Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Comic-Con Headed to Anaheim?

Today the Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog confirmed that the city of Anaheim, California has officially submitted itself to Comic-Con's International Board. (Which sounds funny in itself.) Currently CC's contract with the city of San Diego (CC's home since it's inception) runs through 2012. This does mean that it's possible for the largest convention of popular culture to jump ship and head to a larger venue.

Anyone who has been there over the past couple of years knows that it is in need of a LOT more room. BUT, is Anaheim a good location for it?

I think it's safe to say that any mention of Anaheim = Disney in people's minds. As much as the citizens of this city would have you believe that there is more to offer than Disneyland, get real people and face reality. Without Disney there, Anaheim would have turned into any other city, and not a great one. But having the Disney parks there elevates them. So moving Comic-Con to Anaheim immediately makes it a Disney convention. On purpose or not, this will be the perception. Do you really think that something won't be offered at the parks during this time?

Right now in San Diego, while crowded, there is something more to offer convention attendees. There is a flow by being able to walk across the street and end up in the Gas Lamp District. There is a vibe in the air by walking around the downtown area during the convention. There is no way Anaheim can offer this.

Have you ever taken a jaunt up or down Harbor Blvd.?  Unless you live there or work at the parks, probably not on purpose.

"But, hey you jerk, we now have the Garden Walk and Downtown Disney!" Yeah, that's nice, but it is a far cry from what convention goers are used to. Plus, trying to book more hotel rooms for over a hundred thousand people when the Disney parks are at their peak of summer attendance?  How long until Mommy and Daddy Mid-West are offended because 10 year old Johnny (and Dad) are staring at all the Slave Leia's or the Disney Princess Cos-Players?

On the other hand there are some other locations that may be able to offer the atmosphere that Comic-Con would be able to thrive in. The first...Las Vegas. The city has more hotel rooms to offer than any other city. Plus there are several convention centers to choose from and no one would give a second look at Obi-Wan Kenobi at the craps table.

Another possibility (and a city that has also thrown it's hat in the ring) is Los Angeles. While downtown L.A. is no picnic, there are plenty of options here that could benefit the convention.  Mainly the Staples Center and the Nokia Theater.  For anyone who has tried to get into a panel and found that it just wasn't possible, perhaps having venues of this size would be beneficial.  

Now I'm not saying that no one will go to Comic-Con if it were to move to Anaheim. Not at all. I'll still be there. What I am suggesting is that the CC International Board really look at not only what is best in a venue space, but remember that we like the party to spill out in the streets after.  And really, an empty strawberry field and Denny's just doesn't cut it.

For more information on the possible move, take the jump to HR's Heat Vision Blog.

POPped by 
Jungle Jesse


  1. The major bargaining chip in all of this: Disney now owns Marvel. It is conceivable that the brass at Disney may use that as the lynch-pin in securing the Con for Anaheim. Is it possible to do the convention with a diminished Marvel presence (The films would likely still be there, as they are mostly with other studios; but not the comics or artists)? Perhaps; but it would make many a nerd very disappointed.

  2. Besides, the service at the Anaheim Denny's really sucks. I vote for LA. Mainly because I live there but also because of the success of Celebration IV. The LA convention center hosted a pretty decent Star Wars convention that (sorry Jesse) made Indianapolis' convention center look like a high school gym.

    Or as I've said before, they could just expand the convention itself. Instead of Thursday thru Sunday, how about Monday thru Sunday. Spread out the panels and shows to allow more people to attend.

    But yeah, I like San Diego and the Gas Lamp District. So what are you going to do?