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Winners and Losers of Comedian-Con 2023

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Winners and Losers of Comedian-Con 2023

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by Beat Employees

It’s time for one more wrap on Comedian-Con, as our fearless staffers roamed from the coldest climes of the Paramount Lodge activation to the searing cauldron of the present flooring to cowl it. Right here’s who gained and who wanted to return to the drafting board. With contributions from: Avery Kaplan, Rebecca Oliver Kaplan, Taimur Dar, Heidi MacDonald, Deb Aoki, Nancy Powell, Zack Quaintence, Victor van Scoit, Ricardo Serrano Denis, and Gabriel Neeb

Photograph courtesy Mitch Gerads

Winner: Comics readers With out all these massive Hollywood film guys, Comedian-Con was all in regards to the (anticipate it) comics! A number of graphic novels noticed early launch on the con, together with the Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer season Enjoyable Annual! by Simon Hanselmann and Josh Pettinger, and Three Rocks: The Story of Eddie Bushmiller, the Man Who Created Nancy by Invoice Griffith. Plus, publishers like Silver Sprocket had loads of often-hard-to-find-IRL titles, like the 2 newest The whole lot Sucks one-shots by Michael Sweater, which we have now been attempting to find at our varied LCS(s) for months now. We had been additionally capable of get a replica of the bodily adaption of let’s get burgers by ash s., the most effective webcomics of the previous few years. Lastly, we discovered loads of unimaginable small press titles, like Mexica by Kayden Phoenix, Fernanda Lozada, Aster Santiago, Gaby Zermeño, and Sandra Romero, Pimp Killer by Ghezal Omar, Ayhan Hayrula, and Phillip Ginn, and The Useless Deception by Kel McDonald. Nonetheless, we didn’t get to spend as a lot time digging via lengthy containers as we’d have appreciated. Subsequent 12 months in San Diego! (AJK & ROK)

Winner: Trekkies – An early debut of the Star Trek: Unusual New Worlds crossover with Star Trek: Decrease Decks was the right celebration of the Star Trek fandom, who appeared in full drive on the con. There was loads of cosplay celebrating all the pieces from Star Trek: The Subsequent Technology (together with Q from “Encounter at Farpoint”) to Star Trek: Discovery, with loads of Cali Class crewmembers (simply take a look at these neat uniform flaps). Higher but, the crossover episode was additionally made accessible for streaming, so Trekkies throughout the planet may get pleasure from Beta Shift’s go to to the USS Enterprise, whether or not they had been in San Diego or not. All this, and affirmation of a SNW musical episode? Be nonetheless our Trekkie hearts. (AJK & ROK)

Winner: Hulu Animayhem activation – Alongside the bayfront behind the conference middle, the Hulu Animayhem activation featured a number of completely different animated exhibits. Nonetheless, the centerpiece was the large inflatable Planet Categorical constructing from Futurama, full with crashed and smoking PlanEx ship. Along with loads of irresistible photograph ops, the activation additionally gave guests the prospect to style a Bob’s Burgers slider and acquire a “two-dimensional” electrical mucus-colored backpack, the con carry-all boasting one of the best intersection of fashion and performance. Plus, inserting the PlanEx constructing alongside the water (similar to it’s on the present) was an impressed contact. All in all, it was an effective way to have a good time the highly-anticipated return of the beloved animated sci-fi sequence, the primary episode of which is offered for streaming on Hulu immediately! Bonus: these Photo voltaic Opposites pins look like “Disney pins,” judging by the Mickey-shaped rubber clutches. The truth that they made a Disney pin of “The Duke” from SO’s “The Wall” is endlessly amusing to us. (AJK & ROK)

Loser: Harry Potter cosplayers – Nothing says “I care extra about cliched childrens’ books than actual youngsters” than persevering with to put on cosplay primarily based on an outdated sequence written by an open bigot. Particular shout-out to the Potter cosplayer who tried to spark a confrontation by deliberately bumping into us, two visibly trans folks minding their very own enterprise, not as soon as however twice as we stood a more-than-reasonable distance from the conference middle map which she was ostensibly referencing. She was carrying Ravenclaw colours, however she had actual Slytherin vibes, you understand? Please, Potter followers: learn a greater guide! There have been actually 1000’s of doable choices accessible on the con. Strive branching out somewhat bit! (AJK & ROK)

