Sunday, July 25, 2010

San Diego - Day 4

Alas, Day Four consists only of packing my knives and going. We have a noon flight out of here, so I won't even get down to the floor.

(Update from later in the day - we arrived at the airport far enough ahead of schedule that I got on an earlier flight, and was home before 1. Unfortunately, my luggage was on the other flight, which was horribly delayed, so I ended up driving out to the airport at 8 PM to get my stuff. Still, I got home and had time to run a lot of errands).

What struck me more about this convention, some 20 years after my last one, is the changing face of fandom. Twenty years back, I would have said that it was predominantly white, male, and middle-aged, and destined to go the way of model trains and other harmless hobbies. Now there is an incredible age, gender, and racial diversity. Part of it in the revolutions inside comics (the rise of manga and web comics, for example), but part of it is the expansion of the borders of Geek Culture, such that it encompasses not only old media, but new premeires. And this is way cool.

It IS a big convention, and the staff handles it amazingly well. I was disappointed to not be able to get into a few panels, but the queues ran very well and effectively. I think this is the biggest reason to keep SDCC in SD. The staff - heck, the entire city - has grown up with this madness and works to make it the best possible experience.

That said, the city fathers have GOT to put a bridge or five from the convention center to the city proper. All of the foot traffic is poured across buslanes, down some stairs, across a major road, across active trolley tracks, and then into the Gaslamp (where every card-snapper and freebie agent is laying in wait). There were some parts of the dealer room that were more crowded, but they were few and far between (and usually near steampunk corset shops, for some reason).

My only other gripe? Strollers. The bulkiest hall costume was an agile pixie in comparison to these land-tanks pushed by people using them as battering rams. Worse were the ones where the kid was carried (or walking) as his ride was transformed into a shopping cart.

But these were really minor things (and the strollers kept everyone on their toes, lest they get said toes run over). In general, the convention was a huge success, struggling with its titanic size, and is already spreading far beyond the bounds of the center itself. The staff and the city should be happy with its success - there are smaller venues that have much more difficulties pulling off a show.

And now, I'm going to soak my feet for a couple hours, and try to recover.

More later,