Sci-Fi Wire has just reported that Twentith Century Fox has pulled their films from the San Diego Comic Con. And I can’t say I think this is a bad thing. This is something that been concerning me for a while, how the SDCC has been over run by everyone BUT comics. I can’t quite remember when it started, but SDCC, which started out to be a nice COMIC con, has become a juggernaut of a media convention. Over the last several years, video game companies such as Nintendo, and Sony, movie companies Warner Bros., and Lucas Entertainment, and toy companies Mattel, Hasbro and Lego have been taking over huge amounts of floor space in the exhibit hall, touting their new games, movies and toys that don’t necessarily have anything to do with Sci-Fi or comics! The Dog and Pony aspect of the con has taken over and is running out the things that started it. Comics and sci-fi collectibles. Now, the panels seem to be more about what new TV shows and movies are coming out that MIGHT have some sci-fi or fantasy premise that the media companies what to parade before the fans to get the rabid fanbase started before the fall season. For example, there was a panel last year for the TV show Bones. It’s based on a series of books about a forensic anthropologist. Now, I love the show, and went to the panel, but the majority of the people there were there to see David Borenez. All Angel fangirls. The only reason the panel was held, was for him. It would have been more appropriate to call it a meet and greet. I mean, Snakes on a Plane had floor space last year! That’s really hitting a low I think.
I’m sure San Diego is glad for the business every year, and the committee that runs it probably just loves all the money they get from the media giants, but all of this has just made the name a misnomer. Comic Con doesn’t seem to be about comics anymore. Comic companies still come, and there are plenty of panels for comics, it just doesn’t feel to be the purpose anymore. And worse, it isn’t as fun as it used to be. It’s overcrowded and loud. You could barely move though the convention center last year. The fun of wandering through the hall, looking at the tables and finding something you’d never seen before is all but gone. I still have a silver lining though. Manga is making a bigger showing this year, so I do have some things to look forward to. Viz and Tokyopop but having at least two panels each, and other companies such as Del Rey, Yen Press, CMX having panels all weekend. And even though last year was a disappointment, I will be hopeful that I’ll be able to find more manga this year. (You’d think the Tokyopop “store” would have the more obscure and hard to find titles…) So, no, I won’t be missing Fox and all their movie hype.