Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 22, 2010

San Diego Admits Love For CCI

In a big, splashy article that ran in the Union-Tribune and is now up on their San Diego Sign-On site, city officials and business leaders stake out a slightly more aggressive than usual position regarding the desirability of Comic-Con International. Because the con is rattling around at capacity with the only variable being how early the show sells out, this means freeing up hotel space -- both rooms and spillover exhibition space. It's also one of the first articles I can recall (I could be wrong) to openly talk in terms of a competing Anaheim bid for more than a sentence. The ultimate goal for now it seems is to extend the show's relationship with the city to about mid-decade.

imageI was never one to take personal umbrage at some of the elements that seeped out during more obtuse, past negotiations. While the estimates of money spent per person in town were lower than reasonable, I've never had any doubt after attending a few other professional conventions that comic-con goers likely spent less per person than the other groups. I've also witnessed reams of abominable behavior con-goer to townsfolk over the years, which if any indication of what goes on outside my purview I think would earn the con a slightly difficult reputation -- except that seeking out service people and San Diego natives over the years and trying to egg them on for the purposes of being able to report it in some snarky CR or TCJ piece it's always been my experience a hugely overwhelming percentage of them have been positive about that weekend's place in the city's event calendar.

I hope it stays there. The presence of the films really pushes attendance now. I've heard from multiple people outside the US who want to attend for Twilight and the other movie panels, seeking advice on how best to do it. But as I get older and am less likely to drink beers in a parking lot or have adventures on the con floor or be happy about waiting in a line for more than 20 minutes from a physical standpoint, it's nice to be able to visit such a nice, walkable, warm-weather city with scores of restaurants all of which seems comfortable and familiar to me now. Even more selfishly, I think that someday a multiple-venue comics show dancing in and outside the giant pop-culture redwoods is achievable there and maybe not anywhere else. As always, I trust the con people will make the best decision available to them.

Also, where that hotel guy talks about the losing the short-term gain of charging premium rates for hotel rooms for the sake of long-term gains by keeping the show and its participants? The comics industry proper could take note of that general impulse.
posted 3:00 pm PST | Permalink

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