There is a simple list of dos and don’ts I usually give to newbie convention goers planning to attend San Diego Comic-Con for the first time:
Almost everything I hate about conventions managed to appear during one convenient visit of Comic-Con 2007. The venue was filled to capacity and could not accommodate the number of attendees present. Sold out registration made it nearly impossible to actually attend. Hotel rooms sold out the instant they were available. The crowds of people managed to hide the very industry booths that the exhibition hall tried to exhibit. Prices are the modern day equivalent of highway robbery. Every panel involving a celebrity would inevitably fill up with people aching for a peek or a sound bite from such celebrities. Navigating the public transit to get to what miraculously acquired hotel space located off in the boonies away from the venue was one bizarre adventure I hated taking. My personal lack of acquaintances in San Diego never made things easier. And did I mention crowds?
Despite its moniker, Comic-Con is no mere comic book convention. It is the holy ground of geek fandom. With a lot of geek money to spend and lots of geek social media to spread, the entertainment industry gains a lot of publicity catering to them with exclusive footage and celebrity visits from the movie, television, and video game industries. As the science fiction and comic book subculture now becomes part of popular culture, the entertainment industry now tries to get their popular culture accepted into the geek subculture through Comic-Con. I still recall finding an out of place Good Luck Chuck booth during my 2007 visit, which had nothing to do with comics or sci-fi.
Like any successful convention, attendance grew exponentially since my last visit to the point that even Comic-Con organizers began to take notice. With the contract in San Diego ending in 2012, it is about time that Comic-Con looks to a new venue. Casual observation figured Las Vegas would be the logical choice for a larger Comic-Con given its larger venues and affluent nightlife for convention guests and attendees alike to throw parties that could integrate into Comic-Con events.
Now it seems Anaheim with its convention center and entertainment backer Disneyland is having a go at hosting Comic-Con. With more space than San Diego while still being in southern California, Anaheim may be a logical step to relocate. Comic-Con may even attract the family crowd with its proximity to the giant mouse, though I am not too sure how diehard Comic-Con attendees will feel about the giant mouse having potential influence over the convention.
As I personally enjoyed attending Anime Expo-the largest anime convention in the US-during its time in Anaheim, I would easily get used to the idea of Comic-Con there. I could already make use of the LA-based airports and my family lodgings to alleviate some Comic-Con stress. Now I would just have to see how Anaheim or whatever the new venue for Comic-Con would accommodate the inevitable crowds…