Most of their multiday trip is spent at parties and lounges organized by Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Playboy and the Creative Artists Agency where those on the invite lists wear Diesel jeans and dress shirts and there isn’t a fan dressed as the Joker or Wolverine in sight.
Call it Comic-Con for the 1%.
"I haven’t been to the convention floor in years. I only come here for the parties(.)"
It wasn’t always like this. In the years preceding and the first few years following the convention center’s expansion in 2001, San Diego Comic-Con was a truly magical place for enthusiasts of comic books, anime, manga and other forms of genre fiction, films, TV and animation. What happened to change all of this was a perfect storm of circumstances that is beyond the scope of a simple link commentary micro blog post. I could write a book about it.
The Comic-Con party scene has grown as Hollywood professionals continue to flock to San Diego each year in search of new connections and open bars. This year, more than 20 exclusive parties took place over four days.
These parties, with their bad DJs and tequila samplers, have come to dominate the Gaslamp district. It has gotten so bad that the Gaslamp is predominantly trafficked by people who are clearly not going to the convention, including people who don’t have any “deals” to sign or meetings to take, but just hope to get into an exclusive party and vomit in the adjoining toilet as some cast member of the Vampire Diaries.
But there remains a sliver of hope for Comic-Con’s 99%.
"If you seem interesting, funny and cool," Mittman said with a laugh, "we sometimes pull a Studio 54 and let you in."
There is a hope for the 99%, but it’s not some asshole taking pity on you. It is instead a kind of perverse hope. The hope that at some point the whole Ouroboros will run its course and the convention itself no longer provides the lucrative marketing potential it has demonstrated over the last decade. For that to happen though, the convention goer will have to adjust their expectations. They will have to demand more than a faux pat on the back and, if you are lucky, a poster with an actor’s name scrawled across it. They will have to demand better films and actually decent TV shows. They will have to demand that downtown San Diego cater to their real interests, not just a failed attempt at a bad pun on the Fantastic Four and a four cheese nachos appetizer. It’s either that or some kind of occupy take over where the people of the convention center reclaim the streets of downtown San Diego from the 1%, “The VIP” and their parties. I’m down with either one.