If there’s any clearer sign that nerd culture has been completely absorbed by the mainstream look no further than Comic Con. The largest comic convention has been taken over by Movie, TV and Video Game companies and this year was no exception. Look no further than the South Park town created in one of the few close parking lots by the convention. Once the place to launch a comic project/ big announcement, it’s instead become a fall/summer preview for Hollywood and Video Game companies alike. But how did it get to this point? When did Comic Con become Movie Con? Here’s the good news, you can’t blame comic fans. We’re all sick of Hollywood and their invasion at the con. It used to be cool and special that Hollywood was showing comic fans the respect for their beloved products by showing them footage and giving them news first. Like all things though, the internet ruined the exclusive nature by leaking the footage and over saturation of coverage on sites Hollywood Deadline, Game Spot and hundreds of other sites that have nothing to do with comics. Soon comic fans were having a hard time getting into the con support the comic panels and booths. Now if a company like Boom! or IDW puts on a panel they have a hard time filling the room. Why, because everyone is there for Twilight and to see Fox’s fall lineup on TV.
There’s plenty of blame to go around, but the truth of the matter is that Comic Con is no longer about comics. It’s nerd culture and it’s been invaded by people that think the original Transformer cartoon is poorly animated, or their entire comic book knowledge comes from miss-casted Marvel movies. This year’s con had one thing that I have never seen before in my years of attendance at the con… effort. People where trying to fit in and dress up and be “nerdy.” Real nerds, geeks and dweebs just are. If a guy dresses up in a shitty Galactus costume it’s not because he’s trying to be ironic and funny, it’s because he made a shitty Galacuts costume and he knows that his people won’t judge him as harshly as the rest of the world. But this new breed of wanna-be nerds is just disturbing and pathetic.
I’m not going to pretend that I have the answer to save Comic Con, because I don’t. Once Hollywood snuck in they pretty much took over the show and we’ll never get them out. What that means is the people that go there to sit in Hall H or the line for Hall H aren’t going anywhere. I’d love the idea of Marvel or DC taking over a block at Hall H and there being enough fans of actual comics to fill the room. Hollywood has made it its stomping ground, Cable TV has made it its permanent fall launching ground and video game companies use it as a reminder of their big holiday releases, so how can you possible save comic con?
The only way, might just be to stop attending. This year alone I covered C2E2, Wonder Con, Anime Con, AM2 Con, Long Beach Comic Expo and all of those events were a better experience for comics. The plus side of this year is that New York Comic Con is still coming and even with the add presence of Hollywood and Video Game companies the con still launches a ton of actual comic news.
Really the point I’m getting at is Comic Con can’t be saved and if you’re tired of the way it is and long for days of how it used to be then say a little pray, bury your last 4-Day badge including preview night in the yard and move on. The only problem with this is that if nerd culture continues to retreat from events like this we run the risk of losing all of our battle stations and essentially losing our culture to the mainstream. I may not have the answers to save Comic Con and the biggest chunk of our nerd culture, but maybe this will give someone out there some food for thought. Speaking as a nerd, the last thing I want to see is my entire nerd lifestyle absorbed into the mainstream and saturated into every house-hold.