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  • Writer's pictureDavid Baker

San Diego Comic-Con 2022

After a three year pandemic absence, San Diego Comic con returned live and in person to the San Diego Convention Center in July.

For the first time since those distant pre-pandemic days of 2019, the massive comic book and popular media extravaganza or commonly known as San Diego comic con returned to the downtown convention Center with a 10 D’s numbering more than 150,000 able to one again once again participate in person. Of course, I was one of them.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, San Diego, the convention was conducted virtually in July 2020 and July 2021. It also was conducted in a much smaller “limited edition“ live variety in November of last year. So too, it’s little sister, Anaheim WonderCon, was conducted virtually until April of this year when it returned in a live format.

As a participant myself, the virtual versions of San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon we’re not all bad but they could never replace the experiential nature of attending a comic book convention in person.

Begun in 1976 by a small group of audacious comic book fans, the Convention was held in the El Cortez Hotel and hosted many of the biggest names in comic books and science fiction, including Jack Kirby, George Perez, Joe Buscema, Joe Kubert, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, and Ray Bradbury. It soon outgrew the El Cortez and moved to the San Diego Convention Center in 1982, later moving again to the new waterfront convention center when it opened in 1991.

The convention is now so large that it takes up every square inch of the San Diego Convention Center as well as most of the meeting rooms at the nearby Marriott, Hilton, and Hard Rock hotels. It even spilled over into the streets, parks, and nearby theaters like the Spreckels and the Balboa where this year fans could enjoy special events for Game of Thrones: House of Dragons, The Walking Dead, Bob’s Burgers, Abbott Elementary, and American Horror Story, to name just a few.

In a nod to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic continues and it’s new Imacron form and the fact that other health issues parentheses should I mention monkeypox?) all attendees and exhibitors were required to wear masks anytime they were inside and participating in a fit and officially sanctioned comicon event. This proved cumbersome and annoying, especially for the cosplayers whose costumes did not call for facial coverings, but we all survived.

It may be blasphemous to admit but San Diego Comic-Con is far from the perfect comic book convention, especially from the fans’ perspective. And one of the things I’ve long wondered is whyI’ve always wondered why, con Comicon and other popular media conventions did not include a virtual attendee option for the millions of fans who are unable to travel to San Diego and other venues but who still would like to participate in the conventions. Modern technology makes it fairly simple to conduct a live event and broadcast it to those who can only participate from their home or office. I understand the rigors of of intellectual property issues arising from such an approach, but with a multitude of IP attorneys who probably call themselves geeks and nerds, it seems like we should be able to figure this out. Regardless of what the future holds, I still plan to attend San Diego comic con, wonder con, and whatever other conventions Mrs. BAKER will allow barring the zombie

The long-awaited zombie apocalypse or other end of world event.

Why It Matters. While it can’t claim to be the oldest and it’s debatable whether or not it is still the largest, it is undeniable that San Diego Comic-Con remains the most important and the most influential comic book and popular media convention in the world. The Convention routinely hosts the most valuable annual assemblage of IP creators, IP owners, and IP deal makers, each of whom has the hope that their idea will become “the next big thing.” And if you have any aspirations in that regard, then you need to make plans to attend a future San Diego Comic-Con.

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