Last night, a Washington Post story compelled me to make a quick change in today’s selection. Lenny Robinson, better known around the Washington, D.C. area as
Tomorrow night begins my seventh sojourn to the greatest geekfest and pop-culture event on the planet. Imitator shows are everywhere this Century, but none commands character and class like the original. San Diego Comic-Con is an amazing amalgamation of hopes and aspirations—and the grandest storytelling—where, for four days and a Preview Night, tens of thousands of people can be themselves—fit in, rather than feel oddball—or be whom they would want to be by dressing up as beloved superheroes or villains and by adoring the storytellers and actors behind them.
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, 130,000 attendees will storm San Diego Convention Center to enter an alternate reality, where the social rules binding them everyday no longer apply.
It’s Saturday, and that means another excerpt from my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make The Greatest Show On Earth, which profiles one-dozen attendees from SDCC 2013. One week ago, the Con held Open Registration, where participating for the first time I was fortunate enough to obtain passes for all four days and the Preview Night. From 2009-2014, accredited press status assured access.
Without press accreditation, I expect San Diego Comic-Con 2015 to be my last, as obtaining passes one year is no guarantee of getting them the next. Judging from social network responses to last week’s 59-minute ticket sales, many people who attended last year couldn’t purchase passes for the next one. Attendance is capped at 130,000.
For San Diego Comic-Con 2015, I am required to reverify my press status—the second time since starting to attend as news media in 2009. I submitted the required documents and story links in early December 2014 and now anxiously await my SDCC fate. If denied, I will unlikely attend this year’s Con, having missed other opportunities to register. If that happens, the world won’t end. Life will go forward. But my birthday, which occurs during the July 9-12 dates, will be somewhat sorrowful this year.
I love Comic-Con for what it represents: Storytelling and attendees being or associating with the people they wish they could be. I laid out my thoughts on the latter concept in July 2010 post “The Roles We Play“, which I adapted as the introduction to my 2013 event project: Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. I had much hope for the ebook, when published about 18 months ago. But sales were never good—and as distance grows greater from the events told, time diminishes the content’s value.