While a veil of acceptance settled over most of the attendees of the just passed Big Show, a few people were still miserable, namely those who had to sleep out over night on concrete to get a ticket for next year, with the oft-heard, but seldom-heeded battle cry “I don’t think I’m coming next year.”

Maria and her family from Escondido got into line for pre-registration at 1:00 a.m. Saturday. “The floor was too hard and too cold, but we got our tickets.”

Joyce from San Diego summed up her feeling after her early-morning wait: “It’s just shameful and disrespectful.”

Dennis, from Vista, a Comic-Con attendee for 20 years, said, “I got into line at 5:45 a.m. and was number 741 in line. It took me four hours to go through to get my ticket for next year, and as I was leaving there was a handful of people getting in line for tomorrow.”

People lining up for hours! Well, I nevah! The outrage! Appalling! Terrible! Luckily there is a simple solution:

Yturralde says Comic-Con has a solution for 2013: “There will be no pre-registration…. All sales for the 2013 convention will be done online.”

The Yturralde in question is Mark, a longtime con board member, and certainly not a spokesman, so use the salty cellar, but really, WHY do on-site pre-reg when it is such a horrible experience?

We are creeping closer and closer to the day that San Diego badges go for market price on StubHub. Con official have avoided the truly outrageous extra fees of using a Ticketmaster thus far, but with demand so far outstripping supply, it might be just a matter of time before they go to a pure lottery system (which it already is, informally) or open market. We’d prefer not to see the latter, however, and the con has always tried to make getting a ticket possible for everyone from the teenaged fan to the millionaire.

But, as we’ve ben saying for years, not everyone gets to go to the Super Bowl or Wrestlemania every year. either.


  1. Well, at least I went to Comicon for 10 years, got in but couldn’t go last year due to a death in the family. This year because I just couldn’t get in. Now I’ll turn to smaller shows if I have to have the con experience, it’s probably better this way.

  2. I predict that for 2013, both versions of the four day tickets will sell out in less than one day once they go online. 2012 will allow CCI to figure out the server requirements, so that 2013 won’t have any server disruptions.

    StubHub… I thought CCI had a system to prevent scalping? Oh, I see… the “beard” picks up the badge on Wednesday, then sells the badge. Expect to see a lot of androgynous names like Chris, Pat, Alex, Sam…

    On eBay… 2011 Thursday one-day ticket (Twilight day) sold for $350.
    4-day, no preview: $305, $550, (2, M/F) $860
    4+: $463, $535, $480, $687 (VIP?)

    My suggestion? Become a professional.

    And, ironically, the banner ad for this post advertises advance ticket sales for NYCC…

  3. Pre-reg was quite easy, fast and painless in the past.

    It was only miserable this year due to the horrific restrictions placed on it anew (only 2400 per day, have to have your pass for that day to buy it for the same day next year, half-a-mile walk to the pre-reg site).

    Were I determined to get rid of pre-reg in the future, I would do exactly what SDCCI did this year.

  4. I honestly didn’t mind the system they had in place this year, as it is giving those a chance to purchase tickets for next year.

    I think the best system they had in place was when they “quietly” introduced ticket sales online. Your responsibility to check every day; you miss out, learn from it.

  5. I’m okay with no Pre-Reg for 2013.
    The show isn’t fun enough to justify getting in line at 4am.
    You essentially kill half your day buying tickets (or trying to) and you drag the other half (you meth heads are the exception, of course). The organizers should be thankful weather cooperated this year and the temperature wasn’t 90 degrees for the lines.
    This assumes the Con will be as big in the next few years as it is now. I can’t help but think something(s) is going to break.
    And yes, there are those who say the Pre Reg line wasn’t that bad- except those people spent half their lives in Soviet Russia where you wait 12 hours for toilet paper. Comic Con! At least it’s not the Soviet Union!

  6. Anybody know when the expansion will be done? 2013?

    I figure they raise the price to $250 by then and add 30k more tickets. Maybe they figure to do that and fix online sales then the problem this year goes away.

