Graeme McMillan rounds up all of the complaints and dark sides and whatnot in a fairly brilliant post all should read:
It was the con that, it seemed, confounded a lot of people. Press shut out of panels, celebrities turned away from parties, comic publishers vowing never to return and 125,000 fans all in one building for four days without end. Every year, San Diego Comic-Con ends with people griping that it has gotten to be too big and that something has to change, but was this the year that lived up to the complaints?
He has a few good quotes, including this from mediabistro.com, with a title we’re stealing forever more: The Land of Wanders:
Anyway, we are posting this after midnight because there is no filing room. We were directed to an outlet in the hallway for all our computing needs. We promise to never bitch about the burnt gratis coffee in normal press rooms again.
We haven’t mentioned it in a while, but Comic-Con has absolutely the crappiest press room of any event we’ve ever been to. We promise to go see EAGLE EYE just because they gave us free Wi-Fi, but next year, some movie about teen zombies on a sex rampage at sleepaway camp really needs to sponsor a better press room, with nuclear lemonade or something.
Graeme quotes Tom McLean’s must read on the problems of covering Comic-Con, but what caught our eye was the first comment:
As a longtime Con-goer I just want to say that Comic-Con is not a press event and was never intended to be, it is a FAN event and it is refreshing that an event exists that doesn’t cater to press, big-wigs or anyone except fans.
That would be nice if it were true, “Longtime Con-goer,” but the truth is, marketing is the reason for the explosion of Comic-Con. Since there are really 90 different events rolled up into one, we hope that “Longtime Con-goer” can continue to appreciate the show on his or her own terms.
Some of the most interesting group coverage of the show was that from the locals, The San Diego Tribune’s Comic-Con blog. The coverage we saw was definitely from a non-fannish viewpoint, and included such things as a report on a strip show.
Finally, poor Barbara Vey, our fellow PW blogger, was at the show and had a great, great time, but as a book blogger, not as a comics blogger, she learned the meaning of “faux pas”:
There were no celebrity spottings for me today, but I was told I “just missed” the star of Supernatural. I did manage to catch up with author Greg Rucka, whose novels I’ve been reading for years. When I mentioned that I didn’t know he had written comics, there was an actual gasp from his fans waiting in line. I scrambled to say that I did read his regular books and I’d check into his comics, but the crowd started getting nasty. I think I was this close to tar and feathers.
Bottom Line: Never mention that you don’t read comics at Comic Con.
A lesson for all, Barbara, a lesson for all.