Winner: Comedian-Con Museum – Comedian-Con Museum in Balboa Park celebrated SDCC ‘23 with an exhibit commemorating Stan Lee’s legacy that you just need to see to imagine. “Excelsior! The Life and Legacy of Stan Lee” was curated by Comedian-Con Museum, Michael E. Uslan (originator of the Batman film franchise), and David Uslan. The exhibit collected True Believers’ treasures from 10 completely different non-public collections and public sale home catalogs. The result’s a one-of-a-kind exhibition of uncommon points and artwork, that includes work by legends like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. In the event you missed out on visiting throughout SDCC ‘23, be suggested that this exhibit will likely be current for a couple of extra months, however not indefinitely. Plan a go to and don’t miss out on the limited-time alternative to expertise these treasures for your self! (AJK & ROK)

Loser: Publishers (besides Simon & Schuster) had been stingier with freebies and reductions than in years previous. (NP)

Loser: The general state of cosplay.

Whereas there have been some actually wonderful exceptions — the group that did Into the Spider-Verse, the Apocalypse man on stilts, the Jedi canine — this 12 months felt noticeably lighter on cosplay. Not that I totally minded, see beneath… (ZQ)

Winner: Visitors move. As a result of there was much less cosplay, there have been much less folks taking pictures with cosplayers, thereby totally gumming up site visitors move in whichever area. (ZQ)

Winner: Invincible. Good issues come to those that wait and never solely did Robert Kirkman announce the official November launch date for the second season, however dropped a shock Atom Eve particular on Friday. As I’ve talked about, I used to be solely casually aware of the Invincible franchise earlier than the animated sequence, however after the sequence premiered I turned hooked. It undoubtedly impressed me to choose up the Invincible Universe Compendium on the Picture sales space. Unsurprisingly, it was practically bought out as was the vast majority of Invincible associated books. (TD)

Winner: Barbie. Although technically the #1 film within the film didn’t have an official presence on the conference, you wouldn’t comprehend it by the sheer variety of cosplayers or how a lot it was trending over social media. A part of me actually is curious what number of attendees at SDCC took the day trip of their schedule to see a screening close by. That’s assuming close by screenings weren’t bought out. I already had a robust curiosity in seeing the Barbie film for myself, but it surely’s solely elevated since getting house. (TD)

Winner. Publicists. Hats off to all of the publicists at SDCC working across the clock to cope with all of the final minute chaos and changes. (TD)

Loser. Publicists. That stated, I can’t deny that all the pieces went easily with so many final minute press alternatives and confirmations hitting my inbox Tuesday evening. Positively had greater than the conventional quantity of initially confirmed interviews that had been canceled the identical day they had been meant to happen.

Winner: True Love – One couple received engaged on the DC Heroes photograph shoot. (GN)

Winner: Panels – No massive media occasions left attendees to filter in all the opposite panels. Attendance noticeably elevated. (GN)

Loser: Hollywood – The Conference received alongside simply nice with out franchise-driven panels and answered the query if Comedian-Con wants Hollywood. (GN)

Loser: Pretzels – A burning pretzel triggered the fireplace alarm on Friday. Not solely are they too costly, they’re drama queens. (GN)

Winner: Library Occasions – Marked elevated attendance this 12 months’s occasions. (GN)

Winner: Jack Kirby – from all of the costumes of his characters on the Ground, to lengthy traces for the Jack Kirby Tribute Panel on Sunday, it feels just like the Man by no means left. (GN)

Winner: Makoto Yukimura (and Kodansha) – Based mostly on his panel appearances, autograph periods and his feedback and pictures on his Twitter feed, the creator of Vinland Saga had a blast throughout his first go to to San Diego. Upon arriving, he autographed a stack of Vinland Saga books at a San Diego Airport newsstand. He later visited the USS Halfway Plane Service, sampled some cactus tacos at Tacos El Gordo and “animal type” cheeseburgers at In-n-Out, and simply appeared endlessly delighted to fulfill and speak with followers. (DA)

Losers: Anybody who needed an autograph from Makoto Yukimura who didn’t plan forwardMany peeps walked by the Makoto Yukimura autograph periods on the Kodansha sales space on Friday and Saturday had been dissatisfied to search out out that the occasion was ticketed, and that tickets had been distributed on-line a couple of weeks prematurely of the present. This is sensible, in that it ensured that Vinland Saga’s largest followers would get an opportunity to get an autograph, and revered Yukimura’s restricted time/power on the present. However as one man who was turned away grumbled, “I’m an informal attendee of the present, and I don’t sustain with all this sort of stuff.” There was one extra signing session on the Darkish Horse sales space on Sunday, however that too was ticketed, and wristbands ran out inside a ½ hour of present opening on Sunday. Additionally, that room for the Makoto Yukimura panel on Saturday was waaay too small – SDCC doesn’t clear rooms after panels, so should you didn’t present up within the room a number of hours prematurely, you seemingly received turned away on the door. (DA)

