At San Diego Comic Con, the Hall H and Marvel/DC super-hero news and events are undeniably cool for fans of pop culture. I love this stuff and as a fan of pop culture I am very interested in it, but it is also where 98% of the massive lines are at Con. But the news shared with the fans at the convention is splashed all over social media often before the panels are even complete! Braving the lines and crowds would buy me an “I got to see it first” factor ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.
I’m not knocking people who love these panels, I’m a huge advocate of “do what makes you happy”. I am talking about my rationale for NOT going to these panels, and offering up a possible alternative for people who feel frustrated by the crowds associated with these parts of the SDCC experience.
Personally, I make a choice: Do I wait in huge lines to sit in a massively crowded room and watch this material on a screen at con when it is the same thing I can watch on my computer when I get home? I would get to see actors, but chances are I would be so far away from them I’d also be watching them on the projected screen in Hall H. The big panels are also frequently streamed on the internet, so I can watch them at my leisure after the con is over.
For “Big Super” (sorry folks, I’m trying to get a nickname for Marvel/DC Super-hero comics started that is a play on “Big Pharma”) it’s the same thing at a slightly smaller scale. Big lines and big rooms crowded with people (though not quite as big as Hall H). Every comic book news site has representatives in these panels and any juicy tidbits are all over their sites, on Twitter, and shared by fans in real time as the panels occur, if Marvel/DC do no leak the news to major “legit” media outlets before the panels even start.
So I spend my time at SDCC going to the smaller comic book panels that are usually focused on the creators and topics that are not of enough interest to the general public to be splashed all over social media in a big way. I post about it, as do a few others, but generally not even remotely live because mobile phone reception SUCKS in the San Diego Convention center…. There are 20,000 people posting/tweeting about the Aquaman movie trailer (or whatever) all at the same time, so connectivity this year was pretty terrible. An added benefit in the smaller panels is the ability to have direct interaction with the panelists that I’m a fan of, both in the form of asking questions during the panel or maybe even chatting with them in the hall after the panel or visiting them at their booth down on the show floor later on.
I’m sure people who choose the Hall H and big Marvel/DC route have fun… well MOSTLY have fun, I do hear a LOT of complaints about crowds/lines/etc. from people who attend SDCC and this is the stuff they are complaining about, because I’m not waiting in big lines for the stuff I do. These people have a very different con experience from the one I have. I’ve talked about this before, SDCC is so large and so diverse in what it covers there is something for everyone. It’s like 10 or 20 conventions all in one. People can focus on any one of those single elements (like I do with comic books) or mix and match the elements in whatever way they want. Pretty much every other comic fan I know that attends SDCC mixes comic books in with Hollywood/sci-fi/etc.
One thing I enjoy most about my chosen “track” through SDCC is that, for the most part, crowds are what I have to navigate around on my way to the things I want to see, but I’m not living inside those crowds for very long.
I’ll be posting Blog summaries of the 21 panels I attended later on/in the coming days, as well as a “Top 10 wrap-up” for San Diego Comic Con 2018. Watch this Blog for more!
In the meantime, I’m checking the news on all the cool stuff I didn’t attend at SDCC and will share a lot of what I think looks cool on the ComicSpectrum Facebook page where people can comment/discuss.
Bob Bretall: firstname.lastname@example.org
http://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics