Topic: Comic Cons
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3197:
The 41st Comic-Con International: San Diego ended on Sunday, July 25th, at 5PM, although Tina and I stayed later, making a last minute bulk purchase for our online store.
That's because there was so much to see and do at this comic con; that for the first time ever in attending this Con, I didn't get to walk the whole event which included the dealers section!
For purposes of this Special Blog...The 2010 Comic-Con had so much going on that I'm going to list the topic first, write a few thoughts, and then give a 'comic book grade' for a score.
I'm starting at the very beginning for this year's Comic-Con:
Memberships for 2010 - We bought our 4 days plus Preview Night memberships at the 2009 Comic-Con on the last day. Same procedure as usual in obtaining the memeberships...EXCEPT for the Price for 2010 JUMPED from $65 to $100! NOT GOOD! But I knew it was still worth it for us, as this is a major con going event for our business. I still remember the 'STICKER SHOCK' when con goers last year heard what the new rate would be. AND the thing of its is...This is the ONLY place where I will run into people I haven't seen for years, i.e. Roger & Val Kevan. Roger's 1st SDCC was in 1973, the 2nd Year I set up as a Comic Book Dealer at this Con! Grade: FINE (F) 6.0 (Out of a 10.0 grading scale).
Memberships for 2011 - There was a VERY LONG Line on this year's Preview Night for Memberships for 2011! With NO Overhead announcement that I heard about it. Plus the line snaked around the 'Freebies Table', causing many to ask those in line what they were standing in line for as there was nothing on the Freebies Table itself! Not Good! For 'self-preservation' I stood in line, after being flagged down by a 'line buddy' from last year who informed me on what was going on. After seeing that line had almost doubled in size while I was talking with him, I decided to stay with him and purchase the 4 days + Preview Night for 2011 then and there! This with approx 15 minutes before the Under the Sails lineup was about to be let in to the Exhibit Hall. Grade: GOOD (G) 2.0 (Please Note: 'Good' is NOT Really 'Good'. It is one of the lowest grades in comics grading. Sort of a misnomer for those that don't know comics grading).
Parking - Prepaid parking was initiated for this year approximately on June 5th. With my network of almost 5,000 Facebook Friends, I found out about it quickly. I read the pre-paid parking spiel... Realized it could mean trouble by either buying them or not buying them, and opted to buy the prepaid parking under the San Diego Convention Center that very hour. Cha-Ching!! Each day's worth of parking was sold separately, meaning that a $2 service charge was assessed on each day's permit. An extra $10 in service charges was paid when doing it this way.
So what was the affect of this new pre-paid option? For us it meant easy access to the underground parking structure to park. Best Parking in years for Us, who always had to get there before 7AM to get decent parking! And to NOT get turned away at the entrace to the underground parking. But NOT good news for those others who hadn't heard of this NEW Pre-Paid Parking option! And I heard from many at the Con, who hadn't heard about this option until the Comic-Con had emailed them approx June 23rd! By then, the underground parking at the con center was 'Sold Out'. My Grade for this, bearing on how we lucked out by finding out much earlier while others didn't...Would be a VERY FINE (VF) 8.0, as the idea was fine, but the advertising of it was not smoothly transacted.
Posting of the Schedule For Attendees Prior to Preview Night - WoW! Excellent work of having the Schedule posted way ahead of the actual opening on Preview Night! PLUS an app where you could pick what you wanted to see, and print out, plus have loaded to your smart phone! The only thing missing for me was a full grid line page of each day's events like what is printed in the 2010 Events Guide. Other than that...EXCELLENT execution! We used the actual printed copy of the 2010 Events Guide to fall back on. Grade: NEAR MINT (NM) 9.4.
Art Show - As usual, with a policy of no cameras and no bags, (where do you easily check them for a quick impromptu walk-through?), I didn't view this section once again...Heck I haven't seen this section for a few years! It's not fair to ask one person in your party to stay outside watching the bags and cameras while you are taking a look inside the area. Plus I kind of feel guilty leaving someone else 'holding the bags', quite literally! Please Note: The Grading is NOT for the items inside the section, but for the section itself. Grade: POOR (P) 0.5.
Anime Schedule - I used to stop in late nights or between other programs schedules.
Now we can't do that, as anime was moved to the Marriott Hotel. NOT walking there unless I 'convert' to a 'true' anime fan!
It was bad enough for us to walk there for the 'fullfillment' aspect of this Con, but that is another topic...
Again, the Grade is NOT for the anime films, but for the setup / location of this. Grade: FAIR (FR) 1.0, as it totally 'segregates' the anime fans from the comics fans and pop culture fans, (which may be a good thing for some?).
Artists Alley - The last few years I've developed more of an understanding and expanded interest of this section. At least until this year. The section was moved closer to the doors opening to the Lobby. However the section itself seemed to be 'cut' into two sub-sections. One with the majority of the tables, and the other section up against the final wall with less tables. Almost like when Interstate 5 came through San Diego decades ago, separating Little Italy into two sections. The one section to the East of I-5 died out, while the area West of I-5 had some troubles until recent years when 'Little Italy' was re-developed into what it is today. This year's Artists Alley seemed a little 'dis-jointed' in layout. Plus the main wayfare went right the two sections with attendees not even wanting to stop in this section plowing right through to the back where this section used to be.
However I did get see all 200(?) tables. Plus met new Facebook Friends like Denise Vasquez shown in the photo here. Again, my grade is NOT for the Quality of the table holders at the Comic-Con's Artist Alley, but for the way the Artists Alley was changed IMO. Grade: VERY FINE (VF) 8.0.
I think I better stop for now...I just stopped and added 'Part 1' to this blog's title. I have several more topics to cover now in 'Part 2', including: Autographs, Freebies Table, Fullfillment Room, and Security among other topics. More on that...Probably tomorrow, if Tina doesn't have her blog ready...
For those of you reading this blog, please don't get the idea that I didn't like this 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International! There is no place I'd rather spend my Birthday, which I did again this year on Saturday. That makes it 3 years in a row! Plus it looks like I'll be there for my NEXT Birthday as well as the 2011 Comic-Con runs from July 20th - 24th when you include Preview Night. "Woo-Hoo" as Tina says!
So...My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over the 3,195 total posts in number! Be back tomorrow to either read Part 2 of this blog series or Tina's review of the same con!~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
Note: Our online comic book store carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items at the link seen below.