Actually, today is Preview Day, but as Comic Con has grown to attract crowds of 100K+, Preview Night is often the best night. It's reserved for industry "insiders" or at least those who have a badge that says they are. You can actually move around on the floor, see people and stuff, and it's not yet so manic, but energy levels start ramping up.
Tomorrow, the true unveiling of Comic Con happens, as the doors open to the adoring nerd public. I'm not sure anymore what year the tide turned, and Comic Con went from being a real geek fest, mostly just a place that facilitated the interaction between comic creators and those who love their work. And a few miscellaneous others.
It was probably about 5 years ago, when the city remodeled the convention center floor (AGAIN) that the population size grew substantially and shifted. Around that time (or because of it?) Hollywood realized that if they could get supports from the geeks - especially those who are connected to legions of other geeks/nerds/dweebs - for their current project, they could turn over a hefty profit. And bringing in more Hollywood naturally brings in more fans and more media attention. And the cycle has continued so that Comic Con is one of the most covered events of the year.
For 2010, 4-day passes sold out in October. October. That is crazy. I believe individual day passes sold out soon after. Hotels - which the SD Gaslamp is sorely short on - typically sell out early in the year. I think this year it was around February. But you know what? Despite all that, it's still fun. Maybe it's out of habit more than anything else, but Comic Con serves as a "family reunion" of sorts with some of my favorite folks in the world. We get to talk about art, comics, movies, super heroes, costumes, and celebrity sightings. And we get to do it while working a booth, over drinks, in the hotel bars, at Masquerade, during a Zombie parade, or mingling with the other geeks as well as the SD locals.
So, I am a ginormously sad panda this weekend to be missing it. With Twiter and Facebook I am able to monitor the whole thing, but it's not the same. Actually, it's worse. Because I know how crazy and awesome and overwhelming it all is, and it's just not the same. Sniff.
A few images of what I'm missing this weekend.
The booth where I should be working Thursday - Sunday (mad props to the folks @ Allen Spiegel Fine Arts. miss you guys)
An awesome commissioned Mr. Freeze piece by my hugely talented friend, Scott Morse:
And a scene only Hollywood could create -- a huge movie banner for Scott Pilgrim "wrapping" the SD Hilton (via SuperHero Hype):