It breaks my heart to say this, but I was honestly a bit disappointed by SDCC this year.
I’ve been going for 8 years now, and up until now it’s always been an absolutely awesome experience. This year, though, something was super off about it, and I know I’m not the only one who felt that way. I’ve talked to a lot of con-going buds about this, and the consensus seems to be that SDCC has just kind of outgrown the area at this point.
I know there are a lot of kind, hard-working folks involved BTS at the con, so I don’t want to bitch too much about it out of respect for them. Thus the reason it’s taken me so long to post about this year’s con: I was trying to stick to the “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” rule. The further away from the event I get, the more I can see the good in it. While I was in the thick of it all, though, there was an awfully lot of not-so-greatness happening. Here’s a super quick, “trying to look at the bright side of things” breakdown of my SDCC adventures this year.
Starting with the “KHAAAAAAAAAAAANS!!!!”:
-The “policing” at this event has gotten absurd. I understand that it’s a fire marshal/safety thing, but the way they choose to handle things now takes SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun away from the con experience. I was literally yelled at to “keep moving” every time I stopped to take a pic with anyone. Every. Single. Time. And not in a kind, “Would you mind moving along, please?” sort of way. It was always, “Keep it moving!” “Pose and go!” “No standing still!” etc etc. I couldn’t even find ONE pic from there where I was smiling because I was always hurrying/trying to “sneak” pics before I inevitably got ushered away. Also, the Nip Slip Patrol seemed to be following me around pretty consistently, telling me to “pull my top up” every five mins or so, despite the fact that I intentionally played it very conservative this year. (I even wore a bra…Extra Good Girl Points to me!! Or so I thought… :()
- They seemed to be a little more lenient in the outside areas, which is usually a complete blast!! This year, though, it was so insanely hot that I wanted to stay inside as much as possible. Obviously the weather is nobody’s fault, but when they make the inside stuff so un- fun that everyone wants to hang outside, it starts to play a pretty big factor. I think the heat started making people kinda cranky, too, because I saw a lot more fighting and rudeness than I have any other year, which made me very sad. What I’ve always loved most about this con (and most cons) is the camaraderie you feel when you’re there, surrounded by folks who love all the same geekified things you do. Everyone just seems so happy to let their geek flags fly, without fear of being ridiculed or judged for it. I experienced some of that feeling this trip, but I also got the impression that a fair amount of people were there just to be able to say they were there, and really couldn’t care less about anything the con is REALLY supposed to represent.
-Safety: As much policing as went on inside the convention center, outside was kinda chaotic. I was RIGHT THERE when the Zombie Walk took a really ugly turn, and I definitely experienced a good deal of the sexual harrassment stuff a lot of people have been complaining about. I’m sure that sounds funny coming from me, but I went to SDCC to be nerdy and silly, not porny. I even adjusted my costume last minute to be more conservative (my original top was basically a slingshot), just because I was trying to avoid that sort of attention. (The Nip Slip Squad apparently didn’t get that memo, however… ;)). I think no matter what, though, if you are a girl at Comic Con yo ass is gettin’ “harrassed” (aka “groped”…or worse, from what I’ve been hearing). There were also a lot of dudes trying to trade their passes for…ahem…”sexual favors”. I’m absolutely not judging ANYONE who feels comfy making that sort of “trade”, but some of these dudes were total assholes about it. It felt kinda like being at a very seedy strip club, which is to be expected when you ARE at a strip club, but since this was SDCC, I was kinda caught off guard at how rude/forceful some of these not-so-nice guys were being. I actually had to put several people in their place (mostly in defense of other female con-goers who had no clue how to act in a situation like that). Again…It took away a lot of the fun. I actually left the con early and intended to go back (after changing into more battle-ready gear ;)), but after talking with several other folks who had similar experiences to mine, I decided I was happier AWAY from the con.
There were also problems with price gouging, transportation, etc., but I wasn’t taken aback by any of that. I just miss the positive, fun experience SDCC always used to be to me, and hope that it finds a way to recapture that vibe somehow.
Enough with the bitchin’…Here’s the good stuff:
-The people that go because they love it. I always get to meet a lot of awesome folks when I’m there, many of whom have traveled from all over the world just to be there and get their geek on. These people are the heart, soul, and single saving grace of current SDCC in my book. It does seem like more and more of the folks who just love comics are having trouble getting tickets, though, which is a shame. That’s another unfortunate aspect of this con I’d love to see corrected soon. (But that’s slippin’ into bitchin’ territory again, so I’ll make like Elsa and let it go…for now. :))
-Um…San Diego’s purdy? (That’s all I’ve really got right now in the way of positivity. ;))
As I said, I wasn’t able to get very many pics this year, but here are a few share worthy shots for ya. After this, though, I’m putting thoughts of my less-than-rad SDCC adventures this year out of my head for a while, and using that brain space to focus on stuff that really matters (such as how flawlessly amazing the new TMNT movie is going to be, for example ;)). xoxo