So the 2011 San Diego Comic Con has ended and people are starting to recover. Naturally people are starting to post their impressions of the con, but I’m starting to see a lot of articles being passed off as “Best/Worst” of the con by people who weren’t even there. These articles are just written using liveblogs and impressions from people at the show, without any hands on experience on what was good or bad at this year’s convention. Well, I was there and this is what I thought.
One complaint by most people at the show this year is how they were handling pre-registration tickets for next year’s show. In order to buy a ticket this year for next year (which most people normally do), you had to have a ticket and get to the purchase line anywhere between midnight and 3:00am in order to ensure you got one of the tickets that was allocated for that day. If you weren’t camped out or in a good place in line by 3:00am, you were out of luck to get a 2012 ticket that day. Each day the allocation sold out, and most people just gave up to try to buy tickets when they go on sale around February or so.
Crowds were also much worse this year, and much more rowdy. One friend of mine pretty much swore off going in 2012 due to how crowded it was and how much pushing, shoving, punching, and kicking there was just to get through the sea of people. Friday and Saturday on the exhibit floor was suicide and some areas, notably the Gentle Giant booth and the Fox booth (when there were signings going on), were nearly impossible to get by due to the complete gridlock of people either trying to see a celebrity or get a free hand out.
Movies & Television
It’s no secret that television had a much stronger presence at Comic Con this year. It was pretty widely reported that studios were afraid to showcase a big movie at the show after last year’s Comic Con darling, Scott Pilgrim, crashed and burned at the box office just a couple weeks after being heralded as the greatest film ever at Comic Con. Marvel didn’t bring Captain America or The Avengers to the show, and their only real presence for either was Cap’s costume from The Avengers in the Marvel booth and a cheap replica of the Helicarrier bridge in the center of their booth. But to be fair, everyone at Comic Con was probably already going to see both movies; so Marvel didn’t need to sell it to the already converted.
The same could be said about DC and The Dark Knight Rises, but they at least has the teaser trailer playing in their booth; when people weren’t playing Arkham City on the big screen.
The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Doctor Who dominated the television take over of Comic Con, and people even camped out overnight to get into Sunday’s Doctor Who panel in Hall H. That’s not to say there wasn’t big movie reveals there. Sony made news with their Amazing Spider-Man panel and the reveal of the Lizard, but that wasn’t all.
Fright Night actually looks really good, and the Total Recall remake surprised almost everyone by not sucking. It looks a lot like Blade Runner, which is a good thing. Even Ghost Rider, with its very R-rated footage and the directors of Crank and Crank 2 behind the camera almost helped wipe the taste of the original movie from fanboy’s mouths.
With all of the Hollywood at the show these days, people begin to forget that Comic Con is about comics. Marvel and DC both had panels, but DC came out with guns blazing to help answer questions about September’s big relaunch. I’ve seem some comments refer to DC as a loser at the con because about twelve idiots staged a pathetic protest or because one girl basically heckled most of the DC panels; but they actually came off better than Marvel who sparked little interest from their panels.
On the other hand, DCs panels over all four days were pretty packed; especially the New 52 panels. DC did a good job explaining how it’s more like a Crisis-style relaunch as opposed to a complete reboot. Most major story lines still exist in the relaunch, and some aren’t really being changed much at all. In fact, some of the largest changes apply to some of the more minor characters such as Hawkman who had a really convoluted continuity following the original Crisis.
You can listen to all of the DC panels right here if you want to hear for yourself what they said.
As some people may know, Comic Con’s contract with the city of San Diego is up next year; so there’s a chance that the 2012 San Diego Comic Con may be the last one in the city. But the con is so important to the city for the money it pulls in, I doubt very much they’ll let it go. Both Anahiem and Las Vegas have been possibilities for it to move to in previous years, so we’ll just have to wait until next summer to see how things play out.