So, tomorrow morning, my friends and I will sit in front of our computers for several hours, waiting patiently for one of us to get the chance to order passes for San Diego Comic-Con next summer. This is one of the most stressful things I have to do each year. Yes, I realize this is a complete “First World Problem,” but, I have been going to San Diego Comic-Con for 2 decades, and for the last several years, my friends and I worry that this will be the year that some or all of us won’t get a chance to go.
I wanted to get this post out before tickets went on sale because if we can’t get tickets tomorrow, I don’t want this post to seem like sour grapes. I understand that many people want to go to San Diego Comic-Con and many won’t get to go because the tickets are so limited. I think that the San Diego Convention Center and Comic-Con International need to do everything in their power to expand the con to allow for more people to attend each year, and although they are planning expansions, it’s not going to be nearly enough to meet demand.
For some of us, Comic-Con is more than just the hype in Hall H. It’s a pilgrimage of culture. It’s an annual celebration of friendship and fandom. It’s an event that has brought thousands of people together to celebrate their interests and to meet people like them. In many ways, Comic-Con was the first place I felt like I had permission to be a geek. And I don’t want to take that feeling away from anyone, whether they are a new attendee or have been attending for years.
Having just celebrated BlizzCon last week, I saw some of the things that a convention that focuses on its fans can accomplish. An entirely independent convention has sprung up the night before BlizzCon. It’s fan produced and it was phenomenal. It gave me a chance to participate even without the tickets to get in to the convention proper. I could still participate from home with a virtual ticket that let me see a lot of the panels from the comfort of my home. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but maybe San Diego isn’t the appropriate venue for the convention. The fact is, there’s a lot of things that can be done to improve the accessibility to Comic-Con, but there doesn’t seem to be much movement in that direction.
Tomorrow I will sit and wait patiently with everyone else in the hopes of getting my pass. Even if my friends and I are fortunate enough to get passes again this year, there will be plenty of people that will have a tradition that they have participated in for years get taken away from them, and that’s unfortunate and frustrating. I truly home that once the convention renovations are done, more people will have access to this amazing event, but until then, good luck to everyone!