Friday, September 30, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 5: Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read?

Our members' answers:
  • Carl Barks and Don Rosa These two men wrote and drew wonderful stories about Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and the triplets, Hewey, Dewey and Louie, that have enchanted me for years. Other writers and artists have contributed their work, but Mrs. Rosa and Barks are the best.
  • My Aunt Vivian. Every birthday and Christmas she gave me a wonderful book. She introduced me to Marguerite Henry, whose books I loved even though I didn't like horses. She gave me Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels when I was 12 and it was magic to me.
  • My parents because they were always reading. Reading was as natural to us as breathing. When comics were being attacked as bad for children, I heard my mother defend them to a neighbor. "At least she's reading," Mom said. I married a reader. My kids are readers. Too bad we all have different tastes in books. As my husband says, "We'd be rich if we didn't read."
  • Mom and Dad They read to me when I was little and bought the new Nancy Drew book for me whenever I saw one.
  • My Grandma (Mom's Mom) She watched me after school and always read whatever I had to read. We had some good talks, even about books she thought were way over my head. She used to complain that we were reading garbage instead of books that had stood the test of time. I remember one conversation about us having to read Grendel instead of Beowulf. And the time she saw the syllabus for my "English literature class" and spotted Russian and French novels on the reading list. She went with me to school open house and asked the teacher why an English Lit class wasn't teaching English literature. All she got in response was a blank look. Naturally at the time I was embarrassed and humiliated, but now I'm proud of her.
  • Mr. Caldwell, my Sophomore high school English teacher. He was fired halfway through the school year because he didn't believe in the school's reading list. Thanks to him I read John Locke and some classics before another teacher took over the class and the curriculum was dumbed down.
  • Georgette Heyer. I devoured her books and through her discovered Jane Austin and James Fennimore Cooper. Heyer is considered a romance writer, which is a crying shame since her books are so much more. She was a true heir to Austen.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 4: Which book would you go to jail defending?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Which book would you go to jail defending?

Our members' answers:
  • The Harry Potter books because they introduced so many children to the joys of reading. They've been challenged in a lot of countries because they involve magic and witchcraft.
  • Mein Kampf I know this choice will offend some people, but isn't that the point? Hitler's book was highly influential.
  • The Koran, The Bible, The Talmud and any other sacred religious text. Freedom of religion, the right to worship whatever way we choose, is another fundamental American right that must be protected.
  • Lady Chatterly's Lover because they couldn't keep me in jail over it. I think the only publication you can be arrested for possessing is child pornography. I'm OK with banning that.
  • The Junior Woodchuck Guidebook If you've ever read Don Rosa's Guardians of the Lost Library you'd know all the world's knowledge throughout history is distilled in it.
  • Are you serious? This is America! I can't be thrown in jail over a book anymore. 
  • What a hard question. Why would I be jailed? For possessing a copy? I'm not a publisher or writer. Could they toss me in jail for reading it? They can't wipe my memory yet, thank God. I have to really think about this one because I want to defend them all.
  • I can't answer that question. It's too hard. I know if I was arrested one some censorship-related charge, I'd call the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund immediately. They'd help me out.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 3: If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?I'

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?

What an interesting bunch of answers we got.
  • I'll tell you a book I would never, ever give anyone. It's that dumb Dr. Seuss book that everyone gives graduates, Oh, the Places You'll Go! It's full of cliches and crappy advice that makes my eyes roll just thinking about it. Ugh!
  •  I'd give myself one of Richard Halliburton's books. Any one of them would do. He wandered around the world right after college and wrote  interesting and entertaining books about his experiences. I'll never forget his story of standing on top of the Matterhorn and fulfilling a lifelong dream–spitting a mile.
  • I'd give high school self Jack London's The Sea Wolf. It shows a character who given the right opportunity could have ruled the world. It taught me never to underestimate anyone, no matter the job they hold or their place in society. I also learned not to trust ferries.
  • The Murder of a Nation, by the US Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau. It's an important book about the Armenian genocide by the Turks. The Society did a blog post about it a few years ago. 
  • Bill the Galactic Hero, by Harry Harrison. "If your poor, don't go to Heliore." A life lesson learned in that phrase alone.
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and all the sequels. It wasn't written when I was a kid, but I would have loved it. Ditto Lemony Snickett's books, A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels After listening to another member talk about it, this book sounds awesome.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Which book would you go to jail defending?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 2: Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?

