MICHAEL DAVIS: Has Comic-Con Jumped The Shark?

Michael Davis

Master Of The Universe, Lord Of All Media, Most Interesting Black Man In the World, Sexiest Man on Earth, Mentor, Writer, Artist, Producer & Uppity.

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29 Responses

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    If Comic-Con jumped the shark, it’s not because it’s known for nerds. I think Heidi nailed it when she said, instead of being Nerd Prom, it had become Douche Prom. Too many show biz hustlers, not enough fans (proportionately speaking).

    I say this as someone who has gone there to hustle.

    • I agree-the show is WAY massive and Hollywood now seems to think it’s THEIR show. That said, the staff of Comic Con STILL treats it like a small con when it comes to the fans. As you know dear lady-I’m a New Yorker and the times I’ve been to the NYC con I’ve had fun and was treated very well.

      The staff at the NYC show is cool as shit-BUT- the people who run the Jacob Javits Center-not so much. I was in NYC during the last show and could not bring myself to go. That’s not a reflection on the people who run the convention it’s just that I could not bring myself to deal with the Javits people.

      I’d LOVE to give a party at my NY residence during the con but it would be pretty ghetto to give a convention party and not attend the convention.

      • Glenn Hauman says:

        Don\’t worry about it. The con\’s gotten big enough that people will think you\’re there anyway. It\’s certainly happened with me at San Diego– or rather, me not at San Diego.

  2. SDCC has definitely jumped the shark. It’s certainly not about the comics anymore. If not for the fact that the name is so well recognized, I wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped the “comic” and changed it to “San Diego Media Con” or something.

    • Interesting point Brandon.

      Tell me, what, if anything do you think the Con could do to make more appealing to you? I must say except for the crowds I still get a ‘comic book convention’ feel when I’m in the dealers area. But. alas I have not been able to spend much time there in the last few years.

      • Well, I think the comics should be THE thing, rather than HEY MOVIES, TV SHOWS, VIDEO GAMES!!!!!…oh, and comics are over there somewhere.

        Not saying I DON’T want people to show up, but the massive crowds who show up for their favorite TV star and couldn’t care less about the comics I can do without.

        Also, if they have to have TV and movies and whatnot there, I’d rather they keep them at least peripherally comic-related. I know they bring non-comic stuff in cuz their target audience is there, but surely Hollywood can put on its own convention.

        • dto2865 says:

          While I support your stance that Comic-Con has seriously strayed away from presenting & representing the graphic storytelling (read: comics!) art form, I am of the belief that your attitude is on the opposite of the very same coin, that of being a comics elitist.
          Your “It should be only about comics…!” attitude is what’s been killing the hobby for years! The number of comic book fans has been progressively & steadily shrinking for over 20 years.
          Something needs to be done to either revive or bring in new comics fans. And having Hollywood participate in the Con is just one potential solution.
          I do not mind that Hollywood has decided to embrace the Con. It’s made it a far better, more interesting event. It’s also expanded the audience for the event.
          However, two things that really annoy me to no end:
          1. The shamelessly/annoyingly over-hyping of NON-genre programming at the Con! As I mentioned in my post, the Con has always embraced the genres of comics, sci-fi, horror, gaming & anime.
          If Hollywood wants to pimp their latest comics-related movies/TV shows, let them!
          However, non-genre programming like “Pan-Am,” “NCIS/NCIS: LA,” “Hawaii Five-O,” etc. do NOT belong at the Con!
          2. Comic-Con has now become an excuse for people to star-gaze/gawk at celebrities, regardless of whether or not the celebs are starring in a genre-related film/TV series.
          I, for one, have grown beyond weary of the annual “Camp Twilight” shantytown that’s “erected” outside of the Convention Center every year. If those women were more friendlier to the rest of us Con goers, like all of the Harry Potter fans, then I’d be OK with it. But, they mock us, calling us “dorks” & “losers” for attending the show, yet they’re the ones who are living like hobos just to catch a glimpse of seeing their favorite “Twilight” person?!
          Oh, the not-so-sweet smell of irony…
          Once we’re rid of the stargazers, then Comic-Con will return to being a fun show again…

  3. Martha Thomases says:

    Also, PAUL was a great movie.

  4. Glenn Hauman says:

    I\’m waiting for the Yogi Berra moment when it becomes so crowded nobody goes there anymore.

    • GOOD!!

      that way I can find that damn original Spider-Man, Captain Action costume. I found one day a few years ago but lost it when I had to get cash and then could NOT for the life of me find the vendor again in the time I had to do so.


      • Glenn Hauman says:

        That\’s what eBay is for, my good man.

        • ebay?


          I’ll shoot myself in the throat before I order ANYTHING on the net from someone I’ve never met.

          Also-REAL collectors need to touch and feel what they are about to spend the mortgage money on. Lastly-I’m not the kind of guy who bids on anything. I have zero patience for back and forth, tit for tat shit.

      • mike weber says:

        Happened to me years ago at a WorldCon – someone in the Dealer’s Room had original Bode pages from The Gothic Blimp Works for like fifteen dollars and i didn’t have the Traveller’s Cheques. And then i could never find the table again when i did…

  5. Chris Derrick says:

    Comic books have morphed into the “it source” for a mass media franchise property, so Brandon’s suggestion to redub the event – MediaCon – is a solid idea.

