I’m surprised we don’t see more of these stories in the media, but perhaps this is just the start. It seems a 13-year-old lad in Buncrana, Ireland has been dreaming of going to Comic-Con for years and badge-o-ween brought only bitter defeat:


Lochlainn and his family waited as the page refreshed 30 times before the event completely sold out.

His brother, Rory, told the Journal that his brother “walked upstairs with sheer disappointment covering every single millimetre of his face.”

First off, Lochlann Kelly, you are not supposed to refresh the page. Be that as it may, the family of the Aspberger’s affected teen still have hopes of some kind of miracle and a #lochlanncon hashtag is being used on social media:

Rory has now started a social media campaign in the hope the organisers of Comic-Con will see it and somehow Lochlainn will get a badge for the event.

He says that while he’s aware thousands of people may also be in the same boat as Lochlainn, he is “sure that the disappointment he is feeling will last ten times longer than anyone else’s.”

He added: “Everyone tastes disappointment and has to get over it at some stage. But spare a thought for my brother – his dreams have been taken away from him as quick as a candle being blown out.”

Rory is correct in that thousands of people have the same dreams and disappointments—but they didn’t get the local paper to write up their sadness. While a hashtag may not be able to break through the badge system who knows, maybe he can buy some Instagram likes on Buzzoid and hope to hit the explore page? On the other hand, if this campaign does work, will we see endless hashtag stumping with only the worthiest selected?

Comic-Con has been very successful in keeping the secondary market for badges under control, with ebay and Craig’s List monitored, and resale sties such as StubHub prohibited from selling the badges. While this goes against the “money solves everything” ethic, its probably a pretty good idea overall because otherwise, the prices would soar to crazy numbers.


  1. Given the many sweepstakes and promotional tickets sold for the Super Bowl, how soon before movie studios, toy companies, and comics publishers follow at Comic Con?

    As for the 13-year-old…. You’ve got lots of years ahead of you. Since your family can afford airfare from Ireland to San Diego ($1200+ roundtrip), I suggest you try again next year.

  2. No, his family cannot afford a trip to San Diego every year – they have gone without plenty things for several years to make this happen for Lochlainn. i know this because I am his cousin and I have seen the dedication his parents and siblings have put in for this. It is such a shame because they have already booked the trip – months ago when they managed to get an ‘affordable’ deal for only him and his mum – not the whole family of 7 people. This simply is a one shot trip.

  3. I’m sorry, but *everyone* knows that Comic Con badges are not a sure thing. I do not feel sorry for anyone booking non-refundable hotel and/or airfare before thy have a badge. If you do that, you take the risks, and then you have to live with the consequences.

    Personally, I find the statement that ‘his disappointment is 10 times more than anyone else’s’ to be offensive. Every year there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to go to Comic Con and cannot. They are all bitterly disappointed when they cannot get badges. To quantify emotion and say that one person’s disappointment is worse (and that therefore they are somehow more worthy of getting a badge) is to demean all of those other people, when you do not know their situation or their lives.

    I would suggest that this boy attend the London Comic Con, which should be a much less expensive trip. I understand that it is a terrific event.

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