Many GHPALS members go to Comic-Con, and the head of this society is no exception. While the next few articles were posted after the Con, they were written during it, starting with this one.
I am sitting by a swimming pool at a Holiday Inn north of the San Diego airport. The sky is overcast and the air is full of sounds: cheerful tunes faintly heard from the bar, pile drivers from some construction project, the traffic on Nimitz Avenue and Harbor Drive, and the shuttle buses that stop to pick up people for the 15-minute drive to what can only be seen as another world.
It seems unbelievable that only 5 miles from here more than a hundred-thousand people are gathered together for the biggest celebration of the popular arts, Comic-Con. There are two types of people there: the lucky ones who snagged a badge in the lottery that was the badge sale (a topic for another time) and those, like me, who did not. For at least a dozen years I have brought my children (now adults) to this thing, and for the first time I am on the outside looking in.
So enough about why I’m not among the hoards inside the convention center, and on to the fun I had outside of it. And the swag. And the promotions I’ve participated in. And, most importantly, the sheer fun I have had without a badge.
Wise promotion people have recognized the value of taking over locations in the Gaslamp District. There one has total control over the space. The venue can be open before and after the Con exhibit hall hours. There are no rules to restrict activities and room for longer lines. One can pay a restaurant to turn itself into SyFy’s Defiance HQ or NBC's Grimm forest. One can rent the ballroom in a hotel like XBox did in the Hard Rock Cafe. Or one can just rent a parking lot, pull in a bunch of trailers and set up tents to turn it in to History Chanel central or a Coma center to advertise a new A&E mini-series. Cheapest of all, hire a bunch of temps from an agency to stand on any street corner and give a way your advertising stuff to everyone who passes by. Sure a bunch will get tossed, but most will at least be looked at by someone.
Yesterday I spent 6 hours walking the streets over there, and I had a great time. I really didn’t need no stinking badge. And judging from the crowds, neither did a lot of other people. My kids are there today, because they don’t have badges until tomorrow