Pink Raygun has an anecdotal but interesting report on SD Mayor Jerry Sanders doing a local radio interview:

As we drove east on Interstate 8 yesterday morning, we heard Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego say something nasty about Comicon attendees on Cantore in the Morning on 91X. While talking about the end of Comicon weekend and American Idol’s descent on San Diego, he said,

“We’ve put up the superheroes and now we’re on to the people with actual talent.”

John swears he heard Sanders say, “We got rid of the superheroes,” but whether he said “got rid of” or “put up” or “put away”, the impression is that the mayor of San Diego barely tolerates our presence during Comicon weekend. 140,000 people spending money in his city is nothing to scoff at, despite the inconvenience of gridlock in front of the convention center and people walking around the Gaslamp in costume.


  1. It wasn’t a sarcastic dig at Idol, it was just another example of SD pissing down the necks of their guests. This isn’t the first time that the powers that be have said they don’t want us there any longer. Call and politely but firmly voice your displeasure with the Mayor and his hatred of the tall comics dollar at (619) 236-6330. The Convention Office Liason is Steven Liu. His voice mail should be full by the end of the day. I’d suggest that the organizers of SDCCI move the show to Los Angeles, but they can barely handle the travel arrangements. Moving the show would kill them.

  2. Thanks for the phone number.
    His office should be aware of such blunders – especially in this day and age of instant communication. Old guard politicians will learn their lesson the hard way soon. Just goes to show what you can say when not running for office in a campaign versus the reality of actually doing the job.

    Moving to LA wouldn’t be the end of the world, and I’m sure the comics connection with Hollywood would only benefit – if not partially foot the bill, as well. 140K sold out record is nice leverage. But I admit…. the transition would be hard on Comic-Con.

  3. I called Sanders’s office and expressed my displeasure. I’m a San Diego resident who votes in San Diego elections. I also happen to be a professional cartoonist who exhibits at Comic Con every year. I made these facts perfectly clear. I’ll be very surprised, however, if Sanders reconsiders any of his opinions, either publicly or privately.

  4. For all the other flaps and kerfluffles he’s caused, Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman would never say anything that stupid.

    (And, I still have all the contact info for the LVCVA people to hand. When I started writing the article making the case to move the con to Vegas, they called me during the busiest two weeks of their year to let me know they were happy to answer any questions I might have.)

  5. For all the other flaps and kerfluffles he’s caused, Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman would never say anything that stupid.

    (And, I still have all the contact info for the LVCVA people to hand. When I started writing the article making the case to move the con to Vegas, they called me during the busiest two weeks of their year to let me know they were happy to answer any questions I might have.)

  6. It’s way past time, move the thing to Vegas. The City of San Diego really doesn’t give a damn. The trolley thing, ugh, I trying to repress it. It’s to the point where it’s not enjoyable but an ordeal.

  7. I exhibit at BookExpo America every year, and believe me, by comparison most of SDCC is a breeze. Not saying there aren’t any problems, but things could be a lot worse. Last year’s 2005 BEA in Washington DC was held at a conmvention center where there were no exit signs visible from the middle of the hall, and where large stretches of the hall were only served by single-file escalators. If there had been a fire or other emergency, that was just asking for bodies to be piled up. This year’s BEA in the Javits Center in Manhattan: there was no air conditioning the entire first day. No. Air. Conditioning. The Javits is also only accessible by taxis (which you can’t catch going away from the Javits) or shuttle buses. Or walking, which is what most people do to get out of the show. There are no hotels within blocks and blocks of the Javits, and there is no public transportation aside from cross-town buses. There are no solid restaurants within easy walking distance of the Javits. There is no equivalent of Ralph’s.

    Las vegas does conventions right, you betcha. The monorail was a good addition but from what I understand (Evanier knows, I bet), it has had some severe problems. But since SDCC signed a contract to stay in San Diego for several years beyond this one, it’s unlikely there’s any move in the immediate future. More hotels and parking on their way over the next couple years may help a little next year, but yes indeed, those train tracks are poor city planning.

  8. Oh, and one other thing. In saying that the American Idol people have the real talent, the Mayor is dismissing the works of attendees/guests who have won awards such as: Pulitzer, Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Emmy, WGA, Oscar and (oh irony of ironies) the Grammy.

  9. I seem to recall that someone threw a con in Vegas a few years ago, and it was, by all accounts, a miserable failure. I recommend reading Heidi’s post here before you start boning up on your poker skills:;f=39;t=000059

    Scroll down a bit until you get to this:

    REVIVE LAS VEGAS: The recent “Extrosion” convention In Las Vegas seemed to prove two adages:

    #1– Throwing a comic book convention in Las Vegas is never a good idea.

    #2 – Naming a convention something that’s sounds like a medical procedure is never a good idea.


  10. Hey guys, please pass this around. thanks!

    Anybody who thinks that Jerry Sanders doesn’t really love Comic-Con doesn’t know about his history with this convention. When he was chief of police he helped make this one of the most secure and fun conventions to attend in the world. Since being elected mayor, Jerry has gone to opening day for each of the past two years.

    In his first year as mayor, Jerry joined Comic-Con president John Rodgers to help unveil the DC Comics Super Heroes stamps, saying to a packed house of more than 3,000 in attendance:

    “Comic book Superheroes continue to capture the imagination of people young and old, and the Superheroes of DC Comics are some of the mostly widely recognized icons in the world. I can’t think of a more fitting subject to be memorialized in a U.S. Postage Stamp Series, and I couldn’t be prouder that these stamps are having their exclusive First Day Stamp Issue here in San Diego.

    You can’t help but get caught up in the energy and buzz that takes over San Diego each year when more than 100,000 participants flock to Comic Con. This is truly the one convention that everyone talks about each year, and I’m so pleased that Comic Con continues to call San Diego home. I hope you continue to come back for many years to come.”

    Then just last week, as he kicked off the Yu-Gi-Oh! World’s Fair and International Championship Tournament sponsored by Upper Deck and KONAMI, the mayor said:

    “We also appreciate how Yu-Gi-Oh and all its players add to our local economy and to our status as one of the world’s leading creative communities. I’m proud to say that in addition to everything else Upper Deck and the KONAMI Corporation bring to San Diego, they also bring jobs.

    That’s a great local business connection and just a small example of how important creative games and creative companies like Upper Deck and KOMAMI are to cities like San Diego.”

    The mayor went so far as to declare opening day at Comic-Con “Yu-Gi-Oh! Day” in the City of San Diego and gave Upper Deck’s John Sepenuk a special resolution commemorating that declaration.

    The mayor gets it, the mayor likes it, the mayor has a good time, and like everyone else who attends, he enjoys the excitement, the energy, and, yes … all the costumes and hoopla that are such a big part of what Comic-Con has become.

    The mayor in no way meant to disparage the talent and attention to detail shown by anyone attending Comic-Con. He loves you guys and looks forward to seeing you next year, and is sorry for the misunderstanding.

  11. TChav –

    Take it from me – that Vegas con held three years back totally sucked ass! It was run by a few renegade San Diego Comic Con committee members thinking they could have done a better job ( like I should talk ) – Anyway – they had placed my booth right next to a pair of con artist psychic fortune tellers who kept pickpocketing the wallets off a few ( not exaggerating when I casually throw out that word) attendees – just goes to show what happens when you try to expand the horizons beyond usual comic book convention merchandizing.



  12. I’m insulted. And I hope the CCI board is too. So insulted that they demand a new Convention Center.

    In fact, there’s some land at the I-8/I-15 interchange that’s going to open up in the next few years that would make a perfect site for a new convention center.

    156 acres. New convention center. Dare to dream.

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