Oh man. This really is the year everything got out of control isn’t it. Before we dig in here, I should note that I’m friendly with everyone mentioned below. I’ve talked to Jeremy at the SDCC Unofficial blog many times, appeared on their podcast several times, tweeted with Tony from Crazy4ComicCon, linked to them all and in general respected their passionate coverage of Comic-Con as a pop culture effort. So I’m just reporting what I hear.
The SDCC unofficial blog is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most authoritative blogs about the show with all kinds of news hints and tips. As mentioned before, I appear on their podcast, and members of the team I’ve spoken with seem engaged and professional. This year, blogger Sarah Mertan of ConShark was doing some writing for them, but she announced that she quit over—wait for it—an unofficial line for Hall H. It seems that on Friday night some people created their OWN LINE for HAll H, and those people included several from SDCCUB, who managed to keep the line secret and get A level wristbands. The SDCCUB people respond in the comments, and then Tony Kim from Crazy4Comic-Con went and wrote a novel:
Many of you may have made the assumption that those that blog about Comic-Con are one big happy family, unfortunately that is not the case.
This goes under “Very long, set aside beverage to read” or vl;sabtr. Shorter version as I can make out, is that Tony was also once a member of the SDCCUB team and quit over stuff, and now they badmouth him and there is no love lost. And then there’s the matter of the secret line and who should have said what and when and who. Kim writes:
If CCI had granted the SDCC Blog special access into Hall H for coverage, I would have been fine with that. Then it’s accounted for and I would trust CCI’s judgement call on it. People get special access all the time- no big deal. But instead, the SDCC Blog took the initiative and exploited a vulnerable part of an experimental system. Because of the ConShark’s courageous act, they got caught. As you can see from the comment section of the post, Jeremy takes no responsibility, blames her for not communicating, blames security for being wrong, and chalks it up to a big misunderstanding. Even though he is arguably the single most influential source for Comic-Con news, his last comment on the post included this:
“Next time we’ll just tweet out every unsanctioned line that forms, screw over folks who started them and invested their time, cause a situation for security to deal with and get CCI to hate us. I guess then everyone will be happy.”
So many sharks, so much jumping. =(
I know you are all sick of Comic-Con by now, and I will restrict my future comments to two big round-up posts over the weekend, but this is part of the problem. Secret lines! Secret wristbands! Secret podcasts and photos and CONspiracies. I can attest that there was bad blood between SDCCUB and C4CC — I’d gotten wind of it several times png before this and thoughts, “Small space, competitive market”…but Comic-con coverage really isn’t that small. I don’t know how many dedicated blogs the space can support but it’s more than one.
I’ll admit I got into Hall H on Saturday morning, but it was the first time I’d been in four years and it will probably be four years before I go again. It was cool alright, but I enjoyed my lunch at Sushi Deli and watching the casts of various vampire shows taking pictures with fans at the Hilton just as much. Every moment at Comic-con is precious. I get that Hall H is the Holy Grail of pop culture participation but is it really worth all this drama? I mean I know a lot of people think so but…life is too short, people.
Way too short.
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.