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The Biggest Winners and Losers from SDCC16
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Biggest Winner: DiversityI feel like every day we're being told we're not doing good enough. We don't like cops, black people, women, immigrants, gays, Christians, Jews... You watch an hour of news and you feel like our country is falling apart. But spend an hour at Comic-Con and you'll see something completely different.Was there anyone not represented at Comic-Con? I spoke to black writers, women artists, gay creators, Christian publishers, and the list goes on and on. I spent five days jammed into a building with 130,000 people and didn't see a single fight or really even harsh words. Everyone just got along. We were all part of something... and maybe one guy likes My Little Pony and another likes Minecraft, it didn't matter.If you want to see Martin Luther King's dream, this is it.Biggest Loser: ExclusivesI really hope SDCC figures out a way to solve the "exclusives" problem. No one seems happy with how it's currently working. Vendors are mad because people are too busy running around to get in line and not spending time visiting the various booths; Fans are upset because they can't get access to products they actually want to own. I never really cared much for exclusives so I largely ignored it all last year, but this year I saw the situation from several viewpoints.I met someone who was willing to scam disability access and stab a friend in the back, just to get an item she could flip on eBay minutes later for a $50 profit. Some of the "scalpers" like her had items listed for sale on eBay before they even got a place in line.A friend sells comics and comic-related merchandise for a living. Access to an exclusive is a big deal for his business, but he had to choose between standing in an all-day line or viewing panels that actually interested him.Another close friend is simply a big fan, visiting from out of town, and wanted to get an exclusive because he loves the product. Watching a person leave the Mattel booth with four massive bags of merchandise, while being told they're out of the thing he wanted, is truly disheartening.For all three, the exclusives detracted from what the convention is supposed to be about.I heard one suggestion that each badge allowed you a specific number of exclusives. One badge, one exclusive. That could help, but maybe a better option would be to eliminate the exclusives all together.Close Second: Disabled AccessDisneyland used to have special lines for disabled people, but they recently had to end it because of the blatant abuse by park attendees. Comic-Con is nearing the same position. Currently, the convention allows disabled people to get front-of-the-line privileges, but it's being over-run by people who are not actually disabled. For example, on preview night I watched a young lady in a wheelchair wait by the entrance, and as soon as they let her in she ditched the wheelchair and ran to a booth to get in line for an exclusive. Each disabled person can also have one "assistant" that gets the same privileges as a person with a disability. It was beginning to look like there are more people with ADA access than without. It sucks for the people I saw who were truly disabled.