1: Eating is important, but so is where you do it. So the hordes are here and people are going to need food. The Con’s official restaurant list went up a while ago and you can see all kinds of place to eat. However:
if you’ve got a handful of actors, a couple of producers and their social media harem to feed, downtown and the Gaslamp Quarter are your ground zero.
I’m told Nobu at the Hard Rock now has a partially hidden private area for celebrities so that kookie loos don’t’ disturb them during Comic-Con.
2: There is such as thing as too big. There is a general sense that the spectacle has kind of plateau’ed. The Hilton isn’t wrapped this year, no Godzilla experience or the like. Oh yeah there are still the Assassin’s Creed experience and the Batman hipline and the don’t let Sean Bean die things and yadda yadda, but…like I said, plateau’s.
3: The locals are getting greedy and studios are getting thrifty. Believe it or not, the number of parties is DOWN this year! And partially it’s because the Gaslamp and other downtown venues are just getting too pricey, according to this story in The Wrap:
“The number of VIP events is down by 40 percent,” Christopher Ryan, creator of the unofficial Comic-Con and Sundance party lists tells TheWrap. His list goes to his choice of the top fifty talent publicists and news outlets.
According to Ryan, local venues’ appetite to make a cash grab and non-entertainment consumer brands’ belated appreciation for the platform as something other than a comic book convention have shrunk the scene.
“I scouted a Gaslamp venue three years ago at $5000. The same venue now wanted $45,000 during Comic-Con,” Ryan said. “What (non-entertainment) brands fail to realize is that Comic-Con has more celebrities than Coachella and the Sundance Film Festival combined.”
4: There may be a crackdown on street people but not that I noticed. This story suggested a crack down on the local homeless population but I still saw plenty of street mutterers wandering around last night.
5: Getting in on Tuesday is the new getting in on Wednesday and it sucks. Everyone I talked to last night was already glassy eyed and exhausted. “Now you have to come down on Tuesday and leave Monday so it’s a whole week and we just have a tiny table!” one veteran con goer complained to me. There isn’t really anything to do about this but acquiesce and wear comfortable shoes.
6: Even celebrities wear comfortable shoes. I love these “how stars do Comic-COn stories because they are just like us. Aisha Tyler, “Archer”
“The impulse is to try to do and see everything. This is impossible. Leave yourself room to sightsee, eat, and most importantly, nap,” said Aisha Taylor. See just like us! “The excitement of seeing your show in the company of thousands of bellowing, hyperventilating fans will drain you like sudden death overtime at the World Cup.” Oh not so much like us.
7: Royal Thai closed. I saw this on the con restaurant list and then confirmed with a phone call. For 90s and 00s generation congers, this was a go to spot for big group dinners for cartoonists who were on a budget. I’ve had so much shrimp toast there over the years. Sure it was old school and not the greatest, but the amazing neon sign outside was a beacon on 5th Avenue. And now, like earthing else old and traditional, it’s gone, gone to the big convention memory vahalla in the sky. I hope the sign has gone to a better place.
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.