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Pop Rocks: Five Things Comic-Con Needs to Fix If It's Ever Going to Make It

Sweet! A Mrs. Fields cart!
Sweet! A Mrs. Fields cart!

As the ten of you who read the recaps may know, I was in San Diego last weekend for the 2012 Comic-Con. Martinis were consumed, Lou Ferrigno was observed in his natural habitat and we managed to talk our way out of $24 parking fees twice thanks to indifferent attendants.

It was my inaugural experience at the event, and though I've been to a few comic book and/or gaming conventions in my times, this scrappy West Coast up-and-comer intrigued me. I think it really has a chance to succeed, if it takes care of a few glaring problems.

5. People Complaining About the Weather Thursday, when I flew into town, the humidity was hovering around 40 percent, with a temperature in the upper 70s. The waitress at the [outdoor] bar where I met my friend Dave apologized for the lousy weather. And was serious. She was echoed several times by (usually multilayered-black clothing-wearing) Con-goers complaining it was "too hot" to wait outside, where the mercury registered a blistering 80 degrees in the sun.

I was actually shivering when I took this.
I was actually shivering when I took this.

I had to be restrained on more than one occasion from peeling my clothes off and sprinting through the Gaslamp district, cackling like a man who's escaped Houston summer for four days.

4. Not Enough Slave Leias If the number of Princess Leias in bikinis is the gold standard by which these conventions must measure themselves, then I'm Ron Paul. Imagine my chagrin at only chancing across a handful of these beauties at Comic-Con.

Darth Maul is unimpressed by the prospect of Mark Hamill autograph tickets.
Darth Maul is unimpressed by the prospect of Mark Hamill autograph tickets.

 

3. Too Many Comic Books Nobody really buys these anymore, do they? And even if they do, the numbers sold can't possibly justify the taking up of valuable real estate better utilized by a third Tower of T-Shirts.

Noticeably lacking: paying customers.
Noticeably lacking: paying customers.

2. Needs More Non-"Geek" Panels Checking the schedule for Thursday-Sunday, I saw all nerd crap of all kinds arrayed before me: Firefly, Twilight, some guy named J. Michael Straczynski. And yet only a handful of panels devoted to things that might appeal to the non-dork type person: 50 Shades of Grey, Glee, Bones, Shameless, Person of Interest, Sons of Anarchy. Less horror, superheroes and science-fiction, more hot forensic pathologists and the FBI agents they may or may not sleep with.

Nothing says "Comic-Con" like 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James.
Nothing says "Comic-Con" like 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James.

 

1. Not Enough Zombies For crying out loud, there were only three Walking Dead-related panels (and one ongoing event at Petco Park), and a mere *ten* other zombie-related programs at this year's Comic-Con. Wise up, organizers: Unlike vampires, zombies are never going out of style.

The line for the "Walking Dead" panel in Hall H.
The line for the "Walking Dead" panel in Hall H.

Bonus. Just Hire This Guy Full Time Are you shitting me? It's Lion-O! He'd set things in San Diego to right in no time. Just ask Mumm-Ra.

By the power of...wait, that's not it.
By the power of...wait, that's not it.

The best part is, I got to eat lunch while watching him fix his makeup and constantly pull his pants out of his ass crack.


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