    I miss hunting down old issues that I want or comic-related merchandise (like the Vertigo Tarot Card set, I picked up for less than $25 late on a Sunday about 8 years ago… saving 70% of the price tag). You can still talk with the creators, but so many are at their tables for a short period of time, because they want to experience the mass media stuff just as much as anyone else.

    Sure, the TV and film panels draw in a disproportionate amount of traffic, but that media commands the big bucks and attracts a fan that perhaps would have liked comics as kid and then grown up with them, but probably didn’t.

    Has it jumped the shark? Spielberg was there this year… the wunderkind! He could have and should have been a regular for at least a decade… Now, when George Lucas shows up to promote his Star Wars live-action TV series, then it’s jumped the shark and been eaten, too.

    • ” …then it’s jumped the shark and been eaten, too.”

      Soooo, wouldn’t that mean that they failed to jump the shark?

    • dto2865 says:

      I do not think that re-dubbing the Comic-Con to something like “Media Con” is the answer. Besides, that’s really an awkward & ridiculous title.
      All that needs to happen is for the Comic-Con planning committee grown some stones & just tell Hollywood that they will no longer be allowed to use the Con to pimp NON-genre shows any more!
      Look, I’m good with CBS promoting a show like “The Big Bang Theory” because it’s about a group of people who are into the very same things that normal Con attendees are into.
      What really annoys me is how networks use the Con to shove non-genre shows down our throats (like “Pan-Am,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “NCIS/NCIS: LA,” and yes even “Glee”!)…
      It’s not that I dislike non-genre shows, because I do! “Five-O” & the NCIS franchise are among my favorites, but they simply do not belong at Comic-Con!
      Now, if folks were to cosplay as the sexy Ziva David or a bikini-clad Kona, I may change my mind slightly… ;-)

  6. Peter David says:

    Here’s the interesting thing about Comic Con. If you check out the section of the dealer’s room where comics are actually being sold, I think you’ll find that it’s pretty much the exact same size as it was ten years ago, perhaps even twenty years ago. Back then it was Comic Con because it was about comics. Now comics are only a small percentage of it; so small that perhaps it should be called something other than Comic Con. Maybe Giganticon.

    • The size may be another reason why I still get a ‘comic book convention’ feel when I’m in the dealers area.

    • Secret Identity says:

      Actually according to a chart someone did on Heidi’s blog, comics actually make up a majority of both programming and the floor. And they have a better comics guest list than any other convention in the US from what i can tell.
      But i think you’re right on the space on the floor aloted to dealers. But then again, i think there are far less comics dealers in the US today than there were back 10 or 20 years ago. If that’s the case, then the con is doing a good job by even maintaining that space. IMHO

  7. John Tebbel says:

    There are two SDCC experiences. One enjoyed by insiders (Michael Davis and Mark Evanier to name two fine selves I read constantly) and one enjoyed by the shuffling masses, bullied by security, thwarted by medieval crowd control strategies, entertained by those with no proven competence at show business or hospitality. If if works for you, you’re fortunate, son. If it doesn’t, throw money at it.

  8. John,

    For the most part I find the sercurity people at Comic Con pretty cool. A couple of times over the last 20 years (been going since I was 5 Jean) I’ve met some not so cool sercurity people but nothing to rant about and I DO so love to rant. I was a Sercurity guard in college so it’s quite possible that I just happen to know how to deal with them and that has spared me the problems you’ve had with some.

    On the other hand, the guards at the NYC Con are a major reason I don’t attend. I’ll leave it at that, because I really do like the people that run the con and don’t want to give the impression that I don’t like the con.

  9. Montel Thompson says:

    Ive been a geek since 2, nerd since 7 and a dweeb all my life (granted, I was, and still am sexy, in all instances). From my first musings of Comic Con, Ive dreamed of going and had the opportunity in 2006 when the Navy hammer tossed me to San Diego for 3 years. Being immerged in that gathering of folks like me was like coming home. That year, TV and movies were trying to ply their wares like the Hatfields and McCoys with attendees being the battle fodder. To me, the Con will continue to metamophosize and grow. But like all things that grow, there is trial and error with the process. SDCC continues to be the comic convention mecca because of this. The SDCC board is made up of fans who look at the results of the past cons, analyze what worked from the ATTENDEES viewpoint, clean up a few things, drop what wasnt successful and continue to make it a fun event sought after by kids 2 to 94(and a view undead…)
    I agree with Mark, the two shows are different, which makes them attractive. Dexter and I agree that non genre shows and events have no place in these cons. Though we geeks are accepting most times, we will tell you in a heartbeat what belongs and what doesnt.
    I talked to a friend of mine(a huge football fan) about the appeal of the Con and he gave me a strange look. After I told him not to look at me in that tone of voice, I told him think of the Super Bowl instead of just one day, stretching over 4 days with one day to talk and meet your favorite team athletes. I said thats exactly how the Con is for us…

    In summary, Comic Con hasnt jumped the shark, it has swallowed, digested, analyzed and evolved from it. This is an institution for geeks, by geeks and for geeks. Gotta love it!!!