Our members' answers:
  • Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. The two best American novels. I laugh every time I read them and they capture Americans perfectly.
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's probably the best written book I've ever read.  You are right there when every event happens. I don't care if it's not on the banned books list. That's the book I'd want to save.
  • This may seem trite to you, but I'd memorize The King James Bible because it is one of the most influential books ever published and because it has such beautiful language. I'm not particularly religious, but I love The Bible because whenever church is dull, there's always something in it to read. They keep them in every pew. At least they do in Protestant churches.
  • Anything by Carl Hiaasen, because I laugh all the way through them and they make me happy. I'll need something like that if books are being lost to the sands of time.
  • Mother Goose because I'm horrible at memorizing. I could probably remember the nursery rhymes because they're short.
  • Pride and Prejudice because it is the best book ever written about male-famale relationships.
  • The Last of the Mohicans because I loved it so much as a child. Uncas was my hero.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 1: What Book Would You Ban?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members reported their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition (See our post Banned Books Week.)

TheAmerican Library Associations tracks censorship efforts at school districts and libraries across the country. (The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund provides advice and guidance to school and library boards dealing with such attempts.) Each year the ALA compiles a list of the books attacked that year.

As part of this effort members reviewed those
lists as discussion stimulants. One of our more vocal members expressed the opinion that some of the books on the list should be banned because they are just plain lousy books.

Naturally that stimulated discussion, and the question was asked, What book would you ban?

Readers. please remember that GHPALS and its members are fully committed to the First Ammendment and the right of free speech. We are joking here.

  • Catcher in the Rye It's over taught because every English teacher loves it and their students hate it. I hated it and still do.
  • Any book that retells a classic from the villain's point of view. Come up with your own story and stop trying to make the bad guys into good ones who are just misunderstood.
  • The Hunger Games series. It's really creepy that a series about children killing each other is so popular. 
  • Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. This snarky piece of garbage has distorted more children's views of American history than Parson Weems did.
  • Go Set a Watchman It was criminal to publish it and tarnish Harper Lee's reputation. Someone ought to protect authors from greedy relatives and caretakers like they're protected from censorship.
  • Ghost written autobiographies of political candidates. 
  • Ghost written books of any kind when the actual writer is not attributed authorship.
  • Any book that hasn't been properly edited or proofread. 
  • Anything by Barbara Cartland or any other author whose paragraphs are one sentence long.
  • Kate Chopin because she's boring and an awful writer. If she weren't a woman no one would teach her in school. Louisa Mae Alcott writes so much better, but we can't teach her because she was popular and writes about people who are happy.
  • T.S. Elliot. I hate his poetry. When my son was five he accidentally tore the dust cover of a book at Crown Books. The first and only time he harmed a book. I told him we had to buy it now, then I noticed what it was and threw a fit. Of all the books in the store he tore The Collected Poems of T.S. Elliot!
  • A House on Mango Street because I just hated that book in high school. Hated, hated, hated.
  • Nothing. Let anything and everything be published and sold or given away. The stuff that's good will last and the stuff that isn't won't. I work at the library book sales and the tables are full of books that were best selllers years ago and no one now remembers.
  • The statistics book I had to read in college. I hated it so much I took a hole saw to it when the quarter was over. It now has a 3-inch hole right down the center.
  • I can't think of any book I hate enough to ban. Zoo was terribly written, but I wouldn't ban it. The Twilight Series was lousy, in my opinion, but people loved it so I wouldn't ban it. Cat's Cradle is my favorite book, and there are some people who'd ban Vonnegut. One man's meat is another man's poison.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Newport Beach Film Festival Is Looking for Reviewers

The Newport Beach Film Festival has sent out a request for volunteers to screen and score the films submitted for the 2017 Festival (April 20-27).

You won't get paid, but you might see the next Oscar winner. Crash was shown first at the NBFF.

Here's what their site says is required of volunteer reviewers:

  • An average of 30 hours of viewing by mid-February 2017 per Reviewer, with a minimum of 5 hours watched per month.
  • That all Reviewers read and refer to the Reviewer Manual for guidance.
  • That it can be confirmed that every film for which a Reviewer has entered a score has been watched all the way through from beginning to end by that Reviewer. 
  • That Reviewers make reviews based solely on the quality of the film.
  • That every score submitted include written comments explaining the Reviewer’s decision. 
  • That Reviewers communicate with the Reviewer Coordinator about any difficulties they have, technical or otherwise, in carrying out their reviewing commitment. 
  • That Reviewers not be affiliated with any film that is submitted for review for the 2017 NBFF.
Want to try it? Just click on the NBFF Film Reviewer Application.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How Cool is This!

