San Diego’s Comic-Con has come and gone once again with 2011 marking my fourth straight year of attendance. Living in Los Angeles, it’s easy for me to shoot down there for the weekend, but beyond that, I actually like Comic-Con, seemingly unlike the majority of my colleagues.

It’s only been three days since the Con ended, which means the memories are still fresh and the bones still ache, so it’s a perfect time to pop some Advil and reflect on SDCC, on the good and on the bad. Without further words to flush out the introductory paragraphs on the homepage, I present to you Comic Con 2011: 10 Things I Liked, 5 I Didn’t.

10 Things I Liked

10. Bruce Campbell talks Evil Dead (Remake)

Bruce Campbell has been asked about the status of the Evil Dead franchise pretty much every time he’s in public since the movies hit VHS. Finally, he had something to say. Bad news: it’s about the upcoming remake. Good news: he’ll most likely be in it.

9. The Parties

I’m a big fan of partying with my colleagues and this year, Jon Favreau DJed at the JoBlo/Latino Review party. Which is awesome. In the words of Miley Cyrus, it was a party in the USA.

8. The Exclusives

Every year toy hunters descend upon San Diego, clawing to get their hands on some cool, limited run toys. This year I picked up an awesome Transformers-GI Joe hybrid (a Cobra Commander figure piloting a Starscream jet!), an amazing Swamp-Thing, and a Thor figure that came packaged in a Goddamn hammer.

7. Downtime

One nice thing this year: we weren’t running everywhere with out heads cut off. With three writers down there and a fairly light schedule, it was nice to be able to walk rather than run.

6. Sony Brings It

While most studios were playing it cool and not showing up in force to San Diego, Sony showed up with more than 2 hours of panel material, featuring The Amazing Spider-Man, 30 Minutes or Less, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance leading the way.

5. Steven Spielberg Does Comic-Con

Who isn’t glad when Spielberg shows up? With Harrison Ford last year and Spielberg this year, big names are becoming first-timers at SDCC and that’s a good thing.

4. Captain America’s Duds

While Marvel didn’t have a huge presence (boo!) they did reveal some character art and show off Captain America’s updated Avengers outfit and I like it.

3. Conan the Barbarian

Based on the initial footage and pictures, I wasn’t too impressed with the direction Conan was heading. After seeing some very bloody and violent footage at SDCC, I’m now pretty damn excited to see this one.

2. The Children are our Future

This year more than any other I noticed a lot of younger fans, pimping Spider-Man hats, Walking Dead shirts, and generally just being mini-nerds, guaranteeing our way of life will survive.

1. Friends, Coworkers, Lend Me Your Beers

The best part of festivals and conventions is once again being able to hang out with those you only know through the internet. From fellow Rejects to friendly and competitor sites, it’s good to see everyone.

5 Things I Didn’t

5. Nothing Amazes

You’ll notice above that there really wasn’t a single panel or movie that defined the experience and that’s because nothing truly amazing was shown. Bummer.

4. Half-Baked Panels

What do Snow White and the Huntsman, Pacific Rim, The Seventh Son, and Paradise Lost have in common? They all showed up with, basically, concept art. If you want to win big at SDCC, you’ve got to come in larger than life.

3. Hall H Fizzles, Ballrooms Explode

Very few panels this year in Hall H (the big one) were filled to capacity, while smaller rooms housing True Blood, Game of Thrones, and Legendary Pictures, were amazingly over-attended. Word is that the Game of Thrones panel had 5,000 attendees and 7,000 turn-aways. I was one of the turn-aways.

2. Exclusive Hunters

Nothing ruins the fun of the hunt than people who show up with friends and family in turn, do nothing more than camp out the exclusives and buy up the limits to resell at an absurd profit. If you want to sell your Exclusives, hey, go for it. But there was something enraging about seeing a father drag his kids along to buy a few extra Hasbro Sentinel’s for resale. Business decisions locking out fans from getting the cool shit they want, boooooo.

1. The Negativity

Plenty of my colleagues were shitting on Comic Con even before it arrived. Once it was here, they were all too happy to announce this was “probably” their last year attending. I’ve got two thoughts on this: first, see you next year, assholes. You’ll end up coming. Second: Don’t come.

Seriously, if you hate Comic Con so much, don’t come. A lot of the panel information and footage ends up online pretty quick, so if all you’re going to do is bitch and whine, stay the fuck home.

As for me, I always have fun, so if you’ve got the time and the money, I’ll see you next year in San Diego.

What did you love/hate most?


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