Yesterday was the day that exhibitors tried to book their hotel rooms for San Diego Comic Con 2010. And prayed they’d get one close to the San Diego Comic Convention. The Marriot or the Hyatt basically. The Omni at a push. And, in the ten minutes they had to try and make bookings at a reduced rate, well in advance of regular punters, there was an interesting omission. There was no Manchester Grand Hyatt option.
A little history here. Only a little, mind.
The Hyatt has traditionally been the hotel of choice for the comic book professional, their room often paid for by the company which wants them at the show. And specifically the two ground floor bars have been the place that comic pros gather of an evening. One bar is DC focused, the other Marvel, with everyone else drifting between – though of late the smoking area outside has proved an interesting mix of both. It’s ground zero for comic book networking in the USA.
On the other hand, there have been calls for the comic book industry to boycott the Manchester Hyatt as it is owned by Doug Manchester, a prominent supporter of the anti-gay marriage lobby in the USA, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cause.
As a result there have been a number of unsuccessful attempts by gay comics pressure groups to raise a boycott issue regarding the hotel in the past. This year there were plans to arrange a cosplay picket line to persuade creators to turn away. Could this have been a factor?
Or could the Hyatt have thought that they’d rather attending fans pay the full $400 a night and still fill all the rooms rather than be part of any advance blocking deal at this time?
Or is it that the hotel has another event happening at the same time and has decided that clearly a bunch of comic book professionals are just too much bother to deal with, when they demand copious drinks at four in the morning and then try to climb the walls and jump off them? Or possibly that they just had another advance block booking made years ago?
Yes, that last one.
Will creators walk that extra distance even if most of them aren’t staying in that hotel? Will a new venue become the place to be? Or will we see some kind of breakdown in networking as lots of rival spots spread out around the place instead?
Hell, I know some people who travel to San Diego and don’t even bother with the show, they just go for the Hyatt bars… it could be a very different comics convention as a result.
For the pros, at least.