What? The place with arguably the greatest gathering of nerds kinda sucks? The truth is, yes it does. I might sound a little bitter, and in a lot of ways I am, but there are things about San Diego Comic-Con that flat out suck. That’s not to say that there aren’t really cool things to do or see, but that’s not what this article is about. This article is about things that are just straight up terrible about attending SDCC.
5. The Lines
Really, most of the reasons that SDCC sucks is an extension of this in some form or another. This picture was taken in 2011, and while it has gotten more organized, there are more lines than ever. There is absolutely no shortage of “line-con” jokes if that’s the kind of thing you’re into though. Simply put, people have decided to camp earlier and earlier each year and the lines just continue to get more and more ridiculous.
4. Everything You Want Is Probably Sold Out
It isn’t like I’ve been going to SDCC since it’s inception. I’ve attended the last 3 years, and simply put if it’s a coveted exclusive, you’ve got about a 5% chance of getting it, unless you’re incredibly lucky, a really cute kid, or you’re willing to spend a crap ton of money. This year, I was in line for probably about 20 hours total trying to get Funko POP figures, and barely got in at the very end of the 4th opening of the booth, and by then most things were sold out.
Why is it so ridiculous? Well, there are a lot of exhibitors who attend the con and sell things for their own booth, but they also get regular badges, so they come in early to the con with their exhibitor badges and then switch when the con actually opens, get in line, buy as much as they can and take it back to their own booths. Then they triple and sometimes even quadruple the price, and while it’s smart business it’s simply a dick move.
3. The Sea of Humanity
It’s one thing for there to be lines everywhere. That sucks. However, as SDCC continues to grow it just becomes more and more of a sardine festival. Simply walking from one side of the exhibit hall floor to another side can be anywhere from a 10 minute endeavor to a 30+ minutes because of how many lines are coming out of booths and other people trying to get to the booth they’re looking for. So maybe you decide you just want to sit outside the exhibit hall floor for a bit somewhere on the side, except for the fact that there are still hundreds of people sitting on the wall charging their phones or just taking their own breaks. Simply put, if you enjoy having a personal bubble of space, it isn’t going to happen at SDCC.
2. Leakers/Lack of Security
If you attend a Hall H panel, you will likely see Eddie. I forget his last name, but he comes out before most panels and tell you that the footage you’re about to see is for people specifically in that room, and it shouldn’t make it out of the room, that way studios will feel comfortable bringing back more footage and what you waited so long to see will actually be special. So you camped 12+ hours and slept on the street/grass/whatever to see this trailer, and not even 10 minutes later it is on the internet. So because a leaked crappy cam version is out the studio feels like it might as well show it off in full HD glory. So had you slept 8 hours in your regular bed, been productive for a couple hours, played some video games, and ate some regular meals instead of trail mix and fruit snacks for 12 hours, you could watch and rewatch a goddamn trailer as many times as you want. The only trailer I can think of in the past 3 years that hasn’t been leaked was Marvel Studios’ panel last year, and credit to them for bringing extra security for their footage.
It may sound like I’m being greedy, but at least let the SDCC attendees feel special for like a couple of days, but many of the “exclusive” trailers that were shown at Hall H this year were leaked within the day. Honestly, just ask yourself how you would feel if you spent a night sleeping on the street not eating regular meals, and spent a whole day watching these incredible trailers, only to find out that you could have just stayed in the comfort of your home/hotel/whatever and watched them on your computer. I know many people will argue it’s about the excitement and hype that happens in Hall H, and that is great, but some thing is certainly lost when you realize what you saw isn’t anything special because everyone has seen it, and you worked 20x harder than someone who just happened to wake up and see it in their facebook feed.
1. More Often Than Not You Put In More Than You Get Out
This is pretty much of the epitome of bitter regarding SDCC, but simply put in recent years the work to get into SDCC is probably more than you’re going to get out of it. And honestly it is a bit of a culmination of the previous 4 reasons. Whether it’s waiting in line for that exclusive you wanted or you wanted to try your hand at getting into the grand Hall H, you’re going to be putting in a lot of man hours, for many less of entertainment in return.
It doesn’t even start at SDCC though, it starts when you’re just attempting to get a badge, the lottery system to get into SDCC is a pain in the ass and based on luck and maybe a little bit on your internet connection. On top of that, it’s not even guaranteed you’ll get in if you attended the con previously it’ll just give you a bit of a better chance. Even after all of that happens you enter their hotel lottery hoping for a your best choice or any choice of hotel at all, because it’s completely possible you don’t even get a hotel room from the hotel lottery.
Oh, and you’re probably going to get sick too. Con flu is a very, very real thing.
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