  • The contest to design Toni's wedding dress. She's marrying Brad in the comic strip Luann and they're looking for the right dress. Entries due October 3, details here.
  • A Mad Max Fury Road prequel! The Australian Herald Sun reported the  script is said to focus on the backstory of Furiosa,
  • Carl Hiassen's latest book, Razor Girl. It's Hiaasen. Enough said.
  • Free Jumbo Jack when Rams score 2 touchdowns. Now if they could only make one.
  • Star Trek Stamps. Even the US Postal Service knows 50 years of a good thing, though the designs are lame.
  • Tarzan at the Precipice, by Michael A. Sanford. This book about Tarzan's adventures in Canada takes place right after Jane rejected him in the first book. It fits right in with Edgar Rice Burroughs' classics.
  • Jared Padalecki & Jenson Ackles "Family Has Your Back" campaign. The latest design supporting Always Keep Fighting celebrates 12 years of Supernatural while funding a fabulous charity.
How uncool is this? Dog poop that people don't pick up. There's one in my front flower bed right now and I'm disappointed about the gross inconsideration of humanity.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Happy Batman Day!

Today we celebrate The Dark Knight in all his incarnations. 

What a great opportunity to hang out those Halloween bats early!

Here on Goat Hill, Batman Day special events will be held at: 
  • The central Costa Mesa library on Park Avenue, right in the heart of Goat Hill.
  • Metro Pointe Barnes and Noble
  • The Pottery Barn at South Coast Plaza Crystal Court
Nearby Barnes and Noble stores are also having events (Fashion Island, Huntington Beach,  Irvine), as is the Tustin Library. Click here to find a location near you.

DC has arranged special sales of Batman-related items at all kinds of internet shops.

There's a special Batman Day Activity Pack for children and families that includes all kinds of fun:
  • Coloring sheets
  • Activities based around the children's book Bedtime for Batman.
  • Make-it-yourself masks–several styles of Batman plus other characters
  • Puzzles, games, word searches and coded messages
  • A knowledge quiz (our members did pretty well on it)

There’s even a drawing with prizes worth over $2,000! Fun items included come from DC Collectibles, DC Comics,, Bendon, Bleacher Creatures, Capstone, DK, Fisher Price, F.Y.E., HarperCollins Children’s Publishing, LEGO, Pottery Barn Kids, Scholastic, WB Games, Wish Factory and more. Enter Here through September 26.

We'll all be looking for the bat signal tonight. 

    Friday, September 16, 2016

    Comics for the Troops

    Comics for the Troops

    Another box is on its way, this one to Kuwait, thanks to the customers at our favorite comic store:

    Alakazam Comics management made room on the counter for our box and their patrons and management drop in comic donations. When the box is full, we pick it up and look on for someone in the service who wants comics.

    There was just a little space in this box, so our members added some snack treats and a bag of candy corn. Halloween will be here before you know it, after all.

    Thursday, September 15, 2016

    Celebrate the First Amendment-Read a Banned Book!

    Banned Book Week Starts September 26

    GHPALS members are a great believers in the US Constitution's first amendment. The one that gives us free speech. The one that lets US citizens say whatever dumb and stupid thing we want. The one that lets us offend each other. The one that we should all honor by remembering the words we were all taught in childhood, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

    From time to time threats to that freedom crop up and people need to be reminded of our First Amendment rights. 

    Banned Book Week was created by a national alliance of organizations committed to the freedom to read whatever we want whenever we want.  Naturally the  Comic Book Legal Defense Fund  is one of them (if you haven't already, donate to it now). We're big supporters of it.

    Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.
    This year Banned Books Week is September 25-October 1.

    Join the GHPALS in reading one of the 10 most challenged titles of 2015, according to the American Library Association:
    1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Peak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    6. The Holy Bible
    7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    9. Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Next week our blog will report members answers to the following prompts:
    • Which book would you to to jail defending?
    • Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?
    • Who in your life has most influenced your love of books and your right to read.
    • Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?
    • If you could go back in time, which book would you give your younger self?
    Think about what your own answers would be.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    Revised GHPALS Logo

    We have revised our logo in response to the City of Costa Mesa's lame attempt to imitate ours. They sold T-shirts and caps with a line drawing of a goat standing on a hill, an obvious imitation of our logo.

    As we PALS stared in outrage at it we realized it was our own fault because there was nothing on our logo to link it to us. Of course our loyal members and followers recognize it immediately, but to strangers it would mean nothing.

    We called oyal member and artist in residence Marion Rutledge.

    She immediately added GHPALS and its meaning to the hill.

