By Thomas Litza
So…another Comic Con is in the books. 2016 was, really much like 2015..or 2014, or 2013. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, when you are doing something right, usually the best course is to not “fix it”. Comic Con has turned their massive undertaking into a fine science. And while they may occasionally be a misstep or two, considering the sheer size, scope and number of people involved, they manage to pull it off year after year without out fail.
FINAL THOUGHTS (First)
When reflecting over the whole San Diego Con experience, a number of different (and sometimes conflicting) thoughts come up. As someone who has been going to the convention for over 25 years I’ve seen the changes. I would be hard pressed to say that all of the changes were for the best (more on this later)….it’s simply not the convention it use to be. It’s more crowded, the focus is clearly media driven and comics. In talking with the veteran dealers, there is a pretty much a consensus that the show is worst than it use to be.
I have to disagree. Let me explain.
Most of the people who complain that the show was better back before it became a cultural phenomenon suffer from the “be careful of what you wish for” syndrome. In years past, everyone would bemoan the fact that not enough of the general public would attend these conventions. The logic was that it would just take exposure to the world of comics to make new fans and grow the hobby/art form.
Well, that’s what happened… and now the same folks are complaining that too many non-fans/non-serious fans, etc have taken over the show.
I say… relax, don’t worry about it. There is bound to be a couple of Twilight fans who will invariably wander off the beaten path finding themselves in Artists Alley and from there…who knows what will happen. If even 1% of the people who are there to see the panels for their favorite TV shows and upcoming blockbuster films pick up a graphic novel they never heard of before, that’s a win. Heck, That’s a thousand new fans.
And you know what? The way I look at it, even if there is not a single new comic book reader created by the attending the convention, it’s still a win. As anyone who has attended Comic Con can tell you, it’s a place where it seems as though everyone is smiling and happy. It would be hard to deny that Comic Con brings a lot of happiness and joy to over 100,000 people every year. That can’t be a bad thing.
So yeah, maybe the number of original art dealers has shrunk. Maybe fewer artists attend. Pick your complaint. The convention may not be what exactly what YOU wish it was. The fact is the convention appears to be exactly what 100,000’s of thousands of people want….and as far as I can see, that’s a very good thing.
Me. As I stated above, I’ve been going to the Con for about 25 years. I can’t recall exactly when my first convention was….but it was a LONG time ago. Before that, growing up in Wisconsin, the San Diego Comic Con was a mythical event. Even in the pre-Internet days, every comic book fan knew that the one convention to go to was the San Diego Comic Con.