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|9||07/20/10||Serious Question: Is Comic Con Worth My Time?||(Blog) (Forum)||San Diego Comic-Con||(Back) (Next)|
It's that time of year again - Comic Con. I have wanted to go to a Comic Con since I was a kid, but growing up in an East Coast state whose idea of "comic convention" was ten dealers with back issues in a Holiday Inn meeting room, I never had the pleasure. At age 33, I moved to Las Vegas, which with all its hotels, casinos, conventions, sporting events, and varied means of entertainment, does not boast an annual comic convention. Compared to the East Coast though, it's a short drive to San Diego, so that was one thing about living here that put a smile on my face. Alas, six years later, at age 39, I still have yet to make it to a Comic Con. Normal, everyday stuff has gotten in the way of it each year, but mostly, I forget about it. I pick up the quarterly updates that appear in the comic shops, but I never really pay attention to the dates, and one day, I'll be in the shop when the owners are talking about being gone for a week, for Comic Con.
The last three years or so though, I've heard disturbing reports. There are six or seven comic shops in Las Vegas, about three or four of which I pass through at varying times, and very consistently, I've heard nothing but complaints about Comic Con. Those complaints boil down to the area where you can actually find comics getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller, while the convention itself gets more and more crowded - almost too crowded to move comfortably. They say the comics are getting edged out for movie and video game booths, but they're still calling it Comic Con.
Now, I've seen some video on Comic Vine from recent cons, and I didn't see what I heard about in my LCS owners' reports. The aisles looked busy, but not overly crowded, and I believe one interview even addressed the space issue. I believe the answer was something to the effect of "The Con is under new ownership," and the report talked about the number of people who were there whose job it was simply to make sure you found what you were looking for. Awesome.
So I'm still wondering: is Comic Con worth my time? Movie previews are great and all, and fans in costumes are fun, but for me, I still think of Comic Con as a place to browse through back issues I might not normally find in my hometown. When the stores in Vegas see back issues as something in the way of new product, that's a detail of some importance. So what's the deal? With the new ownership, has the comic area gotten back to a reasonable proportion, or is it still disappearing? If my only reason for going to the Con is back issues and panels with the professionals, is it worth it? If you've been to the Con before, let me know what you think in the comments.
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