Chris Thompson writes:
It’s been six years since I started coming to SDCC and I still find Preview Night to be a strange experience. The convention hasn’t started in earnest, so you feel a certain freedom to just wander and explore, but there’s still so much to see and do. For me it’s the ideal opportunity to scope the lay of the land, make some new friends, and reconnect with some old ones … which is a pretty nice way to start the show when you think about it.
I get annoyed when people say SDCC is no longer about comics. It’s a cheap shot that’s usually made by people who aren’t there (for one reason or another). I missed the heyday when it first started, but then it wasn’t anywhere near this size back then. While the Hollywood component has continued to grow (thanks in no small part to its proximity), so has the convention centre and the number of exhibitors.
You could get lost in the aisles of major publishers, small press, fledgling creators and wannabes – it’s almost overwhelming. If you look at the sheer floorspace and the number of companies/creators being represented then you’d realise comics are everywhere – and they’re thriving! Sorry, Chicken Little, but despite all your predictions the sky is NOT falling …
So to say there aren’t really comics at SDCC or that it’s not a comics show would pretty much be talking out of your ass. Don’t worry, a lot of people do it (this is the Internet after all!) – but it’s cheap, unfair, and wildly inaccurate. It may never be what it once was, but would you want it to be? I love the variety here. I love the fact I can bring any of my friends along and they will find something to interest them. Most of all, I love the people.
Last night was my opportunity to catch up with folks like Jeffrey Kaufmann, Renee Witterstaetter, Michael Golden, Cara Nicole, Rich Henn, Roger Langridge, Doug Sneyd, Vince Hernanadez, Keith Davidsen, and all my fellow Bleeding Cool compatriots who were milling around the Avatar booth at the end of the night. Comics people are good people – this is what the show is about – and if you can remember that then you’ll have a great time, from Preview Night and beyond.
Photos by Chris Thompson:
Chris Thompson is a writer, speaker and podcaster who has appeared at conventions across three continents. When not on the road, he works at @OrbitalComics in London and contributes articles on the side. You can hear him on @TheOrbitingPod and @PopCultureHound podcasts.
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