The Comics Reporter has a brief talk with San Diego Comic-Con director of marketing and publicity David Glanzer which reveals that this year, as long threatened, NO onsite pro or press registration will be allowed.

Glanzer noted that with press in particular, this new policy has been building gradually for years. “In the past press really did come last minute. We’ve made great strides in trying to prevent that from happening,” he said. “The truth is now most of our press registers in advance. Last year we actually warned press that on site registration may have to close and, in fact, we did have to close on site at one point.”

Given that sharing that extra badge was usually the way to get in the last minute pals who showed up after a bender in Tijuana, it really is getting harder and harder to get in.

So how can the show expand, given that there clearly is demand? While the show is experimenting with more and more offsite events, and — as anyone who attends these days can plainly see — the entire downtown San Diego is taken over by Comic-Con folk, what would REALLY be great is if SDCC could turn into the kind of citywide cultural event that the great shows of Europe regularly put on. There are, of course, a few obstacles to this idealistic thinking:

a) San Diego is still bigger than all but Angoulême, and that town is pretty much given over to being the comic/graphic book center of France.

b) The city of San Diego isn’t all that keen on the idea of becoming the comic/graphic book center of the US. You couldn’t pull it off without actual civic interest.

These are just some morningish thoughts…we’ll see how we feel after Hoteloween on Thursday!


  1. So, I should start poking my pro friends to hook me up now? Good to know.

    And San Diego needs to get over itself. They spend all their time selling themselves as “not Los Angeles,” they can become “not Los Angeles, plus nerds one weekend a year”

  2. “Isn’t all that keen on” is putting it mildly.

    LA still doesn’t have a good single location for a big show, either. Nor does Vegas (which is often-suggested as a replacement location.)

  3. The convention has a lot more weight with the city than is publicly really acknowledged. Especially with the economic down turn, the city knows that it’ll have to work with the convention more than ever now. I, as a downtown SD resident, would love to see off-site events take place. Heaven knows the the hotels and vacant spaces throughout downtown would welcome it.

    Example: After years of the city refusing to schedule baseball games around SDCC to ensure that there weren’t two giant crowds competing for resources downtown the Con put it’s foot down and said schedule the games around SDCC or the Con leaves – the city acquiesced and now there are no baseball games during the week of con and folks are much happier.

    The whole “San Diego doesn’t like the con” is not the local businesses, hotels or even really the city itself. Rather it’s San Diego’s the cultural habit of suburban SD residents getting their noses bent out of shape about anything and everything that threatens their cultural landscape of franchises, strip malls, beige SUVs, and “not being LA”. I’m just speaking as a long term SD resident who has actually witnessed art and culture being run out of town.

  4. “”b) The city of San Diego isn’t all that keen on the idea of becoming the comic/graphic book center of the US. You couldn’t pull it off without actual civic interest.””

    San Diego has announced plans to give the Convention Center another 300000 sq ft. It’s early but they’re thinking in that direction and there’s a walkover bridge under construction that probably wouldn’t be there if some one at City Planning hadn’t noticed the crush of tens of thousands jamming up Harbor Drive and 5th every time CCI comes to town.
    This is in addition to the banners that line the roads leading into downtown and the extensive media coverage CCI gets every year.
    That’s more civic interest than you’ll find at Los Angeles or Las Vegas (Sorry, Kady).
    San Diego has plenty of problems (see the jock-sniffer columnists at the UT) but they’re not unaware or unfavorable to CCI.

  5. One of the reasons I WANTED to go was the see the Padres when I was in town. Now, they are never home during Con Week.

    Just another reason to skip it in favor of Wonder Con or Charlotte or Baltimore.

  6. ” L ” – I always thought the heart of the art and culture of San Diego was in the Northern San Diego part along the beaches of Cardiff by the Sea, Leucadia, and Encinitas in all the six years I lived there.

    The only city that should be calling itself “not Los Angeles” is Las Vegas- just count all the Panda Expresses, Taco Bells, and Jamba Juices along the strip, if you don’t believe me.



  7. The Padres wrap up a homestand with the Marlins on Preview Night. Seeing that Wednesday has become as crazy as the rest of the show… You can get your comic and baseball fixes within a two hundred yards of each other.

    Wow, talking baseball on the Beat. Surreal.


  8. “Wow, talking baseball on the Beat. Surreal.”

    don’t worry. some snarky commentator will complain about non-comics talk here any minute now.

  9. LA still doesn’t have a good single location for a big show, either. Nor does Vegas (which is often-suggested as a replacement location.)

    I beg to differ.

    The Las Vegas Convention Center is 1.1 MILLION square feet. The SD convention center is 750k sq.ft.

    Also, unlike Los Angeles, Las Vegas has over 60k rooms within a very short distance.

  10. Sure, there’s a convention center. Is there a place for everyone to flood out to and kick up their feet? Maybe it’s just me, but last time I was in Vegas, you had to drive to get anywhere from the convention center.

    For all the tourist talk, it never seemed like there was much place to just relax and socialize. Gamble, yes. Stand in a buffet line, yes. Relax, not so much. And Las Vegas in summer is a daunting thought (this coming from a guy who likes the desert.)

    Los Angeles is Right. Out. though. There hasn’t been a good show there since Wizard left Long Beach. If they’d come back to Long Beach, I’d go do their show again (even if they hadn’t cancelled it.)

  11. It’s easier to find hookers and someone selling coke in Vegas, although it’s not impossible in San Diego. Plus I was at the Goon spotlight panel last year and I started thinking, “You know what would make this day perfect? The divine Bette Midler.” I could totally make that happen in Vegas.

    Seriously, though, just thinking about the possibility of one day having to endure a Wednesday afternoon before Comic-Con in the cab line at McCarron makes me burst into tears. The reality would almost certainly kill me dead.

  12. I suspect San Diego is staying in San Diego. Can we NOT have the annual “Let’s move it to Schenectady!” discussion and just deal with the show as it exists here and now? LV and LA are not “solutions.”

  13. Actually Tom – San Diego is the capital for the “cash and dash” variety of hooker than anywhere else in the U.S.

    So they’re not hard to find.

    Can’t vouch for you on the coke dealer statistic, though.



  14. SD convention center too small + Not enough nearby hotels / Las Vegas has much larger convention center + thousands of more roms = solution!

    Move the con to Vegas

  15. Crag – this argument about moving the convention to Las Vegas is a broken record already.

    Comic books and kids flung into an environment rife with prostitution, gambling casino, and cocaine snorting does not blend together.

    Why do people persist in continuing on this stupid route.

    LAS VEGAS IS NOT A KID FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT!! You’ know unless we’re going to make this convention where admission is going to to be those 21 years and older to be admitted.

    Get over it already!

    It’s not going to happen!



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