Pride and Prejudice…

Tom Cruise

The climb continues and the struggle is real…
Travel Planners started sending their hotel notifications on Thursday- and the emotional roller coaster began. It was win, lose, or draw as many were excited with the results, while some are preparing to camp out in Hall H for the week. Yet even in the calamity of Hotelpocalypse, I saw the very best of our community as extra reservations were swapped and given out to those in need. The generosity of our tribe was commendable and I was proud of how we rose to the occasion and overcame the odds. Not everyone got what they wanted but after a couple of days, at least the atmosphere is a little better. My hope is that the remaining homeless will find a place soon.

However, it was not without it’s blood shed. It wasn’t before long that the blog-o-sphere started firing away with articles recounting the events of the week in excruciating detail. Frankly, I’m a little over it. I get it- clearly Travel Planners was not prepared for the deluge of registration that hit on March 24 at 9am. I was victim of it and walked away empty handed on Friday. They need to learn some hard lessons and make it right for next time. But the negativity that emerged, was to me, nothing but needlessly stating the obvious. Perhaps it’s cathartic in nature for some but in a lot of ways, I think it just adds fuel to the forest fire. In fact, stating that an organization ‘doesn’t care’ about their fans is just plain ignorant. Sure mistakes or underestimations were made- and there needs to be accountability, but to accuse a team of hard working people of apathy is irresponsible. Inflammatory articles like these just give bloggers like us a bad name.

Life is a choice. You choose to to either believe the best in others or you choose to assume the worst. I choose the former unless I KNOW otherwise. I am far from perfect and I say/write/tweet the wrong things all the time- but the vitriol of the past 72 hours has been off-putting. You know, I’m mad too, but I communicated my concerns to those that can ACTUALLY change the future not just anyone that has an internet connection. Honestly, because of our past pain of crashing badge sales or all night Hall H lines, I think some of us have gotten a little prejudice towards Comic-Con. As soon as something goes wrong, the anguish of our past resurfaces and it is hurled towards Comic-Con (and her partners) like a cannon shell of fury and cynicism. I’m not down with that. It’s immature and frankly a waste of my time. Many of you reacted well and collectively, we worked together to solve problems (special thanks to the Friends of CCI Forum too). So with pride I am thankful we got through this difficult final phase of registration. So with all that said, it is no doubt that problems will arise again before the show or during it in July. The question is, how will you choose to react? I’m celebrating my 10 year anniversary with Comic-Con this July. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly- and hate to break this to you, the ugly side tends to be us. I think we can be better. I may write about SDCC tips and other related topics but I also want to provoke us to rise above our circumstances instead of acting like victims.

BookComicCon03To end on a positive note, I thought it would be fitting to remind all of us of why we go through the suffering by what we have to look forward to in July. So I asked you to tweet me with the hashtag #FavSDCC or e-mail me your favorite Comic-Con moments of the past. I loved the memories you shared and it got me fired up for what will happen 100 days from now. This is what we have to look forward to so let’s keep our focus on the positive and allow for the best to come out even in the worst circumstance. Agree or disagree, all comments are welcomed below.

“So many, but there’s one: meeting John Romita, Jr. last year. 🙂 Big fan of his work, esp. w/ Spidey. So cool!”

“Meeting Pedro Pascal unexpectedly in my Daenerys cosplay!”

“#FavSDCC moment? High fiving Paul Rudd, Mike Tyson, and the cast of the Hobbit”

“Meeting & getting an autograph from @josswhedon while waiting in line for Firefly 10yr anniversary panel!”

“Swimming in the pool at @HiltonBayfront while watching everyone burn in the sun.”

“Playing Uno with strangers at SDCC ’08 while waiting for preview night to open. That was so much fun”

“Meeting @GRRMspeaking on preview night!”

“#FavSDCC sleeping on sidewalk outside of Hall H for Heroes panel in 2008”

“Can’t think of just one but those few times I came across a signing in the main hall and there was hardly a line!”

“That was the Epic Tennant/Barrowman kiss of ’11 AND Every moment of TORCHWOOD in Blrm 20. =)”

“Got to meet Conan O’Brien at Flaming C art gallery on 5th St while he filmed a segment for his show in 2011.”

“fave #sdcc memory was approx 1995. David Prowse (Darth Vader) came unannounced. We RAN to his booth to meet him.”

“1st #Favsdcc I badly wanted to see the #Chuck panel. Thur night I ran into @Y_Strahovski who was gracious enough for a photo”

“FavSDCC when my 8 year old cosplayed as Shazam and Dan Didio invited him to sit at the panel table on stage ”

“#FavSDCC peeing alone next to Noah Wyle after FS panel. very odd, very quiet”

“Our annual Harry Potter panel, and watching @neilhimself fanboy over @MarkDoesStuff”

“Being given a pair of tickets to the Avengers signing last year!”

“Meeting cast of Nikita @ sdcc 2011.”


“I’ve been an avid SDCC attendee for many years now and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and greet with several celebrities. These include Mindy Sterling, Clare Cramer, Brendon Nicholas, the cast of Big Bang Theory, the cast of of Falling Skies, Gerard Way, Gabrielle Union, Stuart Townsend, Nathan Fillion, the cast of Legend of Korra, the cast of Hawaii 5-0, the cast of Archer, the cast of Wilfred, etc. The most memorable moment would have to be meeting Buffy creator and Avengers director Joss Whedon. I won a raffle to meet him at SDCC 2012 and I geeked out so much, my words were incomprehensible. I think I muttered something to him like, “Big fan.” He was very generous and kind. But because I’m such a huge fan, it’ll always be a memory that will stay with me forever.”




