It is once again that time of year. The middle of July. That is the time when I see all the cool stuff happening at Comic Con and wish I lived in San Diego. It is about the 20th year in a row that I have wished such a thing.
I am a life long comic book geek. Collecting comics at a very young age until they got burned up in a fire at my families home when I was young. I started collecting again in my 20’s and had a great collection that I eventually sold in order to get money to live on in the late 2000’s when I was trying to decide what to do with my radio career. That collection helped feed my family during a stretch of time.
I have always loved comics, comic movies, comic tv shows and everything about superheroes and sci-fi, fantasy, space, star wars, star trek, and many more things uber geeky. Those things are what make up comic con… Or at least they did.
Now I see that comic con has become more than just things for the comic geek. Hollywood in the late 90’s and early 2000’s realized that the comic/geek audience is pretty loyal and if you let them in on what your plans are they will support it like no one else. The internet has allowed the geeks who were the early adapters in the internet to help spread the word and cause excitement over things that might have otherwise just died. Hollywood has ended up making shows like Smallville, Arrow, Fringe, and dozens of other show into a success based on the initial excitement created by Comic con. And of course you can look at that Marvel comics movie money like the coin they took in for Iron Man. Thor, Captain America and The Avengers as being directly connected to the Comic Con audience.
This year however I am seeing something that could backfire. Hollywood has really got their grips on the comic con image. Sure there are awesome things happening like the Marvel Comics movie symposium where they will talk all the upcoming movies leading up to the Avengers 2, The DC Comics Warner Bros event Saturday which might include the announcement of Man of Steel 2, a Batman Reboot and maybe even plans for a Justice League movie, The X-Men Days of Future Past panel and Spider-man 2 panel should have big audiences. The panels for movies like Wolverine, Enders game, Divergent, and other sci Fi movies make sence. TV show panels like Walking Dead, Agents of SHIELD, and countless shows about Vampires make sense. Even the Big Bang Theory deserves a big panel. But Hollywood is starting to go over the ledge with panels for shows like Psych on the USA network, or My Little Pony cartoons, or How I Met Your Mother, or Wilfred, Bones, Person of Interest go a little too far. Hollywood needs to ask.. do comic con fans really care about any of the NCIS shows?
Hollywood needs to remember that the core reason for Comic Cons existence is in fact comics. Comic fans dig sci fi and fantasy and any kind of serialized TV like LOST or Fringe but really dont care about reality crap that stars pawn shop workers of real housewives. Comic Con is where the stars of the X Files do a symposium celebrating an anniversary of the ground breaking show and show the Studio that there is support to do more movies. It is a place for Joss Whedon and gang to thank fans for still caring about Firefly/Serenity and not a place for the A&E network to shop for an audience to watch Honey Boo Boo. It is a place to show Executives that there is an audience that would embrace an Aquaman movie not a place where you look to try to convince people to spend money to watch a Katherine Heigl Rom Com.
So Comic Con continues to make me want to be there but if Hollywood marketing departments get their way I have a feeling it will be less so next year…