Some people so surprise me by their brash behavior. Yesterday, I walked over to Frock You!, looking for a vintage leather mini-backpack. My daughter asked for one as present celebrating her 23rd birthday next week. […]
The greatest geekfest and pop-culture event on the planet wrapped up this afternoon in San Diego, as the original Comic-Con closed its doors on the Convention Center. Imitator shows are everywhere this Century, but none commands character and class like the original. The first, full, three-day event took place from Aug. 1-3, 1970, at the U.S. Grand Hotel, with about 300 attendees and sci-fi luminaries, including Ray Bradbury and A.E. van Vogt. This week, 140,000 people attended, but the number doesn’t include the tens of thousands descending on the Gaslamp Quarter and other areas of the city. SDCC is too big to be contained by the formality of a single glass-and-steel structure or the fire marshal’s mandates.
I had given up on participating until unexpected opportunity occurred yesterday morning to purchase a legitimate Day 4 badge with my name—not one assigned to someone else and sold for exorbitant price, despite firm policy against such scalping. I picked up the badge in the afternoon, spending several hours afterwards in the Quarter.
Like yesterday, I captured moments using Leica Q, but far fewer than my typical day. Those that follow aren’t all, or necessarily the best, but they tell a story about shooting them.
I won’t explain how, but today I snagged a legit San Diego Comic-Con 2017 badge for tomorrow. Better one than none. From 2009 through 2016, I had passes to attend all four days but failed to get in the buying queue during Early and Open registrations—in March and April, respectively—nor later get consideration as working journalist. I picked up my last-day badge at the Convention Center around 4:30 p.m. PDT, then moseyed around the Gaslamp Quarter, which is livelier with off-site activities and vendors than I recall from other years.
I would like to congratulate all the future San Diego Comic-Con attendees scoring passes today. You are worthy. My luck ran out during Preregistration last month and continued this morning. I had attended the geekfest every year since 2009, and with passes for the full four days and Preview Night.
Feeble chance remains. The deadline for press verification is April 28th, and I will apply. But for reasons unknown to me, without explanation, SDCC stopped validating my media credentials in 2015. Luckily—and gladly—I paid that year and the next. While I now hope to attend in 2017, legitimately, as working press professional, my optimism is faint.
I dreaded this day but mentally prepared—or so it seemed. San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Early Registration commenced this morning. Passes sold out in about an hour, and I got none for any of the four days or Preview Night. I attended continuously, starting in 2009—the first six years as registered press. For reasons unknown to me, SDCC did not “verify” my media status for 2015 or 2016, but I was able to register and pay for the entire event.
Open Registration is still to come, and the convention changed the press submission schedule for the July 19 (Preview Night) – 23 event. Past years: December. Now it’s end of April. Before the new week starts, I will resubmit legitimate materials that, if my luck isn’t exhausted, might lead to press certification and attendance.
I won’t attend all, or even most, of San Diego Comic-Con as planned this week. SDCC is the only event I look forward to all year. But an opportunity came to undergo corrective surgery in one of my eyes (the other follows in a few weeks) sooner than expected. I will be at the Con Wednesday night but not Thursday (gonna be under the scalpel—or is it laser—that day) and probably not Friday (when is the post-op exam). Perhaps the surgeon will okay Sunday and hopefully even Saturday.
My eighth year of attendance is a bust, but I am super fortunate to get July 21st for the surgery. I had looked forward to Star Trek’s 50th year, which will get big celebration throughout the four days and Preview Night—starting with the “Star Trek Beyond” premiere. Given my truncated plans combined with my paying to attend (no press pass), I will go as a participant rather than a documentarian for the first time.
At 9:35 a.m., I completed buying a full pass to Comic-Con 2016, four minutes after moving from the Waiting Room to the purchase queue. The pulp-media cultural event costs more every year. I paid $220 this year and $245 for next, which works out to $40 each for Preview Night and Sunday (Family Day) and $55 apiece for the others.
SDCC 2016 is the second year I pay to attend. Comic-Con International did not recertify my press status for 2015. I have submitted fresh verification documentation but took advantage of preregistration rather than wait. My concern is not attending rather than paying. Press certification’s major benefit is assured attendance. But there’s no guarantee that my media status will be approved.
You spend too much time online. Take a break from the Net on November 14th. Show us all that you aren’t a connected device junkie—that you can step out into the real world and enjoy fresh air and sun, and prove your ability to talk to real people face to face (pack the breath mints!).
Aren’t your thumbs tired from texting and Facebook Liking? Don’t your eyes need a break from squinting at flat-screens? If you must stare at a screen, make it a big one—catch an early matinee. Take the pledge to give up the Internet for one hour. You could even go 90 minutes. Turn off the PC, smartphone, or tablet. Join others taking the challenge. Let’s everyone start at 8:45 a.m. PST and commit to staying offline until 9:45, or later. You’ll feel better for it.
I lied, but didn’t mean to. Turns out that my “Final SDCC 2015 Reflection” isn’t. I have another. Whether or not you believe in the existence of God, or some kind of deliberate creator, ponder this observation: Comic-Con, more than any other gathering, reveals how much human beings need to worship. Some evolutionist might argue that such innate genetic trait leads us to manufacture deities and religion. God believers could point to the fallen human condition and idolatry replacing pure faith.
Whether you accept either, neither, or something else, nevertheless ponder what San Diego Comic-Con and events like it represents: People gather to worship what or whom they see as being greater than themselves—fictional superheroes, artists who create them, writers who tell their stories, actors who portray them, and directors, producers, showrunners and others who bring them to film and to video.
I offer hanks to Comic-Con International and to everyone participating in and attending this year’s funfest. As a participant, I must say, and hope other attendees share similar experience: Something about the organization and flow of things during the Con felt different this year. I got into more panels than ever, and people in and around the Convention Center appeared more able to relax rather than be asked to move along. These little things shape the overall experience.
Unlike other years, I focused almost exclusively on shooting photos (when not attending panels). My initial Flickr set, which for now is organized by day, is live. I will add more captions over time and perhaps edit the flow. I posted more pics than the previous four years combined.
During San Diego Comic-Con 2015’s last day, I spotted this young woman wearing a Game of Thrones pack and Mockingjay tee. She stood in one the merchandise lines nearby the Tokidoki booth. I stopped and […]
Family Day, Comic-Con’s last, is my favorite. San Diego Convention Center fills up with locals, and most Hollywood stars have left the building. Day four is all about the fans. There’s energy in kids’ passions, […]