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Wow last week was as arduous as Comic-Con, between Book Expo and BookCon…but I survived, and I never bought any food at the Javits! Okay, I did buy some Pinkberry on Friday afternoon because I saw Christine Dinh eating some and she looked so happy, and after I got some I was happy too even though it cost $8. Otherwise I survived on breakfast at home (oatmeal), trail mix, Kind Bars and a long, grueling succession of wine and cheese receptions. According to my phone app, I walked about 6 miles a day, which often included walking crosstown to the Javits because the 7 train extension still isn’t open.

So near and yet so chain link fenced off.

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ANYWAY…back to the kibbles. First some creator health updates.

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§ Writer James Hudnall has updated his GoFundMe page with one final push. Back in October, Hudnall had his foot amputated just as he had moved to Austin for a new job, and since then he’s had a lot of setbacks, but he’s been approved for disability but needs one more cash infusion to get back to San Diego for further treatment. Please consider helping him out.

§ Artist Norm Breyfogle suffered a severe stroke back in December, which left his drawing side severely impaired. He’s been updating his FB page, and he has also been approved for disability and recovery continues, although his drawing style will probably not return.

First of all, the basics: my recovery continues at a snail’s pace. I actually can’t see it occurring until I look back at a number of months ago, after which I see that I have come quite a distance. The other day I walked one third of a mile: about 1700 feet, with a cane. I felt very strong and could have continued even further if not for the windchill factor on the walk back which became pretty unbearable since I was not dressed adequately for it. My left hand continues to lag behind everything else, causing me to realistically aim, creatively, for publishing my writing and maybe training my right hand for drawing, as my new career. Call me Norm.2. I may be signing comics from now on with a “PS Norm”, meaning “post stroke” Norm. I don’t realistically see myself drawing or writing comics in the way that I used to do. Instead, if I do any more comics, they will probably be semi-autobiographical in nature and with an entirely different style: call it an “underground” style, if you will.

And now the news…

§ Here’s a very detailed report on the Book Con 2015: Women of Marvel panel which featured Adri Cowan and Margaret Stohl, who’s written a Black Widow prose novel.

§ Douglas Wolk returns to the NY Timeswith reviews of the seasons top books, including Unflattening.

§ Mark Paniccia has been promoted to Senior Editor of the X-Men Line at Marvel, Congrats to Mark!

Marvel’s X-Men line is now under new leadership. CBR News can confirm that Marvel Senior Editor Mark Paniccia has moved to the X-Men titles, joined by veteran X-books editor Daniel Ketchum. Paniccia has been at Marvel for a decade, but hasn’t previously worked on any X-Men series. He’s overseen the Ultimate Comics line, promoted to wrap up with the currently unfolding “Ultimate End” miniseries, since 2009, and has also recently edited “Hulk” and “Fantastic Four.” He’s already credited on the X-books, with his name appearing in “Old Man Logan” #1, released this past Wednesday.

§ Okay here’s is the latest “Comic-Con should leave San Diego!” piece from a site called Moviepilot.com. I have no idea what the pedigree of that site it, or writer Chris McKinney’s background, but I have decided that this article now stands in for every inane piece about why Comic-Con should move to Vegas EVER. McKinney examines all the options—SD, LA, Anaheim, Las Vegas—and decides Vegas is the best because it’s huge and has hotels and that’s all you need. His argument that Comic-Con has outgrown San Diego is partly true—there are lotteries for hotels and badges—but, HONESTLY THERE WOULD STILL BE LOTTERIES NO MATTER HOW BIG THE PLACE IS. SDCC and NYCC are huge, popular events that soak up all the people that can be thrown at them, and just getting bigger isn’t the “answer.” The answer is making the shows so shitty that no one actually wants to go, and that is not a serous suggestion.

Actually, I’m not sure what the problem is. It is true that a bigger San Diego Convention center would allow 25,000 more people to get badges and stand in line for Hasbro toys and Pinkberry. But it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t sell out just as fast or that hotels wouldn’t be at a premium. The CCI folks have been doing a great job at expanding programming and events to hotels, and the festival has taken over the entire downtown, from parking lots to nail salons.

The greatest advantage of a bigger SD convention center is that OTHER trade shows could come to a very desirable location, but none of them have the popular appeal of Comic-Con. And yes there are not “enough” hotels nearby for Comic-Con, but building thousands of hotel rooms for one weekend a year doesn’t make economic sense either.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the unique layout and seaside atmosphere of San Diego is what MAKES the show so successful and desirable. Now that the city admits that con is a huge event with a huge economic impact, they are playing ball, and that alone should ensure that the show stays in San Diego.

If for some reason, Comic-Con ever did “move to Las Vegas” all you’d get is 200,000 people wandering around air conditioned hallways where desolate old people gamble at 3 in the morning, and everyone eats at buffets full of Jell-o.

Can you imagine for one moment all the complaints and moaning about the “good old days” if SDCC moved to Vegas? Sure people would go but it would be awful and I’m willing to bet that Chris McKinney would be complaining too.

So people, come on. Get real. The San Diego Comic-Con is set in San Diego and that’s how it was always intended to be.

