The Morning After The San Diego Comic Con Before

This was the experience of many yesterday, trying to get tickets for San Diego Comic Con.


Which was rather different to the official version;


One Bleeding Cooler got their tickets with, as they put it;

3 computers in Rhode Island and one in San Francisco

It does seem that this is the way. People with a network of friends, all trying to get on the site and those that do buying all the tickets they can for everyone.

All the #SDCC hopefuls will look up and shout: "Save us!" … And ticket sales will whisper "no"

— Molly McIsaac (@MollyMcIsaac) February 16, 2013


I may just fly into SDCC last minute, smother a guy, then assume whatever name is on his badge. Seems easier than online registration. — Rob Guillory (@Rob_guillory) February 16, 2013
















Even those who managed to get into the queue found technical problems



And the name of the company seemed designed to be mocked on Twitter.

For some the actual show hall is no longer the attraction. Because so much of the event has expanded outwards and many are there for… the people.


And anyway…

The current system was set up to counter massive demand over a very short period crashing the system and, for a while, it worked.  It really did. But demand has increased even more. Steve Borsch of IConnectDots writes;

ASP.NET is Microsoft's web application framework and, out of the HUNDREDS of serious developers I know—especially those who have created web apps that can scale to MILLIONS of concurrent users—think that ASP.NET is a joke and would NEVER use it for anything but low-level, minimal use corporate web applications.

The problem that going through a system like Ticketmaster would by its nature increase the price of the tickets by a very significant amoung. That may now be the only option.

The San Diego Convention Center is to be rebuilt bigger than ever before which will help in future years. But it is unlikely to fit everyone who wants a ticket. So, some things to consider.

1) The show is more than the center and the halls now. Yes, it has the best, widest and most diverse comic book programming on the planet, but it's starting to spread across San Diego from the likes of Tr!ckster, the big studio trucks, the galleries, the launches, the parties, the events… There is so much going on outside the centre that would fill your days wonderfully. If you want to meen the comic book professionals, the hotel bars of the Hyatt, the Omni and more are perfect opportunities, and buying someone a drink is still cheaper than buying yourself a ticket, often for the exact same result. With slightly less queuing. Basically, you can still go to Con. You won't be able to see the X-Men Days Of Future Past footage first. But you know what? Only 6,000 people who even got tickets will get to see that.

2) There are other shows. NYCC, WonderCon, C2E2, ECCC, even next weekend's London Super Comic Con have all been stepping up of late to deliver an experience comparable with San Diego Comic Con. Many have more of a focus on comic books. Some of them have less crowds and queues

3) The system clearly failed for many, and was unfair. But it was probably fairly unfair. No one got better access because of who or where they were. The first come, first served system seems to have fallen apart, but a perfectly fair system would have had just as many disappointed people who would probably not have found much solace in that fact that they were two seconds too late to apply.

4) There are other ways. Next year, consider working for your ticket. Bleeding Cool have about thirty people working at San Diego, reporting from the show floor and halls. Lots of other reporting organisations do the same. Vendors need workers, the show needs volunteers, and you'll find yourself a part of a community you may never have known was there. Because, yes, when it comes down to it, despite the moans and the groans, San Diego Comic Con is the best. It remains the Mecca of the English-speaking comic book world. And, as a comic fan, you have to go at least once…

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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