Comic-Con has come and gone. There were big announcements, bigger lines and an overall sense of camaraderie between the nerd community that made the packed convention worth attending.
But there were some definite issues with SDCC that came to light this year. Lines for Hall H were longer than they’ve ever been, and pretty much every exclusive was leaked prior to its panel happening. Even with all the fun content we have that we’ll be rolling out over the next week or so, I wanted to put together a list of constructive criticisms for one of my favorite events of the year.
When we say the line for Hall H was insanely long, we mean it. Here’s a snapshot of it at 8:30am on Saturday, hours before any panel was set to start. It was nearly impossible for fans to get in unless they camped out overnight or arrived in the wee hours of the morning. Any world where people waiting in line for six or seven hours and not getting in to the event that they paid money to attend doesn’t seem right to me. SDCC needs to implement a system allowing people to get their Hall H placement ahead of time or not allow people to arrive in line until a certain point, because honestly the line-waiting is making the panel-watching not much fun for anyone anymore.
Have Capacity Mean Capacity
At the same time, big panel rooms at the convention center weren’t being filled to capacity despite the thousands lining up outside. The “Game of Thrones” panel, which caused some of the longest lines of the Con, still had a few hundred empty seats in its 7,000-seat theater. Why not pack everyone in? Apparently the security guards started filling up those seats more than halfway through the panel, but it seems unfair to those waiting outside.
The Press Situation
It’s not news that Comic-Con caters to the fans over press, and we think that’s a great mentality to have. Reporters need to have their own connections to studios to be allowed exclusive access to talent interviews and panel rooms, which makes sense. If every member of the press had priority then there would be no room for anyone else. But at the same time, Comic-Con shouldn’t slight those who give them free publicity. At least implement a press room so that the first batch of reporters to arrive can view the events in Hall H from afar, but still report on them. If not, they just can find out about them on Twitter, and in that case why attend to begin with?
We get it: it’s hard to keep exclusives exclusive. Edgar Wright probably did the best job of keeping his surprise under wraps by tweeting about being in London all day before arriving at the Marvel panel to introduce some “Ant-Man” test footage. But there weren’t any big surprises this year — which is fine — but studios just shouldn’t act like they’re surprising. Even Stephenie Meyer was resigned when she announced new exclusive “The Host” footage, saying that it was supposed to be a treat but it was leaked early anyways. Why not just announce it ahead of time and pump fans up for attending even more?
I love San Diego. I love the Gas Lamp district, I love the nice beachy weather and I love the local mentality. But there’s no denying that Comic-Con has gotten too big for its home city. The San Diego Convention Center needs to figure out how to handle the insane amount of crowds or maybe it really is time to move to a bigger venue.
What did you love about Comic-Con this year? What would you like to be changed? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!