Comic Con ’11: What Fans Should Expect

For me, a blogger who lives in Georgia, Comic Con is like Christmas every year. It’s a chance to be around giant fandoms who all get what it means to be a fan and geek out about whatever it is that you love, and that’s exactly what I do while covering panels for FanBolt. While some fans may complain that Comic Con isn’t nerdy enough with the invasion of Hollywood, others who haven’t attended it before will ultimately call it a nerd-fest. But one thing is for sure, the convention brings fans together from all genres and gives everyone a chance to be exposed to something new. How can you complain about that?

There are number of fans that strongly disagree with me though. In 2009, on the last day of the convention, Con-goers picketed around the Summit Entertainment booth with signs saying “Twilight Ruined Comic Con.” Fans had become furious while attempting to get into Hall H for a panel that took place before Twilight, but the Twi-hards are among some of the most devoted fans I’ve ever seen. Some of them camped out for days to be among the first in to the hall that morning. Over 8,000 fans were in line to get in – Hall H holds 6,500.

So what can fans expect this year? Over the years, the convention has become more and more geared towards Hollywood as studios bring in their television series and upcoming films to highlight. But several studios are sitting it out this year. Speculation would have you believe it’s because they didn’t see films such as TRON: Legacy or Scott Pilgrim translate into the blockbuster success they expected after a huge promotional push at the convention. Making a big splash at Comic Con doesn’t always mean these projects will be a success. Though it’s a great way to get fan buzz out online – that alone isn’t enough to market these films.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, a film that needs no marketing help, will be back this year as well. Fans can expect Hall H to be a complete nightmare on July 21st for that panel. The good news is it is the first panel Hall H will see that day, so the crowds should slightly improve after that panel. I also expect the screening of Cowboys & Aliens and the panels for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and Fright Night to be among the more popular events, and that True Blood, Supernatural (which is being moved to Hall H for the first time this year), Glee and Doctor Who to reign as some of the most anticipated television panels.

Autograph opportunities on the floor are also something that will create havoc for Con-goers, but if you’re one of the few that get a signed poster from your favorite celebs – you’ll be in heaven. In 2009, I waited in line for 2.5 hours to get a True Blood poster signed by the cast. After waiting in a claustrophobic’s nightmare for what seemed like eternity, the line closed 9 people in front of me. I’ve not attempted the autograph lines since. 🙂 That being said, if you’re interested in a new TV series that will be there doing signings – this is the year to do as in the future it will be far more challenging.

If you’re a Con-first-timer, prepare for madness! The first impression of Comic Con is always overwhelming for fans. Keep a few things in mind:

  • Those Starbucks lines take 30-45 minutes for you to get to the counter – try to get coffee outside the venue
  • Bring your own water!
  • Con food is overpriced and gross – try to bring your own food or eat outside the venue. If you can walk towards the Gaslamp Quarter, the waits will be start to lighten up.
  • If you’re going to any kind of panel for TV or film and think that 15 minutes is enough time to get there and get in – you’re wrong. If you want to ensure you get into a panel – you need to line up 2 hours in advance – sometimes more if it’s in Hall H.
  • Free swag is abundant – get ready for it!
  • Consider mailing some of your free swag home from the venue, airlines won’t let you get away with that poster tube that is your third carry-on.
  • Wear deodorant – there’s a little something know as the Con Funk that seems to spread – and you’ll probably smell like it come Sunday anyways, but a little extra deodorant will help.

Regardless of the television series and movies that will or won’t have a presence at Con this year, there will still be more than few surprises in store for fans. Comic Con is about being a fan and geeking out with those who share your love and enthusiasm. And when convention concludes, the only thing you’ll be thinking is that you can’t wait for July 2012 to get here.

Article By: Emma Loggins


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