Why You Should Avoid Comic-Con This Year If You Actually Like Comics
The 2011 Comic-Con is set to happen next month, that wonderful time of year where geeks can fly their GEEK flags proudly and hang out with like-minded bearded folks, meet their favorite bearded comic-book related people, and see all the new bearded-comic-book related stuff. Or whatever it is that you geeky folk used to do at Comic-Con besides talk about getting laid and spending most of the time hiding out in your hotel rooms.
Whatever that was, it's not what goes on anymore. Geek Mecca has been co-opted by corporate America and, apparently, Seth MacFarlane. Of course, attendees still wear their Browncoats and their Princess Leia costumes, but now they have to share floor space with a few thousand teenage girls hoping to get a glance of Robert Pattinson's chest hair. Having never been there, I can't speak definitively to the transformation, but from what I can gather, the place is something of a farce these days. Do you want to see panels on next year's comic-related The Dark Knight Rises, Superman: The Man of Steel or The Avengers? Or even next month's Captain America?
Sorry, but as consolation, there will be an awesome panel on "Glee"! Congratulations, geeks. Corporate interests just sold your ass down the river.
I'm not sure we're sending anyone this year. I made no attempt to procure credentials, and while Prisco has renewed his, Steven Lloyd Wilson is in Russia and won't be attending (Prisco is iffy, as I understand it). We're not the only outlet balking, and why should we bother with the expense and hassle for what is essentially a gigantic wall-to-wall junket? Especially since the trailers debut nearly simultaneously on the Internet, the panels go online soon after their completed, and even the promotional materials -- clips and posters -- will flood the Internet at the same time as they're released to the Comic-Con attendees. You have no idea the amount of unsolicited press releases I have to delete that week. Indeed, it's now easier to cover Comic Con from home than from the Convention floor. Because it's not about creating an experience for the attendees anymore; it's about promotion (it always was, I'm sure, but now it's more crass). Comic-con is just a convenient date now to launch that promotion, which is why you'll see a great number of this fall's new network shows at the convention, just two months before their debuts. Does the USA Network's "Covert Affairs" have anything to do with comic books? Well, now. But Piper Perabo is hot, and geeks like hot women, right? SYNERGY!
Quite a few of the studios have balked at promoting their films their this year, as The NYTimes reported last week. It's expensive and, as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World demonstrated, it's hardly worth the financial risk. Plus, the real comic-book related events are likely to be tainted by their associations to "Glee" and Twilight. It's like putting a a five-star restaurant in a strip mall; the food may be delicious, but there's a nail salon and a pawn shop on either side. In any event, that teenager demographic will make up a large percentage of the attendees, and are they really going to be that interested in Mark Millar or the Green Lantern: Animated Series, anyway? Probably not.
Anyway, to demonstrate what a sham the convention has become, I took the liberty of placing the events that have been announced so far into four categories so you could see, laid out before you in print, how little percentage-wise the convention is now dedicated to comic books and their fans.
I'm just as surprised as you are. Comic-Con! F*ck Yeah!
Not Comic-Related but Tenuously Of Interest to Comic People
Comic Related but Not Coming This Year