Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Called *Comic* Con.

Here's an article about how the Writer's Strike could hurt Comic-Con. (via The Comics Reporter)

Up front: I hope the Writer's Strike is resolved soon. An unbelievable amount of people and businesses are suffering financially because of it. Entire related industries are drying up because movies and shows aren't being produced. This is a serious economic problem.

That being said...

If the Strike affects numbers at Comic Con, I won't be disappointed. I'm not one of the people who feels that Hollywood is "ruining" Comic Con--I've only been to two of them, I'm really unqualified to make that assertion. However, my informal opinion is that having a lesser presence will improve several Con problems.

1. Congestion. The heaviest congestion day on the main floor, from what I saw, was Sunday. Why? Because Thursday through Saturday, you had several thousand people off the floor at all times. You had huge numbers in the big ballrooms, and you had equal, if not greater numbers of people waiting in lines to get into the next panel in those same rooms. This cleared up the floor considerably. None of the big panels were held on Sunday, so all of those people went to the floor--many for the first time all weekend, I'd conjecture.

2. Sales. This is really just conjecture on my part, but go with me on it for a second: If more people at the con are there for comics-related things, more comics-related things will be purchased. Additionally, because fewer people there for Hollywood will buy memberships, there will be more memberships available for comics-oriented attendees.

3. Tone. As I said above, I've only been to two Comic Cons. The difference between the two, though, was palpable. That may have as much to do with the upsurge in genre movies and television shows between 2006 and 2007, but the result was the same: so much more attention being paid to the shows and movies, less to the comics.

4. Hotel Room Availability & Price. This is the big one, kids. The cost of going to Con has skyrocketed. In 2006, my boyfriend and I stayed in The Days Inn Gaslamp. The sign on the door said our room--a very small smoking room whose promised wireless didn't work--was $99 a night. The other night, I called to book a room there again, just as a backup, in case the rush to book rooms totally fouls up this year. The room, the same room, was $400 a night. That's a 400% increase! In two years! That's absurd. And even though more hotels go up each year, this is a situation that will only ever get worse as Comic Con grows.

Once again, I'd like to see the Strike resolved as quickly and amicably as possible. But I also can't help but hope that if it does continue, it makes it a little easier and less expensive to go to San Diego this July.