    Unfortunately this caused dissension and rancor as some members chose to raise the "missing books" issue that we'd beaten to death years ago. At least this scribe thought we had. See the GHPALS Logo post, written before we learned about the city's clothing sale.

    Marion remains adamant that Reading Rainbow incorporates books adequately, and it's hard to dispute that a TV show where important people read books to children does not incorporate literature.

    The majority of our members thought Marion's design was really clever and the drawing should stay the way it is. They won, after they bought a round of drinks for the dissenters.

    Possessed and Obsessed-Celebrating Supernatural Day!

    We here at GHPALS have never made a secret of being part of Supernatural fandom. Our scribe has purchased a silver ticket for Celebration's con in Burbank in November and we're all envious.

    Today is a special day for the Obsessed and Possessed fans of this special show. Hot Topic even sells a T-shirt to help us celebrate. Check out the design----->

    Today is the 12th anniversary of Supernatural's premiere on September 13, 2004. Several of us watched that first show. Here are some of our memories:

    • My daughter was 13 and we watched the show together. She was a big fan of Hercules, Xena, The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen. She subscribed to the Supernatural magazine and kept all the issues. She bought the season dvd sets as soon as they became available, and was so distraught when one of her friends didn't return Season Two she bought another copy. The friend finally returned it and she kept both sets. By the time she left for college she'd lost interest, but I remain Possessed and Obsessed.
    • Supernatural is the wonderful show it is because it mixes humor with horror. It is never ponderous or unleavened (that's a word I use for shows that never lighten up). For the last two weeks I've been rewatching Battlestar Gallactica with my daughter and it is just so deadly serious all the time–I can hardly stand it. Supernatural's cast, crew and writers all understand they are creating entertainment, and that's what we get. That's why the show will have fans forever, like Star Trek, Star Wars and Dr. Who.
    • I first learned about Supernatural when I sat through a panel at Comic-Con. I was there because I wanted to be sure I had a seat for the panel that came afterwards. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki seemed like such nice guys and the clips made the show sound so interesting I rented the dvds. I've been watching it ever since.
    • How can you not love a show where two hot guys keep us all safe from the things that go bump in the night? I certainly sleep better at night knowing they're out there.
    • I love the show and I love the fan fiction people write. My favorite author is K. Hanna Korosy and my favorite story is currently The Polyglot because I think it perfectly captures the characters of Sam and Dean. 
    • I love the show because there are so many wonderful lines. Everyone remembers the funny ones, like "I lost my shoe," but there are lines that you can pattern your life around, like these:
      • You don't have to be ruled by fate. You can choose freedom.
      • You always have a choice.
      • We'll figure it out. We always do.
      • It doesn't matter what you are. It only matters what you do.
    • My favorite show of all time is the Supernatural episode The French Mistake. It is the finest example of meta in television, yet it wasn't nominated for any awards. I have nothing but contempt for the Emmys because they overlook shows like this one. 
    • I've watched the entire series many times. I always rewatch it during tax season as it makes doing my return seem trivial instead of onerous. I don't watch Season One on Netflix though, because the music is different. Something about not having digital rights or something. I know lots of people come to Supernatural through Netflix, and I feel sorry for them because they don't see the show in it's true form.
    We're all looking forward to October 13 and the first show of Season 12.

    Thursday, September 8, 2016

    Your Opinion Matters to Warner Brothers!

    Your Opinion Matters to Warner Brothers!

    At least that's what the flyer inside my Supernatural Season 11 dvds says. My copy came from Amazon Monday, and I immediately tried the link:

    The first screen is a Non-Disclosure Agreement. I promised not to disclose any proprietary information and they promised not to release any information about me. Any ideas Warner Brothers gets from my survey response becomes their property. 

    I was OK with that, and you should be too. Unfortunately I didn't learn anything new about my favorite show.

    I liked that it told me up front that it would take about 15 minutes. I had the time so I continued.

    The survey asked questions like why I bought the dvds, what bonus features did I watch and like, then went on to cover the entire series. The survey asked what seasons I'd seen and how I watched them.

    I really liked that I could select many responses instead of having to pick one. Many factors go into a decision to purchase a TV show, so I picked such things as "I'm a big fan of the show," "I can access it forever," "I own previous seasons and wanted to complete my collection," "I wanted to watch it over and over again," and "I wanted to watch it whenever I want to." 

    I also liked that the survey included "Streamed or downloaded for FREE from an unofficial source" in its list of streaming options in the question, "How have you watched the show?" I also liked that it allowed me to make different selections for each season because I do watch the seasons differently. I refuse to watch Season One on Netflix. The music was changed because the rights agreements didn't cover digital versions, or at least that's what I've been told. DVDs only for Season One for this fan.

