An unnamed but trustworthy informant we’ll call “Longbox” sent this picture from a recent comic con that showed a pretty dead Sunday, if you define pretty dead as one person lined up to see George Perez at 1 pm. I’m not going to name and shame the show, as the point is not any one in particular but just that, even as con culture is booming in many places, sometimes things don’t click. I’m told this show was dead on Friday and Sunday, but okay on Saturday, when Perez and others had a huge line — in other words, the typical show pattern from days past.

“Longbox” pointed out that there were at least five other shows in the region in the same month. I don’t think the convention market is over-saturated yet per se, but there are definitely areas that are over and underserved. And as more and more shows pop up, guests are getting more and more selective.

Like I said this isn’t a knock against one show, just a general observation. One thing I think might happen is July opening up for shows—even though San Diego consumes every waking moment for most of the comics industry, more and more professionals aren’t going, and SDCC isn’t really competition for local shows. Now it seems everything is jammed into April-May and September and that’s just exhausting.


  1. I admit, I am concerned by the sudden rise of con culture. While I totally love it, I also worry about a bubble bursting in the near future (for whatever reason). But also the changing attitude of what the average con goer expects and what is expected from both sides of the table .

  2. I can only surmise that a couple of factors go into the concept of long lines. 1) – that we (as attendees & fans) want to see the creator making a profit for appearing. 2) – making and greeting new and old fans. 3) – and to make the trip worth it so that they will return again.

    Speaking as a long-time creator / exhibitor, I’ve had more than my share of smaller / less attended shows. Depending on the time / distance / accommodations / etc. it can be quite a hassle — but as creators we are often energized by the fans (even when it’s quite a tough haul just to get there). So when nobody shows up it can be taken several different ways.

    I have noticed a few regional shows where A-list stars had tables that were not mobbed — but put that *same* creator in San Diego Comic Con and you wouldn’t get an autograph without standing in an hour long line or at all without an autograph ticket. The venue can make a significant difference. Creators know this and I respect them for going to the regional shows and rolling the dice on their profit margins.

    I respect them even more when they stay the ENTIRE length of the show — and not bail out on those Zombie Sunday hours. But sometimes production and events take precedent, or that one airline schedule means you’re leaving early, or checking out the hotel that morning means you got no place to stay… etc. Bottom line, it’s a toss up and I am always happy with whatever I get when I can get it.

  3. The question I would have for this is: Is it a COMIC convention or a MEDIA convention. I have seen a lot of new conventions show up that call themselves comic conventions that have very few or no comic book creators, and just have the same handful of celebrities that show up at every convention, selling their $20 autographs and dealer selling toys, and comic books are few and far between.

  4. There’s also the situation of people who are stupid. About 15 years ago the annual Loscon was held in Burbank, ca. Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury were there and it was announced that they would only be signing for one hour. The line to get books signed lasted ten minutes and then nothing. They sat there talking to each other for the rest of the hour. That was a never to be repeated opportunity as Ray is gone now and Harlan is 79 and rarely makes appearances anywhere any more.

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