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.
Well, this is a development. My San Diego Comic-Con 2016 badge arrived this afternoon—and much is changed from previous years. I attend for the eighth consecutive time, and the second as paying attendee rather than press. Previously, badges were given onsite. Now, beforehand, they are mailed out, with built-in RFID that is scanned on event entry. Presumably, the electronically-read tags will reduce fakes and increase movement in, out, and around the venue.
Like last year, I plan to attend all four days and the Preview Night, which is July 20. I count myself lucky to, on Nov. 14, 2015, plow through the random-selection queue and buy a pass. Entire event is a coup. Many people who want to attend get fewer days, if any. I paid $245 for the privilege, and I will work the show as if a press-pass holder.
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.