Junji Ito and Jim Lee hanging out

Winner: Junji Ito (and VIZ Media)

Horror manga grasp Junji Ito was one other comics creator from Japan who appeared like he was having fun with his first go to to San Diego. Whereas this wasn’t his first go to to a N. American comics present (he final visited TCAF and Crunchyroll Expo in 2019), VIZ Media rolled out the purple carpet and placed on a giant present on the Marriott Marquis Resort and on the VIZ sales space of unique art work and manga pages from a few of his most well-known works, together with Uzumaki and his newest launch: Soichi, which includes a scary child who likes to place curses on folks. The pic of Junji Ito in an outsized Barbie field was simply one other instance of Junji ito being all the way down to have enjoyable, anytime, wherever. (DA)

Winner: Darkish Horse

After a 12 months away from the exhibit corridor, Darkish Horse returned to their centrally-located spot with a spacious, spankin’ new sales space that had numerous room for signings, conferences and gross sales of unique goodies. (DA)

Loser: The Remainder of the Manga and Webtoon Publishers Who Have been MIA at SDCC

Perhaps I’m the one one who pays consideration to this pattern, however there’s been a gradual decline of the quantity of manga publishers current on the SDCC exhibit corridor flooring. Kadokawa and their publishing subsidiaries Yen Press, BookWalker and J-Novel Membership opted to concentrate on Anime Expo as an alternative of SDCC. Since switching distribution from Macmillan to Penguin Random Home, Seven Seas has opted to skip SDCC lately. Fanfare Ponent Mon gave most of their sales space area to digital writer Inky Pen, leaving solely a token array of their books on show. Drawn and Quarterly opted to skip having a sales space this 12 months too. There’s no scarcity of manga / anime / webtoon readers at SDCC, and it sells very well too – so why is there so little of it on the present? (DA)

Winner: First time con-goers

The absence of Hollywood actors and panels meant that this version of SDCC was distinctive, certainly one of a sort when contemplating the norm for the occasion. Those that received their likelihood to attend the con for the very first time (like myself) received a present that felt prefer it was centered round comics slightly than the large film stuff we’ve grown accustomed to. It made for an expertise not many have been capable of get lately. A comic book con about comics. Who knew such a factor may work? (RS)

Winner: Toys and Motion Determine Cubicles

If folks thought the present would’ve been lifeless for the shortage of Hollywood actors inflicting large, labyrinthian-like traces on the flooring, effectively they underestimated the pulling energy of collectibles cubicles. Closing Fantasy, Bandai, Tamashii Nations, NECA, and most each different toy and motion determine sales space triggered sufficient traces to make comedian con really feel prefer it’s previous self. We. Won’t be giving these cubicles their due by not recognizing how actually vital they’re for attendance numbers. SDCC proved it may survive with out Hollywood, however can the identical be stated if toys and collectibles all of the sudden went MIA? (RS)

Loser: Business Comedian Cubicles with Restricted Comedian Ebook Choices

Whereas Picture and Mad Cave Studio introduced greater than sufficient comics for each attendee to get palms on, Darkish Horse and IDW barely had any for buy apart from a couple of ashcans and a guide or two right here and there. Titan had a wide selection, however 2000AD was principally simply shows of board video games and some figures. For a present that lastly received an opportunity to let comics shine, this felt like a missed alternative. (RS)

Loser: Ticketed…all the pieces

Tickets generally is a good technique to let folks benefit from the con with out having to do a number of traces to first get a guide or merchandise after which making one other line to get them signed. Drawback is, quite a lot of the tickets that had been handed out needed to be claimed on-line weeks earlier than the conference really began. Not everybody was aware of this and lots of (myself included as soon as I noticed my probabilities of getting Jamie Lee Curtis’s horror comedian Mom Nature had been dashed as a result of I didn’t know in regards to the ticketing stuff Titan went forward with) misplaced out on many nice books and figures they had been hoping to catch on the con. Not everybody goes to be visiting each writer’s web site to see if there’s a ticket system for his or her most anticipated purchases. Asking for a guide and listening to “it’s solely accessible for ticketed attendees that already cued on-line weeks in the past” is a particular form of heartbreak in an area the place discovery and particular releases are such an integral a part of it. (RS)

