Author Topic: SDCC Special Edition Reviews  (Read 3443 times)

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 7017
  • Liked: 1791
SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« on: November 26, 2021, 09:57:52 AM »
Please post your SDCC Special Edition reviews here.

Offline Old Man Grey

  • Gaming Lounge
  • ****
  • Join Date: Apr 2015
  • Posts: 265
  • Liked: 175
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2021, 09:58:31 AM »
This wasn't Comic-Con. It was more like one of the mini-cons that popped up during the early 90's comic and card boom. No stars (God bless Brent Spinner), no big comic publishers, no studios (except the lame La Brea zoom panel). I'll admit I got a thrill walking in the first day but it quickly went away when I saw how few vendors were there. For what it was the price wasn't worth it. They should have sold single day passes because that's all you needed to see everything. Being easy to get tickets and parking and not having to deal with the suffocating crowds doesn't make up for the disappointment I felt.

Offline alyssa

  • Administrator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 22957
  • Liked: 6597
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2021, 11:21:45 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
This wasn't Comic-Con. It was more like one of the mini-cons that popped up during the early 90's comic and card boom. No stars (God bless Brent Spinner), no big comic publishers, no studios (except the lame La Brea zoom panel). I'll admit I got a thrill walking in the first day but it quickly went away when I saw how few vendors were there. For what it was the price wasn't worth it. They should have sold single day passes because that's all you needed to see everything. Being easy to get tickets and parking and not having to deal with the suffocating crowds doesn't make up for the disappointment I felt.
They addressed this at the talk back panel. They realized they it was a one day con by our standards but by buying 3 days most of us went at least 2 if not 3 days, to get our moneys worth.
Plus cci *needed to make money* on the event- They had a stock pile to survive one year of no con. but not two.

Here's the talk back panel recording You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 11:26:24 AM by alyssa »
Donations gratefully accepted. You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login,
Our Twitters @FoCCBlog @friendsofcci
"Are you willing to give up all you are, to keep all you have?" G'kar Babylon 5

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 3970
  • Liked: 1548
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2021, 11:29:09 AM »
I've attended every San Diego Comic-Con since 2000, and maybe half a dozen WonderCons as well.  Before 2000 SDCC I had never attended any sort of comic/fan convention, and I have never attended any convention of the sort that wasn't put on by Comic-Con International.

I say this only to give you my limited experience with convention events, but what I'd consider substantial experience with CCI events...

I don't know what I was expected from SDCC SE.  I knew it would be substantially smaller than SDCC, and after the panel schedule came out it became obvious that programming-wise it would be substantially smaller than WonderCon.  I personally love attending the large Hollywood panels (I've only missed one Marvel Studios panel in their history, for example), and while Artist Alley is my favorite corner of the convention center, I don't typically do a ton of shopping at conventions: I typically like looking at all the cool stuff being released in the future (like at the toy and studio booths), I have fun with video game demos, and I occasionally like looking at the 2nd-hand booths selling toys I had as a kid in the 1980's for a small fortune (while cursing my parents who made me get rid of it all  :P ).

So I knew in advance we were looking at a much smaller convention: I just didn't know _how_ small it would turn out to be.

The first really weird thing was leaving for the Con every day in daylight; I typically leave my condo in San Diego well before the sun is up for SDCC so I'm used to making that drive in darkness (and getting to the Convention Center garage before Harbor Dr. is closed in the mornings).  We got there about an hour or so before doors opened Friday in order to do the COVID verification and pick up badges.  W/out ever having done the COVID thing before (obvs), I wasn't sure what to expect, but I thought CCI had a pretty well-run process.  We all had to show our vaxx cards + photo ID for verification, and we had to show negative test verification for our 7 year old (finding a COVID test on a specific day that was of the specific type CCI requested as a chore in and of itself).  The D-side line was much shorter than the H-side, and as we got close to the front there were people who were coming up through the line verifying before we got to the table: it reminded me of handing out Hall H wristbands, a little bit (no blinky lights, though).  I personally think CCI shouldn't had more than 2 people at a table for verification, but w/out knowing staffing/volunteer situation I don't know what CCI's options were.  I think it still ran smoothly.
Picking up badges in Hall H, while amusingly discombobulating to me, was incredibly smooth: picking up badges BITD for SDCC was always the easiest/quickest part of the event, and this weekend was no different there.  As a Pro we had our own sub-section in the badge pickup, but I did pay attention to the general attendee pick-up and both seemed to run incredibly efficient.

