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SDCC 2011 Wrap Up

25 July 2011 by

Well, San Diego Comic-Con is over for another year. 2011 had it’s own excitements and issues (like the registration issues). We’ll do a fuller report of our adventures at SDCC 2011 later, but here’s a quickie summation/recap/wrap-up.

Registration Woes

The 2011 Comic-Con had ticket woes early on this year. Their usual registrar service, EPIC, kept crashing due to the huge visitor load each time SDCC opened badge sales. They finally had to secure the services of Ticket Leap to handle the sales.

Meanwhile, onsite registration for 2012′s Con was pretty rocky. People were getting in line at 5am to buy their 2012 four day passes only to find three hour waits behind people who camped over.

We await the announcement that 2012 four day passes with preview night are sold out already.

Fashion Valley Mall Says “Get Out” to Comic-Con Parkers

Friday morning Con goers pulled into the transit center at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego to find ALL the parking chained off

. Security guards turned people away and a mere handful of us got there early enough to snap a spot for our cars on the strip of dirt between Fashion Valley’s parking area and the San Diego River.

This really torqued people off because the mall had let people park in their lot for two whole days this year. Not to mention us locals had used it for years.

Big Studios Tone it Down

In past years the big movie and TV studios have dominated Comic-Con with floor traffic clogging mega plazas in the Exhibit Hall. But this year the media folk have toned it back, perhaps because the payoff from past pushes just haven’t been there.

So there wasn’t the past glut of movie panels. And TV actually got into coveted Hall H, much to the delight of Doctor Who fans.

This Year’s Comic-Con Arrest Sensation

So, in 2010 there was a huge scandal at Comic-Con where a dispute over a seat in Hall H resulted in one fan stabbing another in the face with a pen.

2011 had it’s own little sensational fracas, though thankfully not of the same caliber of last year’s debacle.

The villain for 2011 is a real villain, at least on the silver screen; Rhys Ifans is playing Spider Man baddy The Lizard in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie. On Saturday night Ifans reportedly got pissed and shoved a female security guard who refused entry to the panel to one of his entourage. Unless you listen to Sony’s PR rep who says Ifans had a minor incident about smoking backstage.

At any rate, Ifans was late to the panel and news sources say he was a bit slurry at first. The security guard apparently made a citizen’s arrest when the panel was over and the police where summoned from downstairs. There are reports that Ifans smelled of alcohol, and apparently people at the panel thought that the dude was drunk. Ifans, who is British (from Wales), is also reported to have gotten irate and announced that America sucks. I’d say that’s bad for the Spider Man movie except the dude’s playing a villain.

As a side note, if you get arrested at Con you totally never get to come back. Seriously.

The Museum of the Flaming C Was Total Awesome

Awhile back late night talk show host Conan O’Brien had a comic artist on and created a super hero called The Flaming C. You have to see it to believe it.

Anyways, for SDCC 2011 they rented a store front in San Diego’s Gaslamp district and called it COCO MoCA: The Museum of Conan Art. It was filled with artist’s renditions of The Flaming C and was staffed by “security” in black suits. There were lots of fun iterative things for folk to do. And it was hands-down the funnest thing happening around Comic-Con.

More on this later.

Floor Traffic Not As Bad

Traffic on the Exhibit Hall floor had gotten to terrible joke status by 2010 and last year the entire center of the floor was a giant human parking lot. And the new fire marshal went nuts and laid down the law.

So this year SDCC sold fewer tickets and took some measures to keep the crowds controlled. And, of course, the media giants didn’t put in the same massive movie house presence as in past years. So you could actually get around and it wasn’t that bad.

Oh, I’m not saying it wasn’t crowded and Sunday was a mad house. But you could actually get to where you were going and it was no where as bad as it was in 2010 or 2009.

Lines of DOOM

In addition to the insanity of lines forming pre-dawn for 2012 SDCC registration, there were the lines for Hall H and other mega media happenings. Veteran Comic-Con attendees found themselves left out of panels after waiting in line for three hours. Lines formed hours earlier than any sane Con veteran dreamed possible. It was madness.

I Have a 40 Pound Bag of Graphic Novels

2011 was a great showing for the small press and indie comic makers. Comic-Con has been supporting this aspect of comics for almost two decades. But this year they actually set aside an Indie Press Pavillion with an eye catching red carpet.

The result of this, and Sunday deals, is that I have a 40 pound bag filled with indie and small press graphic novels. If I ever catch up on my sleep I’ll give you all a peek inside my bag of sequential art holding.

Pictures Galore

Both Javi and I took massive amounts of photos, which sleep-willing will soon be up on the CFB Flickr Album. So look for those in the coming days. We’ll also do a Best Of post for our Comic-Con cosplay pics.

Well, that’s the news from San Diego. Where all the nerds are exhausted, all the TV fans are sated, and all the geek kiddies are above average.

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