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Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday at San Diego Comic-Con

Walt Simonson
Barron Storey
Andy Runton

Wall at the Godzilla Encounter
Ellen Forney
Tom Gauld
Gene Deitch
David Petersen
This was definitely a memorable and great year at SDCC. I had the pleasure of meeting many of my favorite artists and creators as well as seeing several directors and actors in the flesh. Sunday was no exception! 

We started our day with the Godzilla encounter. I. Can't. Wait. For. The. Movie. I loved Pacific Rim (yes, there are flaws but for a giant monster vs giant robot film, it's a lot of fun) and we all know that Godzilla is the King of Kaijus! 

A quick breakfast (our first real breakfast since Tuesday) at Lucky's and we were on our way!

One thing that we noticed was how extremely difficult it was to get exclusives this year. Even after getting in line at Hasbro at 2:30 a.m., we still were unable to obtain a ticket (we wanted Boba Fett!) Many, many, MANY peeps I spoke with stated (quite matter of factly) that they were going to turn around and put everything they obtained from SDCC on ebay. EVERYTHING! It's nothing new with comics and collecting but it was especially frustrating to hear it from so many people. Why does everything have to be for profit and not for the experience aspect? 

This was my most frustrating experience this year especially between LEGO, Hasbro and Mattel. All Tristan wanted was the damn Lego superhero minifigures and it was a feeding frenzy with scalpers. It was very upsetting and quite disgusting. Lego needs to figure out a better way to do this. Last year it was 4,000 free figures given out via a lottery. This year it was four figures, Spiderwoman and Spiderman (limited to 300 of each figure) from Marvel and Black Suit Superman and Green Arrow from DC (limited to 225 of each figure) given out via a ticket system that wasn't truly fixed until Sunday. I don't blame the people at the booth. They worked their asses off (especially the higher up folks we spoke with) and were pretty patient BUT once the word got out as to how much the stupid pieces of plastic were being sold for on ebay, EVERYONE was a scalper. Even the young kids working the booths started telling people how much the figures are selling for (at the moment) on ebay. It was ridiculous and frustrating. Grown adults were trying to buy figures from children. Tickets were snatched out of hands. Fights and verbal screaming matches erupted and all I can think of is my kid wanted the figures simply because he loves Lego. He lives, sleeps, eats and breathes them. Even after telling him not to get in line twice on Sunday (the only day he did that because he so desperately wanted the Green Arrow figure), he got back in line and was not given a second ticket and *I* was the one scolded about it. It just left a really bad taste in my mouth and I've always encouraged my son to be creative and passionate about what he loves (collecting Lego and making Lego stop motion films.) It's just upsetting to see it become such a greedfest.

Another interesting aspect was in recent years, SDCC has expanded tremendously in terms of the number of attendees. This year it seemed like more people than ever. People came from all over the world to attend. We spoke with folks from Australia, Russia and Asia! Lots of newbies were present. At times, it was so packed that you didn't have to even move, the crowd moved YOU. I came very close to losing my shit after being pushed, poked and prodded one too many times. Now I know how a cow feels. That said, it was fascinating to have peeps from all over the world represented. 

I really, really enjoyed meeting so many of my favorite artists and creators. We ran around meeting and getting sketches from folks like Andy Runton, Ellen Forney, Boey, David Petersen, Barron Storey, Walt Simonson, Tom Gauld and Gene Deitch. Gene Deitch?! I was over the moon to get a Tom Terrific sketch from the man responsible for Flebus and Munro. I loved every minute.

We found some great deals on some books that were on our wishlist. We bought books from our favorite publishers like Drawn and Quarterly, Topshelf, Fantagraphics and Last Gasp. I saw a beautiful new book from Sunday Press that I will have to add to my wish list. There's always lots to see and do at Con, it's just a case of having limited funds and space issues. Eye candy is everywhere!

The running joke was that folks are already camping out now for a seat in Hall H in 2015. After seeing some of the things I saw this year, I wouldn't be surprised. Folks getting in line at 5 p.m. the night before for a panel that didn't happen until the next day. In the last few years, that's become popular but never to the extent that we witnessed this weekend. It truly has become a venue of pop culture phenomenon.

I'm writing this on little sleep and with an extremely sore body. It's always sad to say goodbye to something that you love. Every year, the last day of Comic-Con always feels like Christmas night when everything is over and the excitement has faded. Now it's the day after Con and we're all going through withdrawal. It's like it's own unique community and truly unlike anything I've ever experienced. I'm already counting down to 2014! After I get some sleep.


Sandy said...

So sad that things have become this way. I was hoping Tristan would get all the figures he wanted. I understand your frustration. So glad ya'll had a great time. It sounds like so much fun.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you e-mail LEGO, Hasbro and Mattel and tell them what you heard people saying in the lines. Have them read your blog entry so they see that you are genuine collectors and I bet they send your son something. Wouldn't hurt....

Beth said...

Good god, I could not deal with all that - crowds, crazy giveaways, disorganization, total frustration.....yuck!! I will enjoy my Walking Dead Panel Youtube videos at home thank you :) Hope you get lots of rest! Beth

Kelly Kilmer said...

@Kay I wrote to LEGO. I don't want anything from them OTHER Than for this NOT to EVER happen again. Besides, they destroy the figures after the convention (another whole separate rant!) I have something I plan on posting here soon.