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Published on July 13th, 2012 | by Ernie Estrella


Gripe Focus: Five Things I HATE about Comic-Con 2012

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There are some things I need to get off my chest, and I’ve been going to Comic-Con nearly every year since 1997 so I’ve seen it grow from the biggest old-fashioned comic convention in the country to the biggest pop culture event every year. There’s honestly not much to hate about Comic-Con, purists will tell you that it’s changed too much for the worse, and that’s certainly debatable, but there are still a handful of things that just get under my skin and I know they get under yours too.


5. The Religious Nuts

If only these people were exclusive to Comic-Con, but no, they’re not messengers delivering the words of enlightenment, they’re attention whores who only come out when their potential audience is heavy in numbers. If your messages were strong on their own, you wouldn’t have to shove it in people’s faces with a bullhorn and giant signs. By the way, we’re used to seeing giant posters on the hotels to get our attention. Your picket sign is no more eye-catching than a “Free Hugs” sign so it’s not working in the way you hope it would. You need to go bigger, rent a blimp, skywrite, put your message on the butt cheeks of a female pedicab driver. Oh and if anything, you probably won’t find a more prouder base of people who are more comfortable with themselves and their sins than Comic-Con. Get beat bible thumper, you’re standing in my way of things I can stuff into my giant disproportionate and useless bag–more on that below.

4. Bad Odor

If you’ve been to a convention you know exactly the pungent, stench I am talking about. There are many causes. Some just always have it. Others, grow it. People camped and slept all Thursday night and Friday morning in the drizzling rain to stay in line for Community and Firefly (I’m sure it was worth it to have Joss Whedon wake you up at 3am today though right? I know, who’s laughing at you now?), the first two panels for Ballroom 20 this morning. That ballroom was never made for that kind of over-ripeness. God bless cosplayers, I love ‘em but the masquerade is on Saturday and yet I know I will see some people in the same costume three straight days on the floor or inside panels and I know they’ve not been cleaned each night. Carry an extra stick of deodorant with you, I don’t know, bathe. Bring extra copies of that costume. Eat better foods. Be conscious that people are going to be stuck by you, in line, and squished up like a sardine in the Hollywood half of the convention floor. Nothing puts me more in a foul mood that catching a whiff of that funk or being stuck in line with it for hours.

sleep out for community

3. Brain-dead Cosplayers

Dumb is just dumb, and I’m not necessarily talking about cosplayers who go the extra mile, I appreciate the more elaborate, more impressive, handmade costumes. I’m talking about people who dress in casual wear and then carry a replica lightsaber with the glass stem and neon light. They don’t even have a holster for that thing. They carry it around on their shoulder like they’re one deck at a baseball game. Or there are others who have no costume but carry one giant weapon. What the hell are you going to do with that but except annoy people? Yes when you stop and quickly turn back on the floor, you will inadvertently hit people. Same goes for your giant-anime gun man and Lollipop Chainsaw girl. I hate you even more when you try to cram your gear into a panel and you take up 2-3 seats. You make it awkward to ride the escalators, elevators, sit down at restaurants, and go through small walkways. However you are funny to see try to go to the bathroom, especially when you’ve made gauntlets or fixed weapons to your arms. You deserve that discomfort because you didn’t think about what your day would be like.

2. Price hikes

You don’t have to be a local to know you’re being raked over the coals. A +$200 a night inflation on the week of Comic-Con is not uncommon now and one thing that has been absolutely disgusting is the price hikes on everything over the years from parking to the always awful convention food. I bought a $4 soda on Preview night Wednesday and they had a list with the prices of their beverage stand with all of the old prices poorly crossed out in ballpoint pen, a very weak one at that and the new, inflated prices were written to the side. I was told the new signs haven’t been passed around yet. That’s because that type of preparation is an after-thought. I’ve seen my 2.5 year old scribble a better piece of art. Hotels are charging $20 /day for Wifi for something the Red Roof Inn gives away for free. Journalists need to post stories that get word of the convention out. People need to access the internet to get information, there are a lot of out of town tourists, sorry San Diego and the convention center and hotel community, your price gouging and nickel and diming leave a bad taste in our mouths, and yes, I live here.

swag bags

1. Those goddamn giant Swag Bags

They’re inefficient people, you’re a walking a billboard, and most of you are not tall enough to keep them from dragging on the floor. The people who turn them into actual clothes are cool. Everyone else, it’s the most impractical thing and how people use them day after day after day is beyond me. They’re not deep enough to hold anything that’s not flat and they have no structure to protect what you’ve spent your savings on unless its in a box, but wait boxes don’t fit in them either. Oh and when your do a 180 degree turn in front of me with one of those swinging around your neck clocking people in a four foot radius, I will push or kick you down before it gets me. Those behind me, touché. Warner Bros. knows what they’re doing as far as marketing their shows and movies, FX’s Wilfred/Archer bag is even bigger! But people hungry for swag, understand that a smaller canvas bag will be a much better and stronger alternative.

Okay, I’m done bitching. Back to the love fest of Comic-Con.

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