First it was hotels, then it was badges…now it’s pro badges. Comic-Con International: San Diego professional badge registration went live at 10 am Pacific time yesterday and free guest badges for attending professionals—once a little perk that everyone enjoyed—were gone in minutes, apparently. It isn’t exactly clear when pro badges actually became unavailable because there was a site meltdown, a “come back later” and then…there was only this:
The Comic-Con 2013 Professional Application Period is now closed. EPIC Online Professional Badge Registration will open January 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (PT).
The Comic-Con 2014 Professional Application Period is OPEN! Please download the “Information and Application for Professionals” PDF found here. Applications and verification materials are due by October 17, 2013.
Wait until next year!
Last year, pro badges sold out in nine days, this times it was more like nine hours.
We’re now told that badges are in fact available—this message was just to shut down the site and give it a cool-down period. I’m told professional badges are available now and there are many, so get in there and get goin’!
This was all accompanied by tears and teeth gnashing on Twitter, of course. It has long been unfashionable to admit to wanting to go to Comic-Con, but the “Over it!” contingent was out loud and clear.
There are a number of countries where applying for political asylum is easier than applying to get into SDCC
— Fred Van Lente (@fredvanlente) January 28, 2013
SDCC pro badges are at capacity, obviously, because hollywood producers & studio exec entourages are far more important than us. Duh.
— Ben Templesmith (@Templesmith) January 28, 2013
Trying to register for SDCC, only to find I’ve been classified “Muggle.”
— Layman (@themightylayman) January 28, 2013
I like to imagine that the guy who processes Pro Reg for SDCC is the knight from LAST CRUSADE
— Charlie Chu (@CharlieChu) January 28, 2013
All of which left us wondering, as we so often do, if it’s so hard to get a badge, howcum all those studio wonks and d-girls get badges? Like this happy actor dude:
It’s official, I will be at SAN DIEGO #ComicCon ALL FOUR days this year!! I can’t wait to see everyone again!!
— Eric Hennig (@EricHennig) January 28, 2013
According to one person we corresponded with, getting in as a producer means saying…you are a producer. Or saying you work for one. Is this really how it works? Anyone want to share their secrets? Spill it!
On a more practical level, two things spring to mind:
#1, if you can manage to get a hotel room you can go to San Diego at con time and have a whale of a time just wandering around looking at parades, getting chased by zombies, drinking margaritas, stalking celebrities at the Hard Rock and checking out displays for TV shows on the WB. Of course you miss the fantastic programming and the devastating excitement of going to the Adult Swim booth, but you can still score bags and pins and posters and what not hanging around the train tracks. As for actual professionals, all the meetings take place outside the convention hall anyway.
#2, speaking of which, as we’ve been saying for years, unless you have some overwhelming need to go to SDCC to promote a project or take a meeting, you’re better off going to an actual “comic-con” for that “get a sketch” feeling. Like Emerald City or WonderCon or the other shows folks were praising. Speaking of WonderCon, you can get pro badges, press badges, regular badges, pretty much anything you want for that show, right now. No hassles, no anxiety. WonderCon! It has everything but coffee!
And finally, maybe this was the moment when the last person on earth to accept that Comic-Con is now the world’s biggest media event and not a place to kick back with your studio mates had to face the hard truth.
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.