Today marks the first "preview" day of the annual San Diego Comic-Con, which runs through this weekend. And it also marks the first time in a long while that I won't be down in the midst of it all. Over the past few years, the convention has exploded to ridiculous proportions. Wall-to-wall people jockey for position on roads and sidewalks, stand in lines that make Disneyland look like a fast food drive-thru, and literally scratch and claw each other for in-demand exclusives that are near impossible to get because of the sheer amount of people.
On top of all that, SDCC has become the go-to venue for film, television, and other mainstream media to flaunt their latest wares. It's not entirely clear what a movie like Let's Be Cops has to do with comic books or any of the genres that are indigenous to conventions, but someone somewhere decided, "Hey - 13-year old and college-aged boys like comics and stuff. We've gotta get them aware of this movie!"
Which is what a lot of SDCC boils down to now: that screaming and shouting in a crowd of thousands to be noticed, to be heard, to get someone's attention just long enough to sell them a ticket and hope that they'll tell twenty or thirty of their friends. But that doesn't explain why Variety is touting Fifty Shades of Grey as a potential surprise for Comic-Con. The audience down there isn't exactly your target demographic, but hey -- hordes of people! Quick, scream and try to get everyone's attention!
The San Diego Comic-Con is about as much about comics, sci-fi and pop culture as Sundance is about independent films being screened for a niche audience. It's all become this giant-sized circus that amounts to a lot of chaos rather than the personal individualized feel that it used to have. Nothing makes introverted, socially awkward nerds more comfortable than being surrounded by masses of people that are all demanding your attention and putting you on the spot every five seconds. It's the equivalent of walking through the school halls in junior high on an inflated scale now. Surely the bubble will burst soon?
At any rate, I'm actually looking forward to observing this SDCC from a distance. In terms of the Con experience, it seems like all of the big reveals and breaks are immediately (if not before-hand) on the internet. I'm able to interact with my favorite artists and writers on Twitter and purchase prints from them online now, which gives me the same experience as meeting them at their booth in Artist's Alley and gives me the time to admire their work in detail without being jostled by those damn giant WB bags every fifteen seconds. I'm also not really one for parties unless it involves getting to go into a replica of Flynn's Arcade and getting to play classic arcade games (again... see earlier comments about social anxieties). Though I enjoyed the couple that I've been to over the years, it's not high up on the priority list.
Despite the cynicism and grimness of the above (sorry about that), I'll be covering the things that excite me coming out of San Diego this year here on SPT. All you have to do is check back here frequently or hit up the tag SDCC on SPT down at the bottom of this page to travel through the rabbit hole of SDCC goodness as it progresses.