The rest of the weekend was smooth and fun.  It was nice to walk around the exhibit hall all weekend and not be shoulder-to-shoulder constantly w/attendees.  In fact, Sunday feel down-right eerie how not-crowded the hall was!  My wife and I spent more money at this Con than we typically do, with nearly all of the money being spent in Artist Alley: that was a kind of conscious choice (we're both arts educators, and wanted to support artists - many of them local), but there was so much great stuff we couldn't help ourselves!  There were plenty of great booths: comics both common and rare; vintage toys; Cosplay stuff; Pac-man Museum where people could demo the new game coming out in 'early 2022' (my 7 year old made at least half a dozen trips to the booth throughout the 3 days).  There were even exclusives (Funko; Nanoblocks had a cool Pac-Man LEGO-like set; etc).  Everyone we talked to was extremely nice & we made a point to 1) thank 'em for coming out for the weekend 2) compliment the artists whose work we liked (even if we didn't spend money).

Security seemed cool all weekend too.  My oldest kid wore a jacket all weekend, and going into the Hall they were constantly being asked to roll up the sleeve to show the COVID verification.  My family has been incredibly cautious throughout the pandemic, so we all greatly appreciated CCI's work here.  Was the process perfect?  Of course not, as others have shown.  But I saw security requesting people keep masks on in the lobby, I didn't seen any egregious violation of COVID protocol, etc.

Overall, this was a WONDERFUL weekend!  Comic-Con Special Edition was a great way to dip our toes back into the Comic-Con world with smaller crowds, smaller panels, smaller exhibit hall representation, etc. but still have fun.  Going into the weekend I of course had my list of panels I had to see, off-site stuff I wanted to check-out, Exclusives I wanted to get.  And I accomplished everything I wanted to.  I even got lucky with the 'Box of Deciding' at Funko on Sunday, complete with a relatively early time (10am), and got the Funko exclusives I wanted (with the bonus of being able to get a Grogu Macy's exclusive: something I didn't know existed until Thanksgiving morning, and something I didn't know would be for sale at SDCC SE until Friday am).  I even went to the Comic-Con Museum panel on Saturday and experienced an SDCC panel with Eddie Ibrahim (long-time Director of Programming who is a Hall H mainstay) on stage to give me the ultimate "I AM AT COMIC-CON!!!" experience  :P
I got to meet Jim Starlin, and get my copy of 'Death in the Family' #3 signed by him: a comic that I've kept since I was in middle school, and represented the fruits of my very first experience with democracy, when I did indeed call in to DC's 900-number to vote to murder Robin (Starlin said they were all convinced at the time that "Batman fans were ghoulish enough to kill off Robin"  :P ).

We had a blast, and I sincerely hope that all of the permanent signage CCI had for Comic-Con Special Edition indicates this will be a permanent late fall event.  If my schedule works out, I will excitedly return to this event, and I of course can't WAIT for Wonder-Con April 1st, and SD Comic-Con in July!!

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 3970
  • Liked: 1548
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2021, 11:38:57 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
They addressed this at the talk back panel. They realized they it was a one day con by our standards but by buying 3 days most of us went at least 2 if not 3 days, to get our moneys worth.
Plus cci *needed to make money* on the event- They had a stock pile to survive one year of no con. but not two.

Here's the talk back panel recording You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I get the disappointment, but I agree with CCI that the 3-day pass meant I was going all three days w/the family.  And, honestly, the way I planned everything out I made the most of all the days!  I was never there from opening-closing, but I think it was absolutely worth it for the weekend.  I had plans for all three days, even if I didn't stay until 7pm or 5pm any of them.

Alyssa: did CCI say if they were planning on doing this event in perpetuity, or was this a one-and-done event?

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 7017
  • Liked: 1791
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2021, 12:29:42 PM »
Im curious how many comic book back issue vendors there were.  I've looked at videos and it looks like there weren't very many.