Loser: The Fireplace Alarm

On Friday, at round 6:30-6:45pm, the conference middle’s fireplace alarm rang out, asking folks to evacuate the world. Confusion took over, no sense of urgency adopted, and even the workers had been left puzzled. Mainly, nobody received actually evacuated. After some time I overheard one workers member inform one other that it was a false alarm. That was the one affirmation I received relating to whether or not I ought to go away or not. Ought to the fireplace have been actual, I don’t suppose anybody was actually ready to get folks to security in a well timed method. One workers member did say “hey, at the very least you had been right here for the primary ever comedian con fireplace…if there may be one. You noticed historical past being made.” Little did we all know it was all a burning pretzel’s fault. (RS)

Winner: The Vinland Saga Sales space

Just like the Viz sales space, which had unique Junji Ito art work and an general Ito-Verse theme, the Vinland Saga sales space additionally featured unique pages on show and idea artwork illustrations that made strolling via it a deal with. I hope extra publishers notice how cool unique art work will be and the way many individuals it will probably draw into their cubicles. It feels like a recipe for fulfillment to me. (RS)

Loser: Conference goers that received wristbands to the screening of A24’s TALK TO ME… solely to reach and discover out A24 overbooked the screening with A24 Insiders and different events. And the people who received shuttled into the screening then needed to discover different transportation again. And A24, the Conference committee desires to have a chat with you. (GN)

Winner: Oni Press Oni did a very cool factor this 12 months with its sales space, whereby the writer basically gave their creators area to desk, full with positioning in a busy space (removed from essentially the most cramped and unfriendly artist alley in all of comics) and part in again to retailer their wares. It made it very easy to purchase books like Pink Lemonade, Xino, or Chef’s Kiss, after which subsequently keep for a laid-back and informal chat with the creators, who appeared to spend loads of time there over the course of the weekend. (ZQ)

Winner: Transformers Transformers had a giant con. There was a con-exclusive Transformers #1 ashcan by Daniel Warren Johnson accessible on the Skybound sales space. There was a panel with A-tier creators elaborating on plans for the brand new shared Transformers-G.I. Joe Energon Universe. And there have been these new Transformers toys on show that might remodel with a voice command. That’s quite a lot of cool Transformers stuff (none of which had something to do with the flicks) for one present. (ZQ)

WINNER: Decreased FOMO

There was a scarcity of FOMO within the air in comparison with prior SDCCs. Even should you’re not a Corridor H/B20/Indigo individual, the gang nervousness can have an effect on you. However the con felt in a move state that allowed attendees to be extra current. (VVS)

WINNER: Hulu Aerial Drone Present

The drone present was dope. That Saturday evening freight prepare that often traps folks on the conference middle?

That wait felt much less interminable because of the aerial constellation GIFs above. Of us had been digging it from all around the con grounds, with one of the best views close to the Hilton Bayfront—the bridge and parking storage.

A model expertise that didn’t require traces and scaled for everybody’s enjoyment.

And simply because the present ended, that freight prepare moved alongside. (VVS)

WINNER: Course of Panels

There was area in programming for panels that handled methods to make a factor, slightly than the factor itself. The rooms had been filled with engaged attendees, and full of nice Q&As.

A couple of of these gems had been The Making of Magic w/ Holly Black, Magic The Gathering Dwell, Tips on how to Pitch Your Tabletop Recreation, and Feng Shui (VVS)

LOSERS: Amazon After Darkish Hopefuls

The intentions had been good, however not sufficient to deal with the curiosity. Precedence traces didn’t get inside until over an hour after open. Common Admittance traces wrapped across the block hours earlier than open. With out capping off tickets, many had been left with out entry from the GA line every evening. That left people with people leaving the placement with extra unhealthy vibes than good, which is rarely nice for model fairness. (VVS)

LOSERS: Activation Exclusion

Many model activation invitations went stay randomly with RSVPs being gone in lower than 5 minutes. That left many feeling overlooked of some secret membership. It’s certain to occur with 150K folks vying for few slots.

