I had a very busy Saturday morning. After filming for two hours at a local mall (long story, it's a fun project but sadly no one will ever see it), I was waiting in my friend's living room while the crew was getting prepping the basement for the next shoot. Suddenly, I remembered that tickets for San Diego Comic-Con went on sale about two hours earlier and, just for the hell of it, sauntered over to my friend's iMac to pick up a ticket for my wife Whitney. As the page loaded, I grabbed my wallet, clicked on the single ticket and then…all hell broke loose.
Suddenly, it was very clear something was up. I was getting a "server busy" page. Then it happened again. And again. Then I went from normal guy buying a ticket to "frantic geek trying to get a hotel room for Comic-Con circa 2009," which, as you probably know, is not the state you want to be in, ever. Gone was the fact that I was going to be in front of camera in minutes. Gone was my hope that the Comic-Con people had figured it out. Gone, really, was my humanity, as I become a slave to several different web pages while I re-entered information, hit refresh (and confirmed that I really did want to refresh), for what seemed like hours. Suddenly I wasn't hanging out with my cast; I had now taken over my friend's computer, kicking him off of Twitter so I could log in to find out what the situation was with everyone else.
Thirty minutes later, I was able to get a single 4-day ticket, which is all I had wanted. I went into the basement to do my scenes far more relaxed, but I was worried, too: What about everyone else? What about the people who totally forgot about this? What about the parents of the kids who wanted to go but were too busy this Saturday morning to deal with this madness? What happens if the unthinkable happens and it actually sells out before Monday?
Of course, as you know–or do now–Comic Con sold out in one day.
That sentence is worth lingering on for a second because if there were any doubts that San Diego Comic-Con was something far more than just a comic book convention before, those doubts have now been swallowed up by Galactus (or just insert your own equivalent consuming entity). What…like, really, what is going to happen now? My initial thoughts:
- Even if you got a ticket, you are kind of pissed. The ticket buying experience was hellish, and yes, 33 million hits on a web server is a lot of hits, but still…they should have been ready.
- This alienates the audience that makes Comic-Con the special event that it is. This is not E3, which is now just for professionals. The halls of Comic-Con are open to everyone, no matter what you do, no matter how old you are. One of the best parts of SDCC, for me, is having so many kids around. I love that parents can take their kids to SDCC and have a great time. I love that teenagers can hold their own when arguing the details about Spider-Man's worth in the Marvel Universe. I love that kids can be inspired by the art, music and film all around them. Thankfully, the site sells youth tickets separately, so there will still be kids, but seriously–there are going to be many, many families who are going to be left out now that the event has sold out.
- The naysayers are thrilled. Lots of folks have been complaining about SDCC and they stand vindicated today. SDCC is too big, we know that, but we loved it anyway. There are problems here, not only in terms of space–which they can address as the convention center gets larger, but I think the show itself needs to figure out what it wants to be. Maybe they should add another day that is for professionals only? Maybe they make Hall H a separate thing (a terrible idea, I admit)? I don't have the answer, but the question needs to be addressed, because now that the show can sell out in a day, next year it will sell out in a few hours.
I promised Conor I would make this short, so I will end this here but we want to know: Did you get a ticket? Did you try and give up? What do yo think this means for San Diego? Was the last time you went…the last time?