I’m not going to rant here, that’s too easy. But San Diego Comic Con needs to be broken up in to two separate events, as the comic portion of Comic Con is all but lost. I’m not the first to notice this, but I’m going to stand up and state my displeasure of how SDCC has degraded to nothing more than a Hollywood parade of stars.
I watched the #SDCC column in Tweetdeck fly by at incredible rates these past few days. Few to none, that I could see, were about comics. Yes, it’s great to see actors like Betty White or Benedict Cumberbatch, but what do they have to do with comics? Nothing. Most of the tweets were about “industry” news. Not the comic industry, but rather Film and TV. As you can see, Benedict Cumberbatch, “Lana” from “Archer” and Hot Wheels cars fill up the #SDCC hashtag. Where are the ones about Artist Alley? Oh, yeah, no one Tweets about that.
Now, I’m as a big of fan of comic-books-turned-movies as anyone out there, but this is ridiculous. We comic geeks have been shoved out of our own convention!
The answer: San Diego Comic Con needs to be two events. One for Comics, one for TV/Films.
With LA and Hollywood just up the road from San Diego, the TV and Film industries have crashed our party and taken it over. We’re so excited and star-struck to have Robert Downey Jr. show up at Comic Con that we forget there’s an Artist Alley full of folks looking for you to buy their art or comics. Remember them? No, you didn’t, as you stood in line for 4 hours waiting to see the next Marvel/DC film trailer or sit through an hour long panel of an actor ranting about various subjects.
Some of you may argue that if not for the Film/TV stars, the crowds would be much, much smaller. Granted, that’s a no-brainer. But, the percentage of the attendees now who actually give a rat’s-butt about comics is extremely small anyway. So why deter your target audience from getting to your table by having tens-of-thousands of Film/TV fans getting in their way. Or, if they even come at all as tickets for SDCC are a hot commodity. Not because of comics, but because of the stars that are going to be there.
These TV and Film industry people are NOT interested in your comic. Sorry, they’re not. So, if you’re living the fantasy that Stan Lee will walk down Artist Alley, see your book printed at Ka-Blam and go “Damn! Sign this guy up for a million dollar movie deal!” it’s just not going to happen. Period.
But what will happen is that a publisher, also near Artist Alley, may see your work and sign you up for a publishing deal. That DOES happen, and all the more reason to make SDCC two events. Give us comic folks some room to breathe so we can actually reach out to our fellow comic geeks. You know who you are. You’re the one walking around SDCC with a box full of comics on a small hand cart behind you so you can get your favorite artists to sign the covers. YOU are the person I want to reach out to, as YOU will more than likely buy my book. But all you’re doing now is irritating the folks there to get free T-shirts from a movie studio or stand in line to see an actor. Wouldn’t YOU rather have a Comic Con about comics? Yes, you would.
SDCC wouldn’t be the gaudy spectacle it has degraded into if the LA and Hollywood crowd would stick to their own territory. They’ve taken our stuff, and won’t give it back. This is High School all over again. The cools kids have kicked us out of the prime seats in the cafeteria and are making fun of us behind our backs again. I say we stand up and stop this.
To the organizers of San Diego Comic Con: GIVE US BACK OUR COMIC CON! Send those Hollywood folks back to LA so we can actually sell some comics.
Oh, that’s right, you won’t. As Marvel will spend hundreds of thousands of dollar on their booth and advertising, and sadly, I can’t. So who gets to take over SDCC? You guessed it. The LA bullies. But if we make our voices heard, perhaps we can make a change. We should be able to walk SDCC without the fear of getting our underwear pulled up to our earlobes by Hollywood moguls. We comic geeks/nerds need to rally together and take back OUR Comic Con.