I recently read an article from Variety titled “6 Ways Hollywood Can Improve Comic-Con,” and it made me reflect upon my own trip to SDCC this year as a first-timer.

As soon as I stepped foot in the convention center on Wednesday afternoon, I was extremely overwhelmed. If you’ve never been, I can guarantee to you that no matter what you’re picturing, it’s even worse.

  • The outer aisles that you think would be wider to handle the traffic entering the convention hall are narrower than the others.
  • There’s a whole lot of security yelling at you to keep moving for even the slightest stops (though noting is said to cosplayers who cause traffic jams for photo ops—a problem at every major con these days).
  • There’s nowhere to even pause…to gather & compose yourself. Even along the walls of the lobby outside the convention center there’s sign after sign basically stating “No Sitting or Standing as per Fire Marshall”—I’ve never heard or seen that anywhere else.
  • In order to get Hasbro, Mattel, Bandai, and other high-demand exclusives, you have to commit to standing in line at 6am TO GET A TICKET that will allow you to get into another line once the show opens at 9:30am. So…you’re going to kill the majority of a day (if not an entire day) if you really want any of those exclusives.
  • Hall H—where do I begin? Hall H is where all of the massive & popular panels that everyone wants to see are held—Avengers, Batman vs. Superman, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Sin City, etc. Look at the photos above. That is the line for Hall H on the bottom. People start lining up for Hall H at ridiculous hours, even camping out overnight just in hopes of getting one of the 6,500 seats available. But there’s a catch: once you get into the hall, you can stay there all day! That’s right, kids…they don’t clear the hall between panels, so all of the other attendees waiting in line aren’t guaranteed to get in even if there among the next 50 people in line. This is a day killer, just like the exclusives, with no guarantee of payoff.

Immediately after seeing how things were ran, my logical mind went into action and solved a couple of these issues quite simply.

  • Make all major show exclusives (Hasbro, Funko, Bandai, Mattel, etc.) available to pre-purchase online and pick up at the show starting on Preview Night. Most people would take advantage of this option, which would remove them from the line process.
  • Make all panels ticketed events & clear the halls after each. Donate the profits to The Hero Initiative & The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. This change would give people who want to actually see a specific panel a fighting chance & gets rid of the Hall Hogs who sit through numerous panels they’re uninterested in just to get to a big one at the end of the day.

As for the other things, I have no clue. But the massive problem at SDCC stems from a “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” situation. Terrible communication all around. Is security asks you to do something & you ask why or for other options, all they do is make their demands even louder. (Yeah, I may have cursed at security during the show telling him to “Use his fucking words.” Variety had a few good ideas in their article as well (make sure to read the full article for a more in-depth look):

  • Live Stream Panels: Studios should borrow what works for the major videogame publishers during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles each year and live stream the film and TV panels that take place in Hall H and Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con. The technical aspects wouldn’t be that complicated since they already use companies like Ustream to webcast their red carpet premieres.
  • Take It Outside: The Petco Park baseball stadium that seats 42,445, and is walking distance from the San Diego Convention Center, is being underutilized — especially when it comes to all of those seats. Studios should consider moving a Hall H presentation or two to that venue in order to pack in a larger audience and further eventize what they’re bringing to Comic-Con. If it gets too pricey, there’s surely a promotional partner or two that’s willing to gain some exposure by helping cover the costs to get in front of an influential audience.
  • Give Promotional Partners the Chance to Play with Properties: A Hunger Games experience that electronics maker Samsung created with Lionsgate to promote The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part I at Comic-Con was an eye opener. Samsung isn’t in the film, but by allowing it to create a space that brought the next Hunger Games installment to life through high-tech installations, prop-filled photo ops, costumed models, and the first look at the movie’s teaser trailer, Lionsgate was able to save money with its trip to Comic-Con while rewarding one of its partners in a way that elevated Samsung in a unique way and had fans lining up for days to take part.
  • Embrace the Show: Studio panels can become dull affairs with talent dragged out on stage for short periods of time, where they’re asked a few questions by moderators eagerly trying to get them to open up, before footage is played and the next project is introduced. For WB’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill weren’t even given microphones and were asked to wave and move on. Marvel Studios gets it, however, turning its Hall H presentations into glorified rock concerts, with audiences on their feet and screaming. There’s so much energy in the air it’s infectious. The talent wants to be there and it shows and fans are only happy to reward them when their projects come out — and can’t stop talking them up until they do.
  • Create a Film Festival for Genre Fans: With a captive audience looking for things to do in the evening during Comic-Con, studios could organize a film festival of smaller titles competing with big budget tentpoles for attention. This year featured more screenings than usual — Fox’s Let’s Be Cops and The Maze Runner, Paramount’s Hercules, New Line’s Into the Storm, and smaller indie horror films like Shock Till You Drop and the Fangoria’s free screening of The Canal were among them — but with a proper program in place, local theaters could be put to good use in order to drum up buzz around films that need them.
  • Temper Expectations: Pay attention to the pent-up demand for projects. Much has been written or tweeted about the disappointment in Legendary when it showed a teaser for Skull Island, a new project based on the home of King Kong, rather than the first footage for Jurassic World, which it is co-financing with Universal. The negative reaction was palpable; what should have been cool wound up being confusing. The same is true for Marvel when it didn’t announce who will play Doctor Strange during its panel. While the studios never said they had plans to talk about those films, they also didn’t dissuade anyone from chatting up the possibility of their presence, either. The hype instantly turned to disappointment, which could have been avoided with a message relayed through a news outlet or blog — or with a simple tweet.

Now with all that said, I don’t regret a thing. As soon as I was heading to the airport to return home I was missing it. I will be back!

Charlie Cox uses his walking stick on set while playing Matt Murdock in the upcoming Netflix Daredevil series on Monday (August 4) in New York City.

Comic Artist Randy Queen Now Claims Post About His Abuse Of Copyright To Stifle Criticism Is Defamatory

If as a comic book artist you don’t like folks making fun of your anatomy skills, there are lots of good responses. Laugh it off, exaggerate worse, or up your skills. Multiple DMCA notices to censor your critics is the one Darkchylde artist Randy Queen chose.

Then he filed a DMCA notice to take down mention that he’d filed notices.


Comic Artist Randy Queen Now Claims Post About His Abuse Of Copyright To Stifle Criticism Is Defamatory

And to sum up: Randy Queen is a colossal turdblossom who doesn’t understand law, art, criticism, or basic non-douchbaggery.

Death of the Endless: sister of Destiny, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Delirium, and Despair…and Vivka looks pretty amazing in this cosplay!

Check out the awesome set on cosplaydeviants.com, and if you aren’t yet a member you can use her name VIVKA at sign up and get 50% off your first month!

Photo by Corwin Prescott.
Makeup by Xanthia Pink.
Leggings by Sophi Reaptress.

What’s the superhero comics industry’s biggest challenge?

Oh, I got a pile of stuff. Just yesterday, a woman wrote an article analyzing what she thought was a poor comic book cover, and she was met with just a bunch of shitty anonymous people being awful to her online. I think that a huge problem is people who read comics and don’t understand the point of superheroes, which is to be the best version of yourself. You love Captain America? Well, you know what Captain America would never do? Go online anonymously and shit on a girl for having an opinion.

(PS—If you don’t believe there’s a problem, you’re part of it.)