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Geek Girl in Hollywood: Why SDCC isn't fun anymore

San Diego Comic-Con used to be everything. Now it's too small for its massive crowds.
San Diego Comic Con

Behold the overcrowded sights from last year's San Diego Comic Con.

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San Diego Comic-Con has begun and I’m dreading it. Let me explain. Comic-Con used to be my Halloween, Christmas and my very nerdy prom all rolled into one. Though I never get to cosplay (can’t really do that when I’m working), I got to see friends, interview celebrities and walk the floor, bankrupting myself by buying things like Doctor Who slippers, stuffed “Game of Thrones” dragons and comics. Lots and lots of comics. It was my favorite time of year. Now it seems that my entire Facebook feed is full of friends saying they feel the same way I do … or that they’re not going at all.

I was trying to decide what to write today and I couldn’t. SDCC prep means I’ve barely slept for days. My brain is mush. So instead of continually trying and failing to come up with something, I decided to try to figure out why I don’t want to go.

Some people talk about how it’s gotten all corporate and how the studios have taken over. Honestly, it’s not that. I love TV and film and how exciting it is to get news about what’s coming. Hell, it’s the reason I have a job. I get to talk to celebrities, see trailers, and the fans do too.

Is it because comic creators are being pushed to the side? Well, they were for a while, but with the popularity of geek culture these days, little known creators are actually getting more press than ever. Indie publishers have more fans. I have more to read. It’s not that at all.

Is it all the work? I mean, I’m scheduled morning, noon and night, appearing on panels, doing press rooms and writing stories for two web sites. Again, not different from any other year. It’s harder to get press passes for panels, but honestly, they’re there for the fans, not me, and that’s as it should be.

In all honesty, after wracking my brain to come up with a reason, I realized that there are just too many people for San Diego to handle. It’s officially going to stay there until 2018, sadly, which means I may not be going again. I used to be able to get a hotel for less than $300 a night. Now you really can’t. You’re lucky to get a room at all! You used to be able to get through the tiny little portal to the entrance to the Convention Center in less than 20 minutes. Now you can’t.

Half of the panels are in a different location, that, because of the train that runs horizontally in front of the entrance and traffic, takes at least that long to get from the con to those. Hall H has becomes so crowded that people are afraid to even risk getting a bathroom pass in case they lose their seats or get stabbed in the eye with a pen. (That happened!) The floor is so crowded, even on Sunday (which used to be the quiet day), that you can barely get to a stall to buy anything.

It’s time to move it out of San Diego. L.A., Vegas — honestly, I don’t care. When I talk about the smaller cons that I do with such love, and reminisce about years past, that says something. I miss my old con. Now, back to packing.

Follow Jenna Busch on Twitter @jennabusch and visit her site, Legion of Leia


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