Prior years had RSVPs open at introduced set occasions. They’d nonetheless get snatched up in 5-10 minutes. However at the very least followers felt they’d an opportunity. (VVS)

LOSERS: Gaslamp’s Lack of Comedian-Con Tradition

With Hollywood not round, SDCC vibe didn’t go deeper into the Gaslamp like normal (pop ups, activations, and so forth.). Made for a tradition conflict come Saturday evening that was kinda blech. (VVS)

WINNER: Activations

The studios could have stayed house, however the advertising spend had already been made, and as soon as once more the Imagineers went all out with amusement park stage actions and giveaways. The Hulu backpack gifted after a couple of hours ready within the solar was a frequent goal of jealousy, however I most treasuyred the little jar of honey I received at a Yellowjackets photograph op within the Paramount+ show _ useful for morning yogurt and submit BarCon sore throat alike. (HM)

LOSER: The Strolling Useless

As soon as the driving drive of the con, this franchise has settled into sorta simply being there, regardless of a Corridor H look and a brooding Daryl Dixon show on the aspect of a resort. Gone are the times when laughing congoers raced via an escape room on the balconies of PetCo Park. (HM)

Project K: Prabhas, Deepika Padukone-starrer gets new poster, release date  - Hindustan Times

WINNER: Venture Ok/Kalki 2898 AD

The primary ever Tollywood movie (or any form of international movie) to be promoted in Corridor H had massive footwear to fill as the one film to be featured on the con as a result of SAG-AFTRA/WGA strikes. However the SF extravaganza captured the creativeness of many with an all out pr blitz on Wednesday and Thursday, together with two events, a squadron of Stormtrooper like figures patrolling the present flooring, a airplane circling the conference middle, and a Corridor H extravaganza with stay drumming, candles and worldwide stars. A sizzle reel displaying the vibrancy and recognition of Indian cinema introduced a welcome freshness to Corridor H, and the panel itself did a superb job of displaying the joy over the film, which began the week as Venture Ok however revealed its identify as Kalki 2898 AD.(HM)

LOSER: Prabhas

Perhaps it was being in entrance of all these folks (Corridor H was about half full) , perhaps it was staying too lengthy on the forged celebration, however famous person Prabhas was a bit tongue-tied on his Corridor H panel look. Fortunately the icon of hundreds of thousands recovered later within the day:

WINNER: Oni Press

After a tough 12 months or so, Oni introduced on the Diamond Retailer Lunch with some recent wanting books from Jay Stephens and shortly to be famous person Matt Lesniewski. It was good to see a writer getting behind some underexposed expertise, and reporting robust orders primarily based on that. (HM)

WINNER: Status Format

A number of publishers appear to be entering into serializing comics within the good certain 48-page “status format” and charging $9.99 for it. It’s a part of the fact of rising costs for periodicals and client pushback in opposition to similar. (HM)

 

 

LOSER: Wallets

Costs for fundamental meals on the con had been INSANE.

 

 

One individual tweeted this horrific signal.

 

Whereas a $13 Pepsi was pure usury, $6 for a bottle of Pepsi and $12 for a Starbucks breakfast sandwich had been the norm, making a run to Ralphs much more of a necessity than ever. Because the CBLDF’s Jeff Trexler tweeted, it’s a diminishing spiral:

Conference concessions are in an upward doom spiral. Affiliation assembly attendance all year long remains to be approach down, main contracted distributors to boost costs, which additional drives down attendance and gross sales, and so forth. The result’s brutal proper now, esp. at SDCC ….

 

Resort rooms remained at excessive however anticipated costs, however God forbid when the conference’s contract with them comes up for negotiation. A bigger than regular block of rooms had been accessible through the con with Hollywood peeps canceling, however they went for $500-up an evening. (HM)

 

LOSER: Excessive finish collectibles and eating places

Was it simply the absence of Hollywood people with some cash burning a gap of their pocket, or the looming recession? No matter it was I used to be a bit shocked on Sunday to speak to some artwork sellers and again concern sellers who stated it was a horrible con for gross sales of excessive ticket, certainly one of a sort gadgets. I did hear some again concern sellers stated it was an incredible present, and comics and guide publishers undoubtedly did incredible, however not everybody did.

The absence of studio people was the direct reason for a lack of earnings amongst greater finish Gaslamp eating places tho. Hitting one for a enterprise dinner Saturday, our waiter stated the place was busy however “nothing like a Saturday evening at Comedian-Con usually is.” (HM)

 

WINNER: Comics

Everybody stated it above, however this nameless quote from a Hollywood producer nailed it: ““If there may be one single summation … it will be that Comedian-Con is now too massive to fail, and that Hollywood wants Comedian-Con greater than Comedian-Con wants Hollywood.”

 

 

LOSER: BLUE BEETLE – Popping out in three weeks and the largest Conference presence is a fancy dress on the DC Comics sales space. [Sarcasm]One other sensible transfer from Warner Bros-Discovery[/Sarcasm] (GN)

 

WINNER: David Dastmalchian – new tasks introduced. A masks sequence primarily based on his sequence Depend Crowley. (GN)

 

 

 



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