San Diego Comic Con is the pinnacle of geek culture. Pretty much everything you can think of in the entertainment world is somehow represented there. From Power Rangers to Galactus to Buffy to Peanuts and Charlie Brown, and everything in between. It's a great melting pot of fandom, with people coming from all over the world to take part, but there are some elements that were distressing to me as a newcomer, much like with national student affairs conventions.
The Verge did a great piece that gave voice to some of my concerns, and The New York Times highlighted well the convention experience as a whole. The long lines, the shallow industry showcases disguised as fan service, the overwhelming crowds, and the exclusive, fairly expensive nature (especially with airfare, meals, and hotels) of it all just seemed very privileged to me. The convention lost some of its immediate luster to me after spending a few days there. Maybe I just didn't do it right, but I didn't feel like the point of it all was to spend half of your hard fought ticket to SDCC waiting in lines for a short session that essentially was just a studio patting itself on the back for how great their thing is (and then the trailer you saw being released the next day online). There was a lack of depth that annoyed me to most of the proceedings. There was so much going on it's not surprising. There just wasn't a time or place for it.
Maybe the whole event has become a bloated version of what it was originally intended to be and it will eventually deflate back to a more focused event. Or maybe that is what the other conventions are for. Nowadays though, a lot of comic conventions seem to be trying to model themselves after SDCC, becoming huge entertainment industry showcases versus a focus on panels, artists, and personal interactions. Also, it's a whole other post in itself about the problems SDCC has with consent and cosplay.
Don't get me wrong, I had a great time. It just feels like it could have been even better. Maybe if I get the chance to go again it will be different. Maybe I'm expecting too much or maybe it's all just not for me. The crowds were frustrating for me at times, I couldn't buy a lot of stuff even if I wanted to (I didn't that much), and I got confused many times about just how the convention worked. Maybe I should have done more homework and preparing.
Well, either way, until next year, here's to the memories and the weird, wild, and one of a kind San Diego Comic Con.