11 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice…

  1. Tony, as you know, one of my favorite SDCC memories was getting to meet you. I don’t say that lightly. You are an amazing human being, with so much capacity for understanding and forgiveness. You fight for those who can’t and fight against those who hurt others.

    It’s funny, while my hotel didn’t work out exactly as I had hoped, we ended up with something just fine and only 0.3 miles from the center. And I was fine. Then I started reading social media and people’s recounts of the sale, then I wasn’t so fine. I saw many reasons why my hotel didn’t work out as I had hoped and it made me sad. So I stopped reading and gave thanks that I got something and that I am blessed to be able to attend SDCC and have a place to stay. I have lots of friends I will get to see who also all lucked into tickets and hotel rooms. So all in all, it was not perfect but it is ok and in the big scheme of things this is just a blip on the radar.

    Can’t wait to see you at SDCC. Sorry the van won’t work out this year 😉

    • Thanks for your thoughts. Yea, a lot of people lucked out and a lot of people did not. I’m afraid the hotel sale will eventually turn into a lottery system for next year. Glad you found a spot and I hope everyone looking will get something too. Thanks for your encouragement and I hope we can hang out in July! Thanks for commenting!

  2. I love SDCC. There is nothing more that I can say really. It’s the one time of year where I feel like everyone around me just gets me and I feel completely at home. It feels like a massive family reunion.

    I admit I do not have to go through this hotel situation because I am lucky enough to have family that lives near by and believe me, I am grateful. This who situation does sound frustrating but I ask everyone going through it to try and be mature about it. Comic Con cares about us and if you want to argue about that with me, I’ll just go ahead and block you. It’s not a debate I’m willing to have because year after year they put together the impossible and we have an incredible four days. So much goes right it is wrong to focus on the bad.

    I can’t even count the good memories. There was meeting the Once Upon a Time cast in my young Regina cosplay and having Lana Parilla compliment it, asking Joss Whedon a question about my Dollhouse college paper and then my college writing an article on his response, meeting Aisha Tyler, getting to ask Hayley Atwell a question in my Peggy Carter cosplay, getting a bracelet from Nathan Fillion and shaking his hand, meeting Felicia Day, singing to Rachel Bloom’s famous Ray Bradbury song with a crowd at his memorial panel and making so many new friends.

    Yes, some things go wrong. But Comic Con does try to fix them and every year I have fun. Who am I to complain?

    • Amen sister. No one is advocating to just ‘overlook’ the mistakes but let’s have some perspective about all the good that comes out of this show. This is the chaos that comes with crazy success. Too much demand and not enough supply. Let’s make it better without ruining it along the way. Thanks for your stories and comments!

  3. I absolutely agree with your point about the negativity. We all love Comicon but, as fans, we’re not entitled to it. It’s still a commercial enterprise, so when we sign up, we know what we’re in for. You can want things to improve and communicate it constructively without all the “Haterade.”

    That being said, just from all the tweets and re-tweets I saw, the community is amazing and generous! It was everything I was proud of being a geek/nerd/otaku for. Just from the offers of sharing rooms, and even in some cases, HOMES, it was a wonderful display of generosity from the fandom.

    One of my favorite Comicon moments, and I think it will resonate with my son forever too, happened about two years ago. My son was determined to buy the Dragon Ball scanner con exclusive with his own money but he missed out on the line cap. A random guy spotted my dejected son and offered to buy it for him if he just waited at the register for him so that he could give the guy the money. I saw my kid with the one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen him have and he wore that thing for a month straight- I’m pretty sure I caught him sleeping with it on a few times. Again, the fandom kicks ass!

    Thank you for your enthusiasm and positivity! Our community can never have enough of both!

    • Good word Vince and what a wonderful story about your son. Impacting the experience for the next generation is one of the best (and most responsible) things we can do. Thanks for sharing!

  4. First of all, I don’t think I accused SDCC of not caring for their fans. I think the worst I said was that they made some bad decisions. I also made some suggestions directly to their “contact us” place that were–I think–done politely. Yelling at people doesn’t cause change, IMO.

    I still don’t have a hotel. I tried use that Friends of CCI thing, but I couldn’t remember my password. All my requests for a new password didn’t work. It said it was emailing it to me, but I never received these emails.

    I wonder if you would still write this article from the same perspective if you didn’t end up getting a room and were still in my situation.

    I do love Comicon. This will be my 16th year going. But, it’s hard to relax about it until I know I have a place to stay downtown. I could try for a non-Downtown hotel in the next sale, but if a downtown hotel DOES become in the final weeks, as often happens, I will have to lose my deposit on the other hotel to take it. So, I either have to take a risk and hope something happens towards the end or lose money.

    Meanwhile, I see so many non-attendees with hotel rooms.

    It’s just hard to relax. Any suggestions are welcome.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t gotten anything yet. I feel your pain and I too am mad at how this played out. I am strongly advocating for change and accountability for what has happened. Maybe my perspective would have been different if I was totally out of luck but I definitely felt the anxiety of scrambling around for a day or two. I just want to guard against the raging cynicism that has crept up with our fandom. Thank you for not letting it get out of control even in the midst of your frustration. Let me know how it plays out for you and if I can help- thanks for your honesty and comment.

      • Thanks, Tony. I finally got access to Friends of CCI. I gave up on trying to retrieve a password on my old account. The emails they say are sending never arrive. I had to open up a different account with a different email. Some of the comments about “lessons learned” through the room exchange are interesting.

        I think I’m going to participate in the next Travel Planners sale to try to figure out why my computer at work takes so long to connect. I think it may have something to do with web security the IT department has put in. I tested the speed and it’s fine, but then it just goes weird during the sale.

  5. Woo hoo!! I made the list!! This is my first time with a 4 day + preview nigjt badge so I can’t wait to make more memories!

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