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Aug 2, 2008

2008 SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON: DAY 4 - Is it over already?

The final day of Comic-con for me is always sad. By day 4, you’re always so deep into this world where everyone has the same likes that you do, you are being treated to advance peeks of all the movies and TV shows you are looking forward to, and the studios know that we all make or break these projects by word of mouth and of course, blogs, websites, etc. So I always try to make Sunday count by visiting as many booths as I can, seeing some anime and just generally contemplating what I’ve seen over the past few days and getting as much swag as I can that had missed previously.

There were a couple of panels that I wanted to get to on Sunday, the IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, the new FRIDAY THE 13TH and HAMLET 2, however, they were all at such times that would have delayed me getting back to Los Angeles, and I had an event that I had to make that evening. So, I just stuck to the convention floor. For a second year in a row, I missed Mark Altman’s fantastically geeky STARSHIP SMACKDOWN which I was really bummed about, but maybe next year I’ll make it back. Starship Smackdown is a nice way to end the con on a purely fan/geeky note, bringing us back to earth on a fans level rather than being marketed to like we are the rest of the time.

Although I didn’t find that there was anything that truly blew me away this year at the con (with maybe the exception of the TRON 2 teaser) I still loved everything about Comic-con. Even the crowds don’t get on my nerves. Even though the place is overflowing to capacity, there seems to be a vibe among the fans that they just kind of go with it. If there are incidents or arguments, you never hear or see them, and people accept the massive crush of people and don’t get nasty with each other. I will say the con has gotten very good at crowd control with many more security guards and I even noticed a more intense police presence, but things just keep getting smoother as the days go on.

I will still say that I think this is the year that the Con has started to spiral a little bit out of control in terms of panels on top of each other and massive lines, but from what I’ve seen, those problems should be fixed by next year.

I don’t think this convention can get any bigger, and if it does, I don’t think it can remain in San Diego for much longer which is too bad, because the convention center and downtown have the perfect set-up for it, and I can’t imagine not walking into that hall in future years…it’s like coming home every year for Thanksgiving…there’s always good times!

I am sure there are those who won’t go back….especially the veterans who think the place has sold out to Hollywood, and the fact that even though it’s called Comic-con, the focus on books is at an all time low. But granted, all these big comic movies have to slow down sometime, and I’m sure at some point there will indeed be a bust where books come back into focus. I still think though they should change the name, because with all there is to experience there, the name Comic-con seems too narrow a focus. Their slogan “Celebrating the popular arts” says it all!

Until then, I’m already counting down to Comic-con 2009!