Offline perc2100

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 3970
  • Liked: 1548
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2021, 12:45:45 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Im curious how many comic book back issue vendors there were.  I've looked at videos and it looks like there weren't very many.
There were 2 or 3 big ones, not including a smaller "auction house selling high-priced comics and art."  I know folks in my family (between myself and 19 year old kid) purchased back issues) purchased from at least 2 large back issue vendors.  There were several smaller booths that sold toys + back issues, but there were maybe 2 or 3 comic-only/back issue booths

Offline alyssa

  • Administrator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 22957
  • Liked: 6597
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2021, 01:06:54 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I get the disappointment, but I agree with CCI that the 3-day pass meant I was going all three days w/the family.  And, honestly, the way I planned everything out I made the most of all the days!  I was never there from opening-closing, but I think it was absolutely worth it for the weekend.  I had plans for all three days, even if I didn't stay until 7pm or 5pm any of them.

Alyssa: did CCI say if they were planning on doing this event in perpetuity, or was this a one-and-done event?

it's my recollection that they are not sure at this point. They seem to just be trying to spin up for WonderCon & SDCC next summer. There's been a sea change in how things are done & imho, cci is still dealing with the changing environment.
Donations gratefully accepted. You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login,
Our Twitters @FoCCBlog @friendsofcci
"Are you willing to give up all you are, to keep all you have?" G'kar Babylon 5

Offline SDcomics

  • Room 6BCF
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2015
  • Posts: 174
  • Liked: 205
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2021, 01:44:25 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Overall, this was a WONDERFUL weekend!  Comic-Con Special Edition was a great way to dip our toes back into the Comic-Con world with smaller crowds, smaller panels, smaller exhibit hall representation, etc. but still have fun.  Going into the weekend I of course had my list of panels I had to see, off-site stuff I wanted to check-out, Exclusives I wanted to get.  And I accomplished everything I wanted to.  I even got lucky with the 'Box of Deciding' at Funko on Sunday, complete with a relatively early time (10am), and got the Funko exclusives I wanted (with the bonus of being able to get a Grogu Macy's exclusive: something I didn't know existed until Thanksgiving morning, and something I didn't know would be for sale at SDCC SE until Friday am).  I even went to the Comic-Con Museum panel on Saturday and experienced an SDCC panel with Eddie Ibrahim (long-time Director of Programming who is a Hall H mainstay) on stage to give me the ultimate "I AM AT COMIC-CON!!!" experience  :P
I got to meet Jim Starlin, and get my copy of 'Death in the Family' #3 signed by him: a comic that I've kept since I was in middle school, and represented the fruits of my very first experience with democracy, when I did indeed call in to DC's 900-number to vote to murder Robin (Starlin said they were all convinced at the time that "Batman fans were ghoulish enough to kill off Robin"  :P ).

We had a blast, and I sincerely hope that all of the permanent signage CCI had for Comic-Con Special Edition indicates this will be a permanent late fall event.  If my schedule works out, I will excitedly return to this event, and I of course can't WAIT for Wonder-Con April 1st, and SD Comic-Con in July!!

What a great post!!!!  Thank you so much!!

I had a wonderful weekend, as well.  And I'm also hopeful that CCSE becomes a regular fall event.

Thanks again!

Offline sessionka

  • Supporter
  • Hall H
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2016
  • Posts: 1016
  • Liked: 543
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2021, 01:50:31 PM »
I had no expectation that this would be anything like the July Con, so I was not disappointed.  I told myself I would be happy just to step inside the convention center, and I was.

I thought it was well organized. 

There were obviously differences between this and the July Con, and I noted what was done from an economic perspective.

For me, panels were a lot easier to attend, so I went to more of them.  I wasn't disappointed.

I went to the talk back as well.  They actually said they, weren't sure anybody would come, so they were happy that any of us attended at all. 

I noticed that all the service staff at the hotels and restaurants were glad to see us.  Everyone I dealt with was super accommodating.  Those of you who live in the area probably already know this, but I was stunned when one of the bell hops told me the MMM was boarded up at one point.  I guess that was the case for most of the hotels in the area. 

I was surprised that they closed Harbor drive and blocked off part of the gas lamp for the Con.  Knowing the volume would be a lot less, I didn't expect that.

One more thing I noted was the number of first timers.  They did not seem to be disappointed.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 01:55:19 PM by sessionka »
Phasers on Stun!!!

