Con Review: San Diego Comic Con 2004

SDCCby Rob Balder


San Diego Comic-Con
July 22-25
San Diego, CA

I’m hoping to say something about San Diego Comic-Con other than how big it was, but consider this: there were more people there than there are words in this magazine. If you exclude Dragon*Con, there were more exhibitors there than at all of the 50+ cons Nth Degree will go to this year, combined. The map of the exhibitors’ hall resembled the Titanic in more than one important respect (see map below). It was enormous, exciting, iconic, expensive, and full of celebrities. So let me just say it was the biggest con ever and let that part go. The important way in which it did not resemble the Titanic was that it got to where it was going, smoothly and professionally. Several industries took this con extremely seriously. The movie industry, for example, made major announcements and promotions there, including Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the title announcement for Star Wars: Episode III (Revenge of the Sith. Ack.) The Star Wars pavilion was vast enough to include a full scale X-wing fighter. Elsewhere, there was a display of movie-used costumes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy (those ones you probably drooled over on the DVD extra segments). Dreamworks had a monstrous Shrek display. Major names in publishing, television, toys, collectibles and gaming were present in force, as well. Capcom, Bandai, Nickelodeon, Legos and Bionicles… seriously, name someone and they probably had a booth. But this is a comics convention, and the biggest one there is. So damn near every celebrity and imprint in comicdom was present. From Dark Horse and Marvel down to those independent comics operations who are in a desperate arms race to come up with the most goofy-assed name. I’ll give that award to Mad Yak Press this year, but there were so many contenders: Lost in the Dark Press, Planet Named Desire, Sourdirt Comics, Salt Peter Press, Optophage Press, Electric Spaghetti Comics, The Greater Apes… For most who came as attendees, this was the biggest and best chance to shake hands with their idols, and to tell Mr. Joe Comics-star how much they enjoyed his work. By the third day of the con, though, you could pretty much expect Mr. Joe Comics-star to say “yeah thanks,” then yawn and ask his assistant what they’re doing about lunch. This con is exhausting for everybody. The scale, the sensory overload, the geek-mung generated by 40,000 people in the same enclosed area, the lines and the lugging of things… all of these wear you down, as an exhibitor or as an attendee. A day at SDCC probably costs you two days off your life. But you know what? It’s just cool enough to be worth it. Next year in SD!



Liked it? Take a second to support Contributor on Patreon!
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *