If ya can’t beat ’em…
Posted on January 10th, 2011 by Grim

…shamelessly copy them.

A City Councilman in San Diego, wanting desperately to make San Diego’s “ugly step-sister” convention into something remotely approaching cool, has called for the organizers of San Diego’s Comic-Con to hold a parade during the convention just like a certain convention in Atlanta that we all know and love.

Some selected tidbits from the article:

“The bottom line is San Diego needs to let its hair down a little,” he said. “We can get so tied up in some of these major issues, which of course are important, but to be a big city you have to have great events and you have to let down your hair some.”

Translation:  “Our stiff corporate-con is starting to bore the hell out of the geeks who are tired of major studio promotional booths with booth babes who can’t spell “Elektra”, but who have the sole redeeming quality of being able to completely rock a spandex body suit.”

“I want to see the mayor in his Batman costume that I know he has tucked in the back of his closet somewhere and I want to see him leading the parade.”

Translation: “We’re still embarrassed to admit that we’re fans, but we have no problem taking money from those who aren’t.”  Seriously, we have a city councilman “outing” the mayor as a fan of Batman?  Even if this is hyperbole used to sell the fact that a parade would be a huge crowd draw, you know why there aren’t as many costumes at Comic-Con as there are at Dragon*Con?   Nobody wants to “compete” with the paid models and actors who have costumes made by industry professionals.  It’s like wearing a home-made Mickey Mouse costume to freakin’ Disney World.  Unless you’re under the age of 5 (let’s face it… they’re adorable at that age.), it’s kinda pathetic.

and.. my favorite.

“Atlanta-based science fiction and fantasy convention Dragon Con hosts a parade, which draws over 2,000 people.”

Translation:  You missed a couple of zeroes there, slapnuts.

Since you’ve probably written this off as just another intemperate rant from Uncle Grimmy, let me clarify something.  I don’t ever want Dragon*Con to become like Comic-Con.  Comic-Con is a convention where people go to “watch the show”.  They go to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebs.  They go to listen to panels where “experts” talk to each other in front of an audience, giving opinions which don’t mean anything more than the opinions of each person paying 100 bucks/ticket to watch them talk. It is a convention where studios and large corporations hire booth babes to pitch whatever craptacular idea has spewed forth from marketing.

Dragon*Con is run by fans, for fans.

We, the fan, ARE the show at Dragon*Con.  Guests and panelists actually interact with fans.  Dragon*Con doesn’t close down at 5:00 PM each day.  That’s just when things are getting warmed up.  It means that the volunteers who run Dragon*Con may not always be professionals (because, let’s face it… We’re not.) but we will always bust out butts to make sure the convention remains a convention that we’d want to attend as fans.  Why?  Because that’s what we are, first and foremost.  Fans.

The next time you see questions like

“Why isn’t Dragon*Con run out of the World Congress Center?”

“Why don’t they cap ticket sales to Dragon*Con?”

“Why don’t they hire a company to staff and run Dragon*Con?”

“Why don’t they bring in more big sponsors to keep badge prices low?”

My answer, and I can’t speak for the powers that be, is that each of those things would make Dragon*Con less of what it is, and more like Comic-Con and related “Corporate-Cons”.  No thanks.