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Thoughts on Comic Con

July 27, 2009

With a bevy of announcements from movies to video games (somewhere in there comics were mentioned) Comic Con released more unneecessary news than the industry usually gets. Even E3 feels a little quiet compared to this behemoth.

Before Comic Con I had been thinking of cataloguing all of the news from there that I found interesting like the Uncharted 2 news from Sony (I am ridiculously excited for that game), James Cameron’s Avatar, the post discussions of several panels about web comics, and the announcements of several new series or comics.

However, every blogger, media outlet, and nerd within a thousand miles of that place has spoken of these varying things ad nauseum. I scrapped that idea pretty quickly on day 1 one of the convention giant.

Instead, I want to focus on something that James Rolfe (a.k.a. the Angry Video Game Nerd) said in his reports for Spike TV.

In his first report he called the con Media Con, or rather he questioned why it was even called “Comic” Con anymore considering what it brings to the tables.

This writer is inclined to agree with him. While the name Comic Con is iconic, the style and themes of the convention have been shifting away from comics pretty rapidly for the last couple of years.

When I first heard about the con it was when I was just starting to read web comics around 2002. The popular artists like PvP and Penny Arcade would mention that they were going or that they were excited for news from it. Slowly, since my increasing involvement (read: clicking on browsers) in the web comic world it’s become bigger and bigger for me. It also helps that I began reading more video game news as well. In the last two years major video game magazines, blogs, and web sites have been extensively covering the convention.

But back to the media con name. Think about it. Television shows are hyped there, Joss Whedon used the show to up the popularity of shows like Dollhouse and Firefly. Movies liked Wolverine and the upcoming Avatar get panels and lines around the block. Video game companies buy out entire booths and then some to show-off their upcoming product.

Of course, web comic artists and the industry giants like Marvel and DC are there too, though DC and Marvel just as much in conjunction with the game and movie industry as the comic one.

There are also the toys. Toys relating to nothing to do with any of the other mentioned media, toys with everything to do with comics, games, and movies. Expensive toys that destroy men and make women weep at the price tag. It’s actually kind of ridiculous, though I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on one of those Cardboard Tube Samurai Statuettes from Penny Arcade.

It’s a giant.

I mean, fucking Twilight got a panel. A panel that had a line at least a mile or more long. FUCKING TWILIGHT! I could go on a rant about how terrible those books and the movie are but I feel that anyone with sense of dignity and pride already knows by now.

The more I reflect on what Rolfe said the more it seems to me that Comic Con needs a name change. Something the better reflects what it’s become. Media Con would be inappropriate and Nerd Con might be pushing it (thought I kind of like that name) it seems that something should be done. The convention needs a new name in my mind mostly because it really isn’t about comics anymore. They’ve become a subsection of everything else.

As a comic and animation fan the role of Comic Con for me is to meet the creators of my favorite comics, cartoon shows, and web comics. For example, Kevin Conroy was at Comic Con this year; I would love to meet the voice of Batman. My showing up at that Con would find my wallet and my body in the comics sections.

Someday I hope to be there.

In the mean time, I’m still putting it out on the table that Comic Con needs a name revamp because the name as it stands now it feels like something of a lie.


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