Word is trickling in from around the web about how San Diego Comic Con went all sort of pear shaped.
The article above addresses the issue of how an influx of non-comic media is pricing comic dealers and small publishers out of floor space at the convention. That’s kind of like having a pet store that only sells cobras, black widows and tazmanian devils . . . it’s a little phenomenon known as “losing the plot.”
Here’s a perfect example: Weeds is a show on Showtime about a suburban mom who deals pot to make ends meet when her husband dies. Cool show, funny show, big on the dark comedy. I tend to enjoy it. Note that the premise of this show has absolutely nothing to do with comics. To stretch further, it has no fantasy elements, no science fiction, and no horror. It’s a straight up dramedy; a “Thirtysomething” with drugs, boobs, and naughty words.
So why the hell was there a Weeds panel at SDCC? I mean . . . going back to the pet shop analogy, that’d be like getting your kids an adorable pet remote control helicopter.
To make matters worse, not only did the Twilight fandom swarm the convention upon announcement that the film’s stars would be in attendance, they quite literally ruined it for everyone else who was there to see things not related to vampire stalker angst. Don’t believe me? I’ll let James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd) show you what I mean:
These assholes were actually sitting through other panels just so they could hang around and be in room for the fucking Twilight panel. Not only does Twilight suck, its fans suck.
To be fair, the Browncoats were something of a plague at Dragon*Con the year that Serenity premiered, and yes, the line for those panels wrapped around the building to hell and back. But the crucial difference is that line never impeded anyone else’s ability to go to panels for something other than Firefly related fandom.
And to top it off, you have EA Games once again promoting acts of stupidity in an effort to sell one of their games. In this instance, EA offered a “sinful night” with “two hot girls” to the winner of a contest in which people photographed themselves engaged in “acts of lust” with the models (read: booth babes) around the con. Because yeah, nothing could go wrong with a premise like that.
Reports from SDCC lead one to surmise that the very reason the convention exists – comics – is being edged out entirely. Hollywood is taking over; the focus seems to be on films now, a sort of “geek Sundance,” with the comics folks getting the squeeze. The Gentrification of the American Comic Book, coming to a convention near you.
What can be done? Honestly, if I were an enterprising fellow, I’d begin organizing an Anti-Con in the San Diego area for the same weekend. I’d invite all the comics artists, writers, publishers and dealers to purchase space, and I’d heavily promote it. That way, the people who went to San Diego Comic Con would actually end up with the chance to, I dunno . . . engage in activities that actually have to do with fucking comics?