Well friends and neighbors, it has been an exceedingly busy week leading to a busy weekend. Tomorrow the wife and I are awakening at the crack of dawn so that we may be off to exhibit at the inaugural of the Inland Empire Comics Expo out in Redlands, CA. I have no idea what the attendance will be like… the stereotype of course would be that the presence of a certain event involving large men tackling each other and a lot of ball handling would have no bearing whatsoever on the nerd demographic, but I know quite a few members of said demographic who will be glued to their televisions and downing brewskis tomorrow like millions of other Americans. I’m still betting there will be a better turn out than there was for Pasadena.
Now San Diego Comic-Con… they do not have attendance issues. Or rather, they do, but in the complete opposite direction. As of today, San Diego Comic-Con finally got their online registration system working after three tries spanning several months. Now, I use the word “working” in a very loose sense here, since reports were that the system was still so overloaded that people had to deal with errors and multiple browser refreshments for several frustrating minutes, if not hours. But the good news is that things didn’t crash completely and they got all the badges sold.
Actually, that’s also the bad news. They sold the badges. ALL the badges. Even the one-day badges for Sunday. As of about an hour ago the message went up on the CCI facebook/twitter that 2011 attendee passes are gone with the wind, though there might be openings as people return badges for refunds (such as those who might get Pro status like we did last year).
I’d been wondering if this would happen, but I’ll be honest, it still shocked me. Maybe it’s because it took so long for them to get registration working at all this time around, but for 2010, even though all the four day badges were gone by December 2009, as I recall you could still get single day badges for a few months after.
So I’m glad we did make sure to remind our friends who were interested to register today. They still weren’t able to get four-day passes but through persistence managed to get at least a couple days. There’s enough going on outside of the exhibit halls that you could still go down for the weekend and not feel idle on the days you didn’t manage to badge up for.
But there it is, it’s now come to pass… Comic-Con is not just Nerdi Gras in name, but has become like a rock concert in terms of trying to get tickets. That may very well put me on the wrong side of the line in the argument that it didn’t need to move from San Diego, but then again if that Geek Bubble bursts (or the Mayans are right) it could all be moot anyhow in a couple years.
I’m also not entirely sure where it would go, now that L.A.’s talking about demolishing a big part of their Convention Center to build a football stadium. Vegas, I suppose, but Vegas is the one place I can think of where Comic-Con would disappear into a “nothing special”, business-as-usual category. We would be just another brand of weirdos to be catered to.
In any case, my condolences to anyone who missed out. And if you did get in and haven’t given up on things, well, I’d say set aside time on Thursday (or whichever first day you can attend) to buy your tickets for next year. Assuming they’ll have on-site pre-orders again. Who knows? The whole thing has officially gone tits-up crazy, and I’m glad as hell I’m not one of the administrative people having to figure out what they’re going to do for 2012.