Comic Conventions

SDCC ’16 Post-Mortem: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

If you had asked us whether we’d ever return to the San Diego Comic Con last year, our answer would have been a thoughtful no.

Yet here it is, one year later.

Maybe the fact of returning without a cadre of whining kids helped mellow out the mood. But there was lots to love about the ‘Con discounting the crowds and the new RFID badging policies. And a lot of that had to do with the people we got to meet and speak to, like minds of writers and artists who reinvigorated the creative juices and gave perspective to the ugliness happening in the world around us.

The Good:

  • Attending the March panel with Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell: quite possibly the highlight of this year’s con…at least for this believer. A rousing, reverent, yet thoughtful discussion on Lewis’ impact on history and its relevance in our changing world. Nate Powell’s perspective as a Southerner experiencing past and present history was food for thought, as was Andrew Aydin’s thoughts on why he undertook the project. Read about the experience.
  • Margaret Atwood hits on Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba: who would have thought a septuagenarian would hit on Moon and Ba with a tickly “Hey, Baby”? Yep, it definitely happened, and the twins charmed the pants off more than one female attendee! Reade the interview.
  • Gene Luen Yang at First Second: admittedly, one half of this couple really likes Gene, and who wouldn’t with that programming and comics background tied into one really cool package? Also, he’s a pretty nice guy.
  • Love & Rockets with the Hernandez Brothers: still holding the torch against mainstream comics.
  • The anti-Trump fervor: only here in San Diego with the marginalized and counter-culture crowd could this be so embraced.

The Bad:

  • Star Trek 50: we are huge fans of the Star Trek franchise, especially the original series, but man, did the booth have to charge for every freaking memory? And the Star Trek 50 panel’s big reveal on artifacts from the Roddenberry archives, a thinly veiled appeal of a pay-for-viewing subscription service so fans get an up-close-and-personal look behind the scenes?

The Ugly:

  • Crowd control: the new policies in place did mute the crowds on preview night and Thursday, but it brought on more headaches, anxiety and hot tempers than maybe convention execs would have liked. Keep trying!
  • The Funko Conan bobbleheads: great for fans, bad for fans. The good: if you are a true fan and you scored one of these figures, great! The bad: if you are a true fan and wanted a figure, you probably got usurped by any number of vendors who snagged a boatload and had them on sale at their booths for inflated prices on the other end of the exhibit hall.
  • Convention exclusives: once again, if you got in line on time and were able to snag one, good for you! If you got in line with a bunch of reselling sharks, we feel for you.

More thoughts and reflections to come on SDCC ’16. For now, peace, love and good cheer!




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