San Diego Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer sent a response to my epic post yesterday. I’m happy to post the whole thing — I think it is very informative and some of it clarified some things I’d long wondered about. In fact on one very important point, it directly contradicts what I wrote yesterday — and I’ve removed that part of my post. I’m not going to rebut any of it…it doesn’t really need any rebuttal. I hope I made it clear that I am well aware that no one is actively trying to keep people out of panel rooms…it is the way it is, but some changes in procedures may need to be made. Glanzer writes:
I’m sorry to say that there were, indeed, some issues with registration this year. Not just with Professionals, but Attendee Registration and Press as well. Obviously, no one should have to wait in a line for two hours and we honestly do take great strides in trying to avoid scenarios like that. My understanding is the issues that caused those problems were addressed and should not arise next year.
Regarding the “one person out, one person in” scenario. That was implemented because the room had reached capacity and the Fire Marshall closed the room.
As you know safety is one of the primary issues of concern for us, and we work very closely with city officials and particularly the Fire Marshal on site. Once the Fire Marshal makes the call to close a room, it is closed. It is up to her when, or whether or not, to allow people to begin entering again.
With regard to a press list, there actually is no press list. Each studio is given an allotment of seats for use ONLY during their presentation. Those seats can be given to family members of those on the panel, executives, or press. But there is no press list at the front of the hall for special access.
And because of this the studio certainly does NOT have control over who enters Hall H. As mentioned above, the presenting studio is given an allotment of tickets for specified seating and it is up to them how they disburse them.
I certainly agree that something must be done to address the issue of press for those big rooms. And it is something we are discussing now, and as you can imagine with close to 3,000 press in attendance it is a daunting task. I might also point out that for us “legitimate” press includes online bloggers and such.
We know that the bigger publications and news outlets will write about our show once a year, but it is online press who write about us throughout the year, and they pay particular attention to our gusts. Guests like; Sergio Aragonés, Kyle Baker, Alison Bechdel, Allen Bellman, Ray Bradbury, Dan Brereton, Daryl Cagle, Cecil Castellucci, Darwyn Cooke, Guy Delisle, Paul Dini, Roman Dirge, Cory Doctorow, Ann Eisner, Warren Ellis, Mark Evanier, Renée French, Gary Friedrich, Christos N. Gage, Neil Gaiman, Rick Geary, George Gladir, Laurell K. Hamilton, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Adam Hughes, Joe Jusko, Miriam Katin, Mel Keefer, Scott Kurtz, Joseph Michael Linsner, Joe Matt, David Morrell, Karen Palinko, Lily Renee Phillips, Mike Ploog, Paul Pope, George A. Romero, Rowena, Dave Stevens, J. Michael Straczynski, Ben Templesmith, Roy Thomas, Morrie Turner, Mark Verheiden, Matt Wagner, J. H. Williams III, Kent Williams, F. Paul Wilson, and Brian Wood.
I should point out that no one wants to deny anyone entrance to a panel. We really don’t. And something must be done to address the issues raised this year with press. And I promise you, this is something we’re working on currently.
Your suggestion that more than one person may be needed to cover the show is a good one. Just in terms of specific panels, we had over 350 hours of programming, and I would imagine it is nearly impossible for one person to cover it all by themselves.
Obviously someone of the stature of Trina not being able to get into a panel is troubling for us. And I trust that we will have a solution to this very soon. Again, we’re still in the process of unpacking and trying to answer loads of emails, but we’ve already begun the process of discussing what went wrong and trying to come up with solutions to ensure that things like this don’t occur again.
Thanks for the kind words about the Comic-Con staff, and I would agree, you should not have to call for something as simple as getting into a panel. And I honestly believe we will have a solution to this issue for the next show. We just have to kick it around a bit and make sure it works.
I might point out that wrist bands were NOT for special entrance to Hall H. I’m not sure how that got around, but many people were under that assumption and that assumption was incorrect.
As for people not being able to enter Hall H. Again, when the Fire Marshall closes a room, there is no way for anyone to get in, it becomes an issue of safety and we must defer to her completely.
Our press room is very spartan. Hopefully we can get a sponsor for this room in the future.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment on your post.