Offline Roybq

  • Freebie Table
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
  • Posts: 40
  • Liked: 30
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2021, 02:17:09 PM »
With the cost of airfare, hotel rooms and badges, it probably wasn’t completely worth it, but we knew it was going to be a low-key affair this year and adjusted our expectations accordingly making the most of things. We still had a good time and the weather was wonderful!

Pros: The room to maneuver around the show floor was nice.  We were able to look at things and actually talk to vendors.  No one yelled at us for stopping to look at something and to keep the line moving.  The volunteers and security seemed more relaxed than usual.  There were plenty of places to sit.  Some booths did go above and beyond to replicate the usual experiences of big booths and displays and those were appreciated. The set up for Covid checks seemed efficient and painless.  We got up early on Friday to do that and to get our badges and both were pretty easy.  We liked the shuttle bus to the museum at Balboa Park. We took advantage of it and also were able to look around at other museums and make a zoo stop.   The jury is out on the “Cube of Deciding” but I did win a bracelet to get Brent Spiner’s autograph and they allowed me to give it to my wife who had never met him before.  We thought he was the biggest celebrity of the Con until John Cena showed up on Saturday night.  The PeaceMaker offsite was fun and the free food and photo ops were nice.  The La Brea site was good for photo ops and the water station. We got nice metal water bottles, and it sounds like some others got flash drives.  Both sites had manageable lines throughout all 3 days.  We also did the Roof Top Cinema at the Hyatt and that was actually pretty fun.  There was also some amazing cosplay action going on throughout the weekend.

Cons: Yeah, it took just a ½ day to see the exhibit floor, but for a Con that was just putting their toes into the water, it was fine.  Kudos to the vendors who showed up, but we did notice many empty booths.  We didn’t do many panels, but we did do the Disguise Costume one, drawn there by the promise that everyone who attended would get a mask to take with them.  I think they should have been up front about the limited availability (maybe 20 masks) because there were a LOT of disappointed attendees who thought it was some grand bait and switch. I was slightly disappointed, but I’ll probably buy all the masks anyway because they did look pretty cool. It was definitely a case of being in the right area to get them, but I thought it sucked for those that lined up early just to get in.  We did some other panels, and I think my only other complaint was how quiet the mics were.  I think part of it was some panelists trying to talk through their masks, but just a little boost would’ve been great. If you sat near the back, like we did a few times, a lot of the dialogue/banter was lost.

By the time they released the schedule, it was too late to completely cancel flights, badges and hotels but that was the gamble that we took.  I’m hoping they uphold the promise of guaranteed 2023 badges for attendees. If that pans out, it’ll have been worth it.  We did enjoy being back in San Diego for the first time in 2 ½ years and as a Pacific Northwesterner who has been suffering through the biggest rainfall totals in our state’s  history, the 75 degree sun and the ability to wear shorts for a few days was a huge morale booster.  I probably wouldn’t do a Turkey Con again, but I’m hoping this was profitable for SDCC and the community. It was sad to see some places like the Chuck Jones gallery had closed down.  I will say that it did feel great to be back “home” for a few days. 

Offline hikanteki

  • Fulfillment Room
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 1762
  • Liked: 562
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2021, 02:28:33 PM »
I had a great time this weekend as well. It reminded me WonderCon around 2011-2012 when it was back in SF. There were a lot of small to mid sized interesting panels and a couple of minor studio panels, which they had this year too (i.e. Destination Fear, Nacelle Company.) The difference is that WonderCon, even back in 2011-2012, had at least one pretty major panel (i.e. Green Lantern, Disney/Pixar) and there was nothing like that here.

IMO, the thing that separates CCI conventions from an "anytown" con is that they have a solid base of smaller panels. Panels are my favorite part of any convention, and if you've seen some of my other posts, you'll see that I'm disappointed at other cons when celebrity guests don't offer panels. That's because the smaller panels at most other cons aren't worth going to, so no celebrity panel = no interesting panel. But at CCI conventions, that's not the case at all. The small panels are the show's foundation. Even if I can't get into the big panels at SDCC, and even if the big panel line up is spotty, I can count on a solid lineup of smaller panels. CC:SE was no exception in this regard.

