Nothing like starting off a new year with the stress of figuring out if you are going to be one of the chosen few who will win the SDCC ticket lottery for a golden ticket. If you are able to score one of the tickets then you have to spin the wheel of hotel lottery of disappointment. Even this last weeks Big Bang Theory poked fun at trying to get tickets.
There have been a number of stories of people who are fed up with going to the convention because it’s just too much stress for them,
As a professional I just went through the stress of getting tickets for myself and two friends, and thankfully I was able to get all three. Every year it seems to get harder and harder to go to SDCC. And everyone always asks me why? Well the thing that has helped me beyond the stress of getting tickets and a hotel room is that I made peace with SDCC years ago. When I go I let the chips fall where they may. I have pretty much given up on Hall H because it’s just not worth the time trying to get in there. People campout overnight to see panels and I am just not going to do that. There are way to many other great panels that may not have the flash or spectacle of Hall H but sometimes you are going to see or hear things you would otherwise not hear about. And for me that is what makes SDCC so special. Last year I went to the Gene Dietch panel and to hear this legends great stories was a true once in a lifetime moment. Hearing Gilbert Shelton talk about the Fabulous Freak Brothers and the underground comix scene was great. Getting to meet poster artist legend Drew Stuzan and getting him to sign the limited edition How to Train Your Dragon 2 poster was a real honor. While there are a lot of the big television panels that you can still squeeze into with some luck you might be surprised how many panels are wide open. You still have to have a plan of attack before you hit the show each day but if you always plan for overlapping panels then you can still have a great time. You always have to be prepared to change your plans depending on how things are going. You might hit the dealers floor while big panels are going on and discover that it may not be that busy.
The thing that I think that most people forget is to have a good time. People get so wrapped up in getting show exclusives and trying to go to all of the big panels that you sometimes miss some really cool things. Last year me and a friend attempted to get into the Adventure Time panel first thing but it was just not going to happen. We walked across the street to a pop up arcade and I got an awesome Galaga shirt. So by missing the panel I got a sweet shirt instead. When Disney was showing off the Tron Legacy at the con I was trying to get one of the exclusive toys but they had already given out the allotment for the day but, at that same moment a guy was giving out tickets for Flynn’s Arcade in downtown and trust me that was better than any toy would ever be. The other thing is that anything big that happens in Hall H will be on the internet within seconds. So while you may not have seen the footage at first, trust me that you will see it one way or another. Heck a lot of the Comic Con panels are put on the DVD or Blu-Ray when the next season comes out. In the end I still enjoy going to SDCC every year. You really get to see things that would not see anywhere else. I catch up with old friends and every year it seems like there are more new ones that I meet. I am so exhausted after the event but you know I wouldn’t want to miss going to it. While I also go to other shows SDCC was the first comic book convention I ever went to in my life back in 1983 and yes it has changed over the years. Some for the better and some for the worst. And while there are always things that could and should be changed about SDCC it’s still the biggest and the best show in the world.
While I understand people frustration with putting up with the whole thing I think if you just step back and try to do what you can then it’s a much more enjoyable event. Because in the end if you don’t get that exclusive or get into that panel that you wanted, you’re not going to die. Life will go on. So if you do get a golden ticket this year then maybe try to rethink your strategy. If you go with the flow then I am sure that you will have a much better time at the show.