Welcome to San Diego Comic-Con, where as usual, all the wifi and 3G networks are positively JAMMED, and just getting online is an ordeal — especially at our hotel, which comes complete with a ghost but the WORST paid for wifi we’ve ever encountered. We’ve been forced to repair to the Spike Lounge on 5th Ave. — many thanks to the main guy who let us in with our tales of wifi woe.
This year’s con is wilder than ever — everywhere you look there’s a parade or a circus breaking out. IGN has some kind of incredibly annoying and loud installation right by the Hilton Gaslamp; Marvel’s Monster trucks are roaming down Harbor Ave., loud as a jet fighter. We haven’t been on the floor since Preview Night — preferring to skulk in the alley ways and panel rooms of Old Con.
One of the big changes this year is the use of wristbands for exhibitors. This has cracked down on the people who would just borrow an exhibitor’s badge to get in early or stay late. It’s one of those little perks that rule benders have been taking advantage of for years — and it’s about to end.
The change is, we’re told, the harbinger of even stricter procedures next year — eventually, it’s been rumored, the con will employ RFID radio wave technology for badges — which will cut down on any attempted counterfeiting but make bagde — or wristband — switched harder than ever.
While there has been a smattering of grumbling over the ever more increased security, it is inevitable and necessary. As we keep pointing out, this is an event that people will camp out for for two nights. They’ll do anything to get in — including grab a badge.
This event has spiraled into a level of intensity and weirdness that requires ever increasing watchfulness.
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.