§ All that said, a lot of people I talked to at BEA were wondering how WonderCon will transition to LA. Because talk about no hotels, no food options and an often inhospitable climate. Yes yes, I know downtown LA is undergoing a renaissance, but the hotel options makes San Diego look like Anaheim.

§ And while we’re talking cons, while the Javits Center is a hellish facility that was never made for crowds of consumers, once the Hudson Yards development opens next door, this is going to be one of the best venues in the nation, with a host of shopping and eating options right next door, and the Highline as a walking option to other areas. All of which will be possible IF the subway’s 7 line extension ever opens!!! And now I’ve come full circle so let’s move on.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I say they won’t ‘Movie’ Comic-Con to Las Vegas! Sigh…..I really hate that proofreading is left to spellcheck by pretty much everyone these days.

  2. Las Vegas… But isn’t that San Diego anyway? People indoors wandering around?

    The subway is delayed because of the diagonal elevator. Otherwise, most of the station is finished.

    What I would like to see… Javits build a hotel on the lot south of the High Line. (Currently where all the trailers are parked during the show. Move that over to the Hudson.) Include a theater, ballroom, meeting rooms. It can function as a small convention center by itself, or host panels when 1-ABC is used as a showroom (like during the Auto Show).

    Hudson Yards website: http://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/http://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/the-story

  3. Most people don’t take this into consideration but getting to San Diego from outside the states isn’t exactly cheap. Most direct flights might take you to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. But not many take you to San Diego.

    One positive aspect of moving SDCC to Las Vegas is that it would make it MUCH easier for foreign people to get to the show. How many people come to the show from abroad? I don’t know. Must be thousands.

    It’d be interesting to see the % in attendance from foreign people in San Diego and compare it to NY Comic Con. Something tells me it’s higher in New York since it’s such a popular / easier to get destination.

  4. I agree that Comic-Con and San Diego are inseparable. I live in L.A. and still don’t think the show would be the same (or be as enjoyable) if it moved here.

    In response to the cost of getting to San Diego — given that it doesn’t seem to have discouraged records number of people from attending, I doubt that’s a consideration. Saying NYC is an easier destination from overseas is a bit Euro-centric. The West Coast is a much easier destination for people from the Pacific Rim and at least as equally accessible from South America. San Diego’s programming has always had a strong international flavor, which is partly a reflection of the attendance. As a regular exhibitor, I’ve seen plenty of attendees from overseas — including Europe. San Diego didn’t succeed because of accessibility but because of the quality of the show and its programming, as well as the unique character of San Diego.

  5. Heidi,

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Chargers have a better shot at getting a new stadium than the SD city fathers have expanding their Convention Center.

    So here’s the SDCC show runners’ dilemma as I see it:

    1. Do they keep CC in SD after 2016, more or less admitting to everyone that they can’t expand the show and have lost control over their fate in SD?

    2. Do they move permanently to another location forever?

    3. Do they host CC in SD every other year, and rotate the show in venues like LV, Orlando or even Chicago?

    I hope they consider 3, because SD doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to support any more CC growth. Making no decision isn’t an option.

  6. Gianco: Absolutely fewer foreigners attend SDCC in recent years. IN the olden days all the Brits would show up for a few days in the sun., Now it’s whoever has business there or is a guest. And NYCC has a WAY higher foreign participation – NYC is much easier to get to and cheaper.

    BUT

    Wayne: I think your post raises an interesting questions. What IS Comic-Con? Who is it for? Most people would say it’s for Hollywood now, and for pop culture fans to feel a connection to their favorite tv shows and movies. And yet it’s still the biggest best comics show in North America.

    There ARE comics shows in Las Vegas and they are relatively small. The Salt Lake City and Denver shows are making a bid to become major national events, but Las Vegas is simply not crying out for a “comic-con” event. They have enough going on 24/7.

    San Diego Comic-Con as it stands now offers a specific experience which is the experience that all those hopefuls want to have. They can go to a local show nearer them but simulations are not what attracts them.

    CinemaCon (http://cinemacon.com/), the “pros” only movie event is ALREADY HELD IN LAS VEGAS. It’s trade only, but I’m sure people could sneak in some way. Does anyone think that CinemaCon, which is essentially Comic-Con without comics, could or should expand to be a big public event?

  7. Heidi: I couldn’t agree with you more. ComicCon may be the biggest pop culture show in the US, you could also refer to it as the “biggest comics show” but only by virtue of having so many professionals and journalists like you in one place who don’t go to C2E2, Emerald City, Image Con, Wondercon and elsewhere.

    You could also argue that SDCC is a multimedia, multifaceted, multi-audience pop culture show, a reflection of many successful modern day comics shops. SDCC will never be what it was when you and I started attending not so way back in the day, and I’m not sure I’d wanted it to be. That said, what venue has the room and ability to service all of those audiences in one place?

    Unfortunately, the place — if you want to grow all audiences (comics, art, genre, toys, movies, TV, games) — ain’t SD….

    Unless you look at SDCC and serving those audiences differently, maybe over parts of a week. Do the TV/movie audiences need the dealer’s area? Not necessarily. Do comics fans need a Hall H? Nope.

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