These may not have Hollywood A-listers but they are full of professionals, creatives, and behind the scenes people who actually have worked the industry on real projects. These people are usually interesting. For instance, they had the writer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I thought he was a riot. The producer was supposed to be there but didn't make it. They also billed "surprise guests" who didn't make it. That was disappointing, but I thought the writer was entertaining enough to stay for the entire thing. Also they had the USA premiere of the new Kamen Rider Zero:One Film which was pretty awesome! They gave out swag there (Kamen Rider bag & mask) and at Destination Fear (T-shirt) which is always welcome.

I also got to see the Animation Show of Shows, which was cool because I usually don't get to see it at regular SDCC as I avoid waiting in Hall H line. The Luann panel by Greg and Karen Evans was great too. I really like that CCI conventions have Sunday morning comics artists. I don't see too many of them at most other conventions, mostly it's comic book artists.

I will mention that I found it odd that there was a grand total of _one_ virtual panel. They probably could have had more if they wanted. But I suspect (although I don't know for sure) that CCI didn't want to have any, but NBC may have made a big push/generous offer to promote La Brea. I tried checking out the panel, but couldn't stomach more than 5 minutes of it before walking out. A fuzzy zoom call looks and sounds 10 times worse in person than on the TV. One thing that I wish would have been done that would have been within reach is have premieres or screenings of shows without the cast. They've done a few of these before at regular SDCC. But in any case, I'm glad that virtual panels were kept to a minimum.

The exhibit hall was smaller than usual, but at least on par with other conventions I've been to this year. They also had more bigger name exhibitors (i.e. BAIT, Funko, Bluefin/Tamashii) with flashy displays. I was able to get the Funko Toucans without too much difficulty. I didn't participate in the cube of deciding but I got in line at 1 on Sunday and got to the booth by 2, where they had all 3 left. The CCI merch booth was also awesome, on Sunday they were selling almost all shirts 3/$20 so I picked up a few that I didn't have (they apparently went down to $5 by the end of the day) and a Tiki Mug from a few years ago for $20.

I didn't mind the price. I have the feeling these kinds of events are about to get a lot more expensive.

The physical program guide was nice. It’s been the only convention I’ve been to this year that had one.

On Saturday, I was wearing a shirt designed by Luke Chueh…and I ran into him outside! That was the highlight of my weekend.

Overall, I had a great weekend. This time it actually felt like vacation, something that regular SDCC never does (although I do enjoy that too.) I was able to go in and out of interesting panels at leisure, step out to get food or happy hour or drop off stuff at my hotel whenever I wanted without having to worry about losing my space or fighting crows to get back, and stay at a very reasonably priced, trendy hotel (Hotel Z) within walking distance for WAY cheaper than I'd ever be able to during SDCC.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 05:14:19 PM by hikanteki »
SDCC 07 12-14 16-19 22 | CCSE 21 | ECCC 12-19 21-22 | WC 10-11 16 19 22 | RCCC 15 21-22 | SVCC 16-19 21 | DCC 16 22 | SLCC 19 21 | SWC 15

Offline chocolateshake

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2016
  • Posts: 3112
  • Liked: 1418
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2021, 02:56:43 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Plus cci *needed to make money* on the event- They had a stock pile to survive one year of no con. but not two.

I think this is why they stuck with 3 day passes all through till the end.  This was a fund raiser.  It didn't hit me until I saw an interview about the comic-con museum opening.  CCI seems to be short on cash.  Paying rent on a big building like that just to have it sit idle for 2 years can't be helping.

Offline Car_Low

  • Moderator
  • Fulfillment Room
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 1615
  • Liked: 596
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2021, 03:27:02 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Paying rent on a big building like that just to have it sit idle for 2 years can't be helping.

Its probably a lot less than you are thinking. I used to volunteer at the Air and Space Museum next door and they only pay $1 a year to the city for the lease but the museum is responsible for all the upkeep and repairs to the building which is where the money sink comes in. The money from tourism to the museums outweigh the money the city gets get from charging rent at standard pricing. Most of their cost seems to get the museum up to current standards.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 03:34:04 PM by Car_Low »

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 7017
  • Liked: 1791
Re: SDCC Special Edition Reviews
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2021, 03:51:29 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
There were 2 or 3 big ones, not including a smaller "auction house selling high-priced comics and art."  I know folks in my family (between myself and 19 year old kid) purchased back issues) purchased from at least 2 large back issue vendors.  There were several smaller booths that sold toys + back issues, but there were maybe 2 or 3 comic-only/back issue booths

Thanks!