    Twilight is done now, right? No new movie for 2013?

  7. http://skynews.com.au/showbiz/article.aspx?id=641332&vId=

    “‘Especially in the second movie (New Moon) there are so many new characters I expect she’ll want to revisit them at some point.'” [said the director].

    “The final two Twilight films in the current series, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Breaking Dawn – Part 2, will be released over the next two years and some fans fear Meyer, just like Harry Potter’s author J.K. Rowling, will end the franchise.”

    2012 will be the last movie (so far), but do you really expect the fandom to evaporate? That depends on if there is (heh) fresh blood reading the books and watching the movies and geeking out.

    Meyer has already written one book outside the Twilight storyline, “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner”.

    Then there’s “The Host”, a science-fiction novel in pre-production.

  8. Construction on the expansion is slated to begin in 2013, finished by 2015. The first public hearing was July 14.

  9. @Rob and Nada — I didn’t say it *would* fix things, just that they might currently *think* it would.

    2013 is too far away right now to take anything uttered by anybody during 2011 as what will actually happen.

  10. Expansion of the SDiego Con Center will not come close to satisfying attendee demand; it’ll just help people who set up booths and provide panels to market their shows/projects, as there will be more room to do so in 2015. Nothing will satisfy attendee demand until we have a helpful plague to thin out overpopulation.

  11. I think its a horrendous idea to sell all the tickets online. For one the servers have never been reliable and it opens up the sale of ticket to scalpers. On top of that people that really want to go are going to look to ebay and get ripped off.

    Friday I went to ask a couple of security guys a question when I overheard a woman talking to them. She was showing them how she had purchased a pass on ebay and the seller told her all she would need is this verification from paypal.

    Now I know it was stupid of her to do that and its really her own fault. Still, I cant help but feel sorry for all the money she was out with the hotel, the flight, etc. If the whole of pre-reg gets moved to online you can bet this is going to happen to a lot of people that just don’t know any better.

  12. It’s not very democratic, but the con could review attendee names and addresses for the last 10 years or so and make a snail mail offer of passes. I think it will keep a good base of comic fans as attendees rather than many newcomers who only want to attend for movie and TV events.

  13. I agree with Randy completely.

    I got up at 4 a.m. and stood in line for tickets – did it twice. Once for me and once for a friend and you know what? I would do it all over again!

    The nice thing about pre-reg is that it was a kind of cool way of CCI to say thanks to loyal patrons from previous years by allowing them to purchase tickets in person and save themselves the worry later on.

    Don’t want to wake up at 5 a.m.? Too bad. Others do. And you know what? That’s the other great thing about Comic Con – that for the most part, dedication, no matter how insane it is, almost always paid off.

    Now the only people this is leveling the playing field for is the scalpers. I sincerely hope that there’s some kind of show of grace for us previous attendees otherwise the sheer spectator sport of Comic Con will be enough to turn 2013 into a collection of a random assortment of people lucky enough to outlast the ever-failing servers in order to go to a convention they ‘heard was the rage.’

    TL;DR – anyone can log onto a computer. But it takes dedication and sheer fandom to line up for four hours in the wee hours of the morning to get tickets for something you actually really want. And that used to mean something….

  14. See, I’m still not getting this. The past couple of years there’s been the attendance cap, right? But still I was able to purchase advance tickets by going to a small line next to Registration and waiting perhaps 20 minutes. Done.

    This year they moved it, put caps on each day, and forced people to give up sleep to stand in line for HOURS they could have spent IN the Con or downtown, spending money. What is the difference this year? Same number of people, way more limitations.

    I’ve gone every year but one for more than 10 years, and many more years besides that. My reward is no ticket for next year. And I’m the fanboy that spends hundreds every year on indy comics, artists’ sketchbooks and the like.

    I’m mad, upset and mostly baffled.

  15. I called it — today comic-con posted on Facebook:

    “Regarding pre-sale onsite next year. We really are trying to best we can to make this work as best as possible. Thank you for your input. It really does help us. So, as of right now, no decision has been made on pre-reg for next year.”