With E3 over, the next big summer event in the geek world is Comic-Con in San Diego. Every year, more than a hundred thousand people descend upon San Diego, taking over the city and enveloping it in geekdom.
There isn’t a corner you can turn without seeing a Green Lantern T-shirt or a bar you can walk into that doesn’t have a revised comic book inspired martini list. It is nerd paradise.
But, Comic-Con isn’t all Batmobiles and conversations with Jim Lee. There is a darker side to the Con that becomes increasingly apparent (and annoying) once you get there.
As much as we love the Con, there are a few things we wouldn’t mind living without for our week in San Diego.
The past few years, Comic-Con has been invaded by screaming teenage girls and even louder overeager cougars in search of their first glimpse of the latest trailers of the Twilight saga. Twilight is not comics. It’s not even geek.
Ask any person on the street to tell you what they imagine a vampire looks like before Twilight came out and not a single one would mention “sparkles.” The vampires that most people love revolve around sex and violence, not good Christian values and celibacy. Real vampires don’t shimmer, they kill people.
Also, if a man in his forties was waiting hours in line to see a teenage girl about to perform in a concert or debut her new movie trailer while screaming and holding signs with her name, he’d be considered a pervert. There should be no double standard on this one for women either.
Being 45 years old and wearing a”Team Jacob” shirt isn’t cool. It’s just creepy.
Every year, advertisers pay big money to be on the side of the oversized Swag Bag that people can carry around the convention center with them to horde all their knick knacks and purchases. When we say oversized though, it isn’t an exaggeration. These things are massive.
I am pretty sure we can fit Flickcast writer Cortney Zamm in it and still have room for a short box of comics and stack of t-shirts. The problem with these bags is they just get in the way. People stand awkwardly and don’t realize the bags stick out two feet behind them, getting in everyone else’s way.
Those of us who are courteous try and avoid these roadblocks instead of bumping into them and ruining whatever is inside, but like many other things, these bags contribute to the over clogged hallways of the Con.
Anime Cosplayers / Out of Shape Cosplayers
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some incredibly talented people out there who spend hours on elaborate costumes paying homage to their favorite characters that show up at Comic-Con. There are just two of these groups I have a gripe with.
First is the anime / Manga crowd. It’s not specifically the genre that they are dressing up for that bothers me. It’s the fact that for some reason, the costumes and accessories for the anime characters are gigantic and take up too much space in the already overcrowded convention hall.
For the most part, these cosplayers are in their early to mid teens and lack either the respect or common sense to watch where they are going and get out of the way for the rest of the convention goers. Instead, the common attendee must always be on the watch for kimonos and six foot tall plastic or wooden swords that can easily take an eye out. Also, your hair is a fire hazard.
And for the out of shape cosplayers, please be aware of your body type. It doesn’t matter if you are a little out of shape and okay with it. Most of the geek world isn’t at the prime level of physical fitness. Just don’t force the rest of us to be made brutally away of just how out of shape you are. Spandex should not be worn if it is stretched to the limit. You shouldn’t look like the girl who ate Scarlett from G.I. Joe. Unless your costume is Jabba the Hutt, there should not be layers of rolls either under or over the costume. It’s wrong.
The biggest bane of Comic-Con and the one that not only isn’t going anywhere, but will actually continue to get worse as the event continues to grow. Everything has a line at Comic-Con:
If you go to Comic-Con, be prepared to wait in line. And God help you if you want to make it in to Hall H for anything. Be prepared to came out early.
The “Next Big Thing” in Indie Comics
Look, we get it. Most of us here, in addition to being journalists, have also been on the creative side at one point in our careers as well. We understand you are trying to get your creation out to the masses, and we whole heartedly support that pursuit… but don’t BS us.
Every convention, whether it is San Diego to Emerald City, we can walk by fifteen tables at any given time that promise us they have a brand new genre defining comic book experience that will change the face of the industry. But we have heard it all before, like the villagers who heard the annoying kid cry wolf, we fell for it a few times but after a while, hearing the same sales pitch from thousands of small print studios becomes tired and boring.
Don’t tell us and your potential customers buzz words to sell comics. Don’t just say, “It’s a great book.” Tell us something about the book in a single sentence that stands out. Below are some great examples of the RIGHT kind of sales pitch that make a book stand out to us.
Chew – “It’s about a guy who establishes a psychic link to anything he has eaten.”
Headlocked – “It’s the first ever professional wrestling comic.”
Beasts of Burden – “A secret society of dogs and one cat protect their neighborhood from supernatural threats.”
Now, don’t be fooled. We love Comic-Con. It is the highlight of the Summer for most of us here at The Flickcast. But as with everything good in life, nothing is perfect. Not even Comic-Con.