Just a very quick post, alas. Day 1 feels like day 1000. Everyone has 1000 yard stares, dry mouth and blisters. And dread, numbing, seeping dread.

We’ll try to roundup some of the news emanating from the show, but the big news is that Preview Night and Thursday are now just as crowded as Friday used to be.

There doesn’t seem to be huge amounts of news that anyone is talking about AT the show. It’s all meeting and pacting and solidifying the pacting. The main booths are frantically busy giving away free stuff, and gangs of people descend every time something is given out, like piranhas around a scrap of flesh.

Seriously, everyone is so preoccupied with survival that everything else seems secondary! When just getting a cup of coffee means a half hour minimum wait, the misery factor begins to creep towards too much.

We spent the day just trying to survive, buffeted from place to place. It started with a nice hearty breakfast perhaps the only thing to keep us from the abyss. From there it was a series of missed meetings, close encounters and milling around. At one time we ran into an old timer from the show we first went to in 1984 and enjoyhed a conversation about a Rocketeer cookei jar. It was truly a pictish moment.

Swapping survival strategies is a popular pastime, with the main controversy being whether it;s better to have no agenda or a tight agenda. We favor the latter, and our buddy John Green agreed. “When you just wander around with no purpose, it turns into an end of the world scenario, and you gradually succumb to feelings of depression and hopelessness.”

With Friday now sold out– and the con capacity said to be 130,000– the trope “Wait until Saturday!” is now meaningless. Friday is the new Saturday, and every day may be Saturdaty from here out.

Or as the local media puts it:

Yup, it was a big steaming slice of hell on a stick.

“I’m already tired of Comic-Con,” said Michael Uman, the owner of a design shop in New York City. “Between the meetings, the drinking and the sensory overload … ”

For some exhibitors, getting here is half the hassle.

“Once you get here, it’s fine,” said Douglas Paszkiewicz, Milwaukee-based author and cartoonist of the “Arsenic Lullaby” comic books. “But the stress of getting here, of getting all of your stuff here, of making sure your help gets here when you get here, setting up all your stuff – and then recovering to talk to 100,000 people … ”

Not to mention having to pull this off in such punishing surroundings.


  1. Were I a big media company, i’d sent space in one of the hotels and have people come to me. Have a hospitlity suite for talent and business and parties. Run programming in the meeting rooms. in other words, a satellite convention.
    for the Con, they should either spin off programming (movies in June) or hire a cruise ship and anchor it nearby. And a shuttle inside to go from A to H would be nice.

  2. I went four years ago and enjoyed myself, especially the preview night that was so sparsely crowded, you could do backflips and not hit anyone (not that I did). I was also suprised to see a lonely Mike Mignola sitiing at his table during the first half hour of preview night, which gave me time to chat with him. After that night, I might’ve spotted the top of his noggin for the rest of the weekend through the crowds. And that was the year that attendance hit 70-80,000.

    The talk of last year of 100,000+ people and a packed preview night sends me into a panic attack thinking about going back one year. But what the hell, suffer through it and have fun, right?

  3. That article you linked to is flawed!! It refers to Heidi as “Paula MacDonald”!

    I wonder if the organizers of SDCC have considered opening up a theme park. It’d be like Epcot but open year round! Holy “Hotel California”, Batman!

  4. The last SD con G and I went to was in 04 to help man the Gemstone/Disney booth. There were some bright moments but overall it was just exhausting. And even with plans in place it can be tough to get together with the people you want you, since everyone’s getting pulled in twenty directions and schedules change at the drop of a hat. And holy cow but it’s way too fookin’ loud in that joint!

    The plus side of being an exihibitor is getting in early–with luck you can dash around the hall and see the cool stuff before the hordes arrive. My favorite bit was seeing the display of LOTR costumes New LIne had up that year (I think it was that year–it’s a blur). The downside is being stuck most of the day in a booth with the same 60-second clip of an animated series playing next to your head over and over and over…

  5. I once had an idea for a candy called “Hell on a stick.” It would be like hot cinnammon candy in the shape of a flame on a stick. The marketing is built right in! I used to laugh myself stupid thinking about this.

  6. I’ve been going to Comic-Con for years and found that this year is WAY more crowded than year’s past. Preview Night was surprisingly crowded, as was yesterday and Thursday. Today’s going to be a bear, but I’m just running from panel to panel for most of the day and avoiding the Exhibit Hall as much as possible (which is what I’ve done for the past two days with quite a bit of success).

    IMHO, the only reason to head down to the hall is for the TOKYOPOP in-booth programming, as they have their OEL creators talking a lot about their books and doing signings.

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