TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #3908 - Whew! The 2013 SDCC / Comic-Con International: San Diego ended yesterday at 5PM!
Those were some very busy days at the Con, from the Wednesday Preview Night to Sunday at 5PM!
The 2013 Comic-Con was the 24th Comic-Con in a row for me that I did not miss, (since 1991), and I go back to 1972 when I first set up as a comic book dealer in the El Cortez Hotel!
However... The Comic Con of 1972 was far, far different from the 2013 version! Here's 'My Take' on the 2013 Con:
1) PARKING - Last year I was out of town when the pre-paid parking was put on sale online. I missed out on purchasing parking under the convention center. That was a big mistake! This year I was in town and was able to purchase all five days of parking under the convention center. Much, much smoother! This is the only way to go if you are picking up anything, as walking with items during the con is too much effort. Yes there is a bag check, but still you have to pick up those items and walk them to wherever you are going after the end of each day. Rating: Near Mint (NM) 9.4.
2) LINES / LINES MANAGEMENT- I'll let my wife, Tina LoSasso talk about the BIG problem she had with lines this Comic-Con. She attends just the Film & TV Shows panels / programs, and runs into problems with those lines being way out of control! She does attend my choice of panels with me at the end of the day, usually in the evening, which are much smaller in length. The only program I didn't get into was the 20th Reunion Panel for X-Files, but I didn't get into the line until late, so that was a possibility of not getting in. Still, the comic book related panels / programs that I attended had longer lines than previous years... Rating: VERY GOOD (VG) 4.0.
3) PROGRAMS / PANELS - I found myself taking it easier this year in attending panels / programs. I didn't skip out halfway through a program to attend another one that was running at the same time. So it was much more mellow for me. Indeed, Saturday was a pleasure going from one panel to another, but again these were comic book related panels, so the lines were not long. Rating: Very Fine Plus (VF+) 8.5.
4) PREVIEW NIGHT - You know... both Tina and I are wondering why we even went to Preview Night! The size of the crowd inside was not fun to wade through, and the swag was minimal. We didn't bother to stand in the line Under The Sails to get in early, as there was nothing that we 'had to get' on Preview Night. We didn't walk through Downtown San Diego earlier, and there were minimal parties during / after Preview Night that we could even attend. Definitely reconsidering attending the 2014 Preview Night. You have to wait all day for the Comic-Con to open at 6PM and it only runs till 9PM. Three hours for what...??? Rating: Good (G) 2.0.
5) EXHIBIT FLOOR - The areas around the Film & TV booths was not walkable... I stayed away from those areas after Preview Night. The Artists Alley was pressed up against the Hall H wall. The Independent Press section was not recognizable as such. The Fan Tables area on the Mezzanine was something you traveled through from one escalator to another. The Gold & Silver Pavilion with comic book dealers was lightly attended, except for Sunday. I talked with a few comics exhibitors who expressed dismay that sales were down from previous years... Rating: Fine (F) 6.0.
6) OFF-SITE EVENTS - Tina and I did not attend any Off-Site Event this year. Either because they were exclusive parties or that we were in panels / program till late at night, keeping us from attending. Rating: No rating.
7) EXPANSION OF COMIC-CON - Tina and I did not make it to the Hilton Bayfront for any programs. Too far to walk. We did go to to the Marriott to redeem two different redemption tickets for items being given away for those attended the programs. The Vikings program gave a free #1 sealed comic book, and the Falling Skies gave away a poster / poster tube. Those were actually worth walking down to Marriott to redeem! Oh, and the Lyceum Theater at Horton Plaza is now part of the programming of Comic-Con. You gotta be kidding! You had to get a ticket at the Convention Center to attend a Lyceum Theater program. Sheesh! Rating: No rating, but I'm tempted to give it a Good (g) 2.0 grade.
8) PRE-PAID MEMBERSHIPS FOR 2014 - Those days of lining up to purchase the next year's membership ended last year. Everything is now online. Which is a major bummer, as you have to be lucky to purchase a membership in the 90 minutes it took to sell out for 2013 on the day the memberships went on sale... Rating: No rating.
9) FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE 2013 EVENT - I looked at 'My Take on the 2012 SDCC' blog from last year, at blog #3678. At the end of last year's convention, I wasn't that thrilled about the event that had just ended. This year, I'm feeling better about the con. I was more relaxed at this con, not running from program to program, but staying in the one I had chosen, and was able to get into! Due to attending so many programs / panels, I was away from the Exhibit Floor a lot. Which was also noticed by several dealers, as I was not the only attendee to do so. The choice of panels / programs was varied, as my wife was able to get into most of the programs she wanted to see, but had to sit through many programs she had no interest in. As for myself, I really enjoyed Saturday's lineup of panels and didn't hit the Exhibit Floor except for a half hour at the opening of the Con Day. I did run into more friends and Facebook Friends than in previous years, and had a good time at several booth / tables when I did get down to the Exhbit Floor. So my rating for this year's con was a Very Fine (VF) 8.0... But the Comic-Con is still too big for the current size of the San Diego Convention Center! The photo of Galactus at the top right of this blog reminds me that even Galactus is dwarfed by the size of the Comic-Con! The City of San Diego has to get started building the addition to the Convention Center!
10) LINKS - Both Tina and I took photos / videos every day. Here are the links for my special photo albums, which are all at my Facebook Fan Page, Michael D Hamersky On Comics.
Preview Night Photo Album
Thursday Photo Album
Friday Photo Album
Saturday Photo Album
Sunday Photo Album
I haven't yet uploaded Tina's photos, but they will be found at the same Facebook Fan Page. You will have to skim down the Photo Album page to find them.
The videos will be uploaded in the days (weeks) to follow as I get to them, at my YouTube Channel, HamerskyOnComics.
Also, in the days to follow... I will have items picked up or purchased for resale from the 2013 Comic-Con listed at my online comic book shop, ComicBooksCircus.com!
Thank you for reading this review blog on the 2013 Comic-Con International: San Diego. I hope this helps you in making up your mind whether or not to attempt to attend the 2014 convention.
Oh, and one last final thought... This year I didn't celebrate my birthday at Comic-Con. However, next year, the 2014 Comic-Con runs July 23rd (Preview Night) through Sunday the 27th. So once again, I'll be celebrating turning another year older at the SDCC! Which has occured several times during the years, as the Comic-Con usually runs in July!
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Note: My online 'Local' Comic Book Shop (LCBS), carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items. Possibly even copies of the item(s) that was mentioned here today...! If I have it, you'll find under the BIG TOP of Comics, at Comic Books Circus.com!
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