    Warner Brothers wanted to know how I first watched the show. I've been watching it on live TV since the first episode of the first season. Our family subscribed to Titan's Supernatural magazine and owns all the Season Companions.

    Asked why I would be interested in watching Supernatural Season 12, I thought hard about the answer. Here's what I finally wrote:

    I have been a fan of the show since the first episode and unlike any other show I have watched the main characters have grown and changed. While Sam and Dean retain the essential natures shown in that first episode, they have grown from boys to men. They have made allies and enemies, found ways to work through every problem they've encountered, though not without some heartbreaking losses along the way. Through it all, they've stuck together and tried their best to help other people without expecting or receiving any thanks. Throughout it all there has been excellent acting, writing, directing and production values, amazing interactions between the cast and their fans and an obvious dedication to quality on the part of every member of the crew. 

    Besides all that, I thought Season 11 was wonderful. It showed Sam and Dean really thinking about what they were doing with their lives and their work, what their real responsibilities are to the rest of the world, the best way to clean up the mess they'd made (sometimes talk is better than action) and, most importantly, their place in God's creation. Season 11 tied up some loose ends and set up fascinating possibilities for Season 12. I for one am looking forward to learning about the Old Men in the British branch of the Men of Letters, what Lucifer is doing now that he's loose and how Mary Campbell Winchester's presence impacts Sam and Dean.

    Win Four New Science Fiction Novels from Read It Forward

    Want to get some great reading? Read It Forward often has giveaway contests. This week's offers some exciting new science fiction novels. We here at GHPALS often ignore these contests because most of us aren't into "literary fiction," but we do keep track of them. 

    The current contest offers:

    • Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton
    • The Devourers by Indra Das
    • Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel
    • The Last One, by Alexandra Oliva

    We're hoping one of our members wins so we can all read them.

    Read It Forward Science Fiction Books Giveaway

    Friday, September 2, 2016

    Our Logo

    This post is written in response to a question posed by a new member.

    Marion Rutledge drew our logo at the request of our membership. All her life Marion has drawn for her own amusement and the PALS have often giggled at her work.

    When she was 10 she was singled out at a Comic-Con drawing panel for children. The instructions were to draw a dinosaur. The instructors said hers was the only one that showed action. One of her dinosaurs was chasing another one, "to eat him," she said.

    We wanted a childish logo, not a polished one, because none of us are polished professional anythings except aficionados of art and literature of all types. 

    We wanted it in black and white so we didn't have to use color inks when we printed it.

    The main image of a goat on a hill was obvious by our name. Marion complied.

    The rest of the image was all Marion's.

    We asked that our logos how a goat reading, to reflect the Literary nature of our society. Marion, however, is a fan of the visual and theatrical arts.

    So we got a goat staring at a television. He is, however, watching Reading Rainbow.

    Comic-Con Pros and Cons

    Summer is almost over and GHPALS are drifting back into town. There was lively discussion at a recent informal gathering of PALS as we argued the pros and cons of going to what is considered by many to be the world's biggest celebration of popular arts, San Diego Comic-Con.


    • It can be fun. 
    • Sometimes one can learn something new.
    • One can see and talk to people one finds interesting.
    • Publishers give away books.
    • Panels can be interesting and one might discover something new.
    • It gets more expensive every year. It seems like everyone who has a business in San Diego tries to make a whole year's profit in one week.
    • It gets more crowded every year. There are many events/programs outside the convention center that draw unregistered people. 
    • The crowd control in Hall H in 2016 was absolutely appalling. People trying to get in had to share a narrow aisle with people trying to get food. The solution was to limit entry into the Hall even if it was practically empty. All of us watched this with incredulity. Those of us in the Hall received many texts from frustrated friends waiting in lines outside when there were zillions of available seats inside.
    • Some of our favorite vendors have stopped going because the Con has little to do with comics anymore. 
    • It is too spread out now. If you give blood you lose half a day because the blood drive is so far from the convention hall. It is a long walk to redeem the promo tickets, if you get one.
    • It is too hard to get a badge or a hotel reservation. It's become a crap shoot.
    Five years ago we would have argued the panels make the Con, but now one can watch them in the comfort of one's own home without waiting in ridiculous lines.

    We all agreed that there would have been many heat stroke casualties at 2016 Comic-Con if it weren't for the intrepid street vendors who sold water for $1 a bottle.  Though they were out to make a buck, like true Americans, these men and women did not gouge Con goers. If only the hotels and restaurants followed their example.