San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Exit the Con

July 16th, 2012 by Max Allan Collins

Sunday, the final day of the con, once was the lightest of the days and a great one for bargain hunting. The latter is still true, but the dealer’s room floor today was packed, easily to the Wed., Thurs., Fri. levels (I wasn’t there on Saturday). I think this has to do with Sunday being much lighter on the big deal Hollywood events that take place in that aircraft hanger known as Hall H.

I had luck buying books at 50% off and bought a few original pieces of daily comic strip art, an old addiction of mine that I’ve been dipping back into lately. I love daily originals because they don’t take up much wall space and sometimes are bargains. I talked with lots of cool people, including Brian at Shout Factory, one of the truly great Blu-ray/DVD labels.

But this con is getting oppressive. The security is just a nightmare. They suddenly decide you can’t cross an aisle until traffic (!) slows. They suddenly decide that one of the relative handfuls of entrances onto the dealer’s room floor is now entrance only or exit only (no signs posted). You can’t get in the building with having your pass on its necklace seen and approved by a security staffer, but after that, you are constantly required to show your passes to security people at various doors and self-created, pointless bottlenecks. Understand this: you can’t get in the building without your pass. Yet you are constantly forced to prove that you are legally in the building. How stupid and bullying are the security people? Here’s the last thing I heard screamed at me as I headed out of the convention center: “Exit through the doors!”

I love this con, but it’s a beauty who with age has grown fat and sloppy. It’s still a great deal of fun and an amazing spectacle/train-wreck to witness. I will probably go back. But that I just said “probably” about a show I have not missed in well over a decade speaks volumes.

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