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What If Comic-Con Left San Diego?

By the time you read this, I would have ideally survived the chaotic hell that is San Diego Comic-Con, exhausted from its 150,000 attendees draining the life out of my soul. It is like E3, CES, and PAX rolled into a smelly tube sock. It’s not my scene.

It is a remarkable experience, though. You like comics? You like freebies? You like celebrities working with comics and handing out freebies? You need to go. It is a pilgrimage for any comic fangirl, sci-fi fanboy, or gaming otaku. I’m in the latter category.

The problem I’ve had with Comic-Con is that it is always packed. I mean hundreds, if not thousands of people cramming into doors with those oversized bags given out for swag. It is a beautiful view from a distance. It feels like a nerdy running of the bulls when you’re on the floor.

So I was anything but nonplussed when we started hearing rumblings last year that Comic-Con might leave San Diego. Comic-Con began in San Diego four decades ago. Its very essence would be different if it wasn’t created in the laid-back, smooth jazz-culling city known for authentic Mexican food, and Three’s Company. Next to San Francisco, you’d be hard pressed to find another city that would let hundreds of thousands of nerds in tights take over their city every 52nd week.

The question wasn’t acceptance, though, but space. The San Diego Convention Center could barely hold the expo, and it was to the point where the local hotels were holding the bigger panels. By 2008, scalped tickets and overcrowded venues became the norm.

And rumors pointed to two other candidates: Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It would be fascinating to think how the culture would change.

In Sin City, the beer-fueled Batman v. Superman arguments currently happening in the downtown San Diego bars would spill into all-out brawls on the Strip. Worse, I could see a fanboy getting loud with a Vegas visitor that would stop his four-eyes into the ground. San Diego is a safe haven.

On the other hand, Los Angeles would turn the already star-struck Comic-Con into a flat-out Hollywood affair. And as I wrote about recently, even more video game companies would be taking over Comic-Con’s floor.

As you might of heard, though, San Diego was able to lock down Comic-Con until 2015. The cramped, but comfortable culture is safe for now.

Photo courtesy of Parka81 // CC 2.0

 

 


Damon Brown

Damon writes CBS's Gadget Watch and is the U.S. Editor of Pocket Gamer. He also writes books about music, sex, and tech. Damon's latest is The...

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