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That's it, I'm done - Jason Lindquist
Idle ramblings of an idle mind
That's it, I'm done
For comparison, this is my writeup on last year's Con.

The early registration rate for the 2009 Con is rising to $65. That will rise again to $75 in the fall. I understand that their expenses are going up, but unfortunately, my value is going down, and it's no longer worth the money or the hassle. There were five panels I wanted to see today, I only got into two of them. Con management is putting panels in rooms that are too small for their audiences. The Sarah Connor Chronicles was in room 6A. They turned away a large crowd. The room was heavily filled with people there early for the Office panel following it. I didn't get into the Comics Across Every Medium panel--five established but small-reputation writers. (Paul Feig, of Freaks and Geeks fame, was one of them.) The room was already jammed with people for Pushing Daisies.

They scheduled a panel and showing last night of Dr. Horrible for room 6B. Massive overflow. Ditto tonight for Mythbusters. The room should've been at least twice as large. They turned away at least 500 people tonight. JMS appeared two slots before Mythbusters, and there were lots of people there who were sitting through him, and then sat through the TV Guide panel after, just to see Adam and Jamie.

(Also, Penny Arcade was stuck in 5A on Friday. Way too small, turned away half the crowd.)

The Convention Center contracts with Elite Security to provide crowd control droids. Most of them are still good people (if not very smart,) but they get more rude and belligerent every year. Con has no control over which firm is hired (and it doesn't matter anyways, no one else is big enough,) and they take shit from Elite too!. Con elected directors get refused passage, despite their permanent, thermal-printed "ALL ACCESS" badges. Did I mention some of these fuckers are rude?

I really do love this event. No where else do you get as many people from as many media together. But it has become a victim of its own success. It's bad enough you have to give up half your day to see the really big programs in Hall H (people now camp out the night before to get a good seat for the 12:00 or 1:00 panels there.) Sitting through one panel in order to see yours, I can live with. But now it's become two. Big events are put in rooms too small. The droids are ignorant, misinformed, and rude. The information, I can get off the internet later. The merchandise, I can order the same way. This is no longer worth my time or money.
5 comments or Leave a comment
banefinn From: banefinn Date: July 27th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was my first time, and I came away with the same impression. It doesn't help that I got into BEA this year (which is sorta like the E3 of publishing); I was wondering if that had skewed my perception. What bothered me most, though, was how very commercial everything was. Well, that and the fact that VIZ specifically limited Tite Kubo's authographing to 100 prescreened individuals.

I went once, and I suppose it was worth it, but I won't go again.
jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: July 28th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
It's been commercial as long as I've ever been there, but for something that size, I'd expect it. Publishers and studios pick up some tabs, it eases the upward pressure on membership rates. It hasn't been obscene (big spiels from suits in the panels,) so I let it go. I haven't been to other comic cons, so I can't make that comparison.

The autograph scene has also been like that for years. The publishers like to do signings in their floor booths to expose people to their other works. That runs into the safety issue of having long lines of people on that busy floor. If they don't cut down the lines like this, the fire marshal shuts them down. (They were definitely there, I passed two different people in SDFD uniforms yesterday, with no equipment, so they weren't medics.) If you want something signed, you have to orbit the booth for an hour 'till they form up the line, then hope you don't get clipped out of it. It's part of why I gave up on autographs.
From: tskirvin Date: July 28th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm thinking about going to the New York con next year with Jacob; it seems like a) a good place to visit and b) not quite as frigging huge yet.

I've enjoyed the Chicago con every time I've gone, too, but that seems like cheating somehow. I went to the San Francisco version this year, and was fairly underwhelmed (though I'm sure I'll return next year, given its convenience).
jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: July 28th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wondercon? What's that show like, generally? I've never been there, but since it's part of the CCI organization, I wondered if it was "San Diego Lite" or something completely different.

Chicago hardly seems like cheating. When you lived in IL, it was as much "cheating" as going to SD is for me. I'm considering making that my con event next year, since I can double-purpose the trip. It's big enough to draw Important People, but not this unsteerable ship.
From: tskirvin Date: July 28th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wondercon was...small. I didn't spend much time at anything but the floor, in large part because none of the events seemed very enthralling; but there might very well have been good stuff there somewhere.

And yeah, Chicago isn't quite cheating... It just seems odd to go to Chicago for a con when, really, the point would be to visit friends and family. I can't be so easily tricked! *grin* But it's a good convention in general, and I know it, so I should accept it.
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