It was fast and it was pitiless, like a cheetah taking down a wildebeest. At 8:00 PST, badges for this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego went on sale. In about 30 minutes, all 4-day passes were gone, and within another 10, all of the single-day passes were gone. By 9 am PST, it was all over but the crying….and the tweeting.
By comparison, it took seven hours for the process last year. And that was after three previous attempts crashed every website known to man.
This year’s scramble was not without some problems—the top secret link in the top secret emails actually didn’t work (Comic-Con says it did).You needed to cut and paste it into your browser and then things went fine—if seeing that you were #32567 in line could be called fine. The system brutally punished anyone attempting multiple open windows. We originally got in at #12000 or so via Safari and as we tested the link on other browsers would get this Robocop warning shot:
CCI:SD issued a statement at 1 pm EST:
Comic-Con 2012 badges are sold out. Although our site and EPIC’s registration site was able to handle the load of customers wishing to purchase a badge, the conduit between the link in the email and the registration site was overwhelmed and service was intermittent for a short period of time. However, the link was not incorrect and was not dead, and once the volume of hits decreased it worked as planned. There will be a chance to purchase refunded and returned badges at a later date. Thank you!
Last year’s badge hunt resulted in some 403,000 page requests per minute, so there’s no way of knowing what kind of demand was felt this year, with the new Member ID system leaving some people already out of the lottery.
Pro and Press registration has yet to take place—while a lot of people are anxious about that, we’ve seen no signs that this will be handled much differently than last year.
Meanwhile, Twitter told the story of hopes dashes and dreams fulfilled. If anything, this was like the open audition round of American Idol, with the difference that at the end Randy Jackson yells “”You’re going to Comic-Con!”
Once there, the tough Hollywood week begins, however…you may not get that hotel room or panel that you were dreaming about.
Here’s a smattering of early tweets:
Holy crap…Badge purchase went through WITHOUT A HITCH!!! Woo hoo!Joy and I going to San Diego Comic-Con again! #sdcc
— Bill Lehecka (@billlehecka) March 3, 2012
Holy shit. It’s really just dawning on me. I might be going to the fucking San Diego Comic Con…
— WR (@Moxy_Tod) March 3, 2012
Sure seems like acquiring the Holy Grail is easier than purchasing @Comic_Con tix…
— Justin LaSalata (@JustinL81) March 3, 2012
@danharmonI just got screwed out of Comic Con tickets again this year, can we have the Community panel open to the public?PLEASE!!!!!
— Chris Mathiasen(@Chrono80) March 3, 2012
— Teresa Duenas (@terreisa) March 3, 2012
And of course there is always that Peggy Lee “Is that all there is?” moment.
Got the tickets for 2 days of comic con. So, why aren’t I as excited as I should be?
— Evelyn A (@Its_Just_Eve) March 3, 2012
For those who want to follow the fan outcry, it’s going strong on Comic-Con’s Facebook page.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.