy and glad to be there.
So, here’s my advice for future Con visitors:
- Be ready to wait in lines. And not even my press badge allowed me to cut. They are very fair.
- If you’re thinking of buying ANYTHING, buy it on Preview Night or 1st SDCC day. Do not under any circumstance wait; everything sells out.
- Parking is impossible and/or expensive. $40 to $50 a day. Either trolley it or park far and walk.
- Do not think you can rent a bike or scooter and just roll down there. Police were blocking those services during this year’s event.
- Do not eat the food in the Convention Center. It is heinous.
- If you don’t have a SDCC badge, don’t fret. Still go down to the Gaslamp. To be honest I had more fun outside of the Con than inside it.
- And finally, be nice to the nerds, dweebs and Trekkies from out of town. They come here, spend their hard-earned cash in our town and go back to a life filled with unopened expensive bobble head toys, and imaginary heroes. I envy them.