The Best and Worst Moments of Comic-Con 2010

Now that the attendees are back in their homes and San Diego has returned to its peaceful self, I’m tacking a look back at the highlights and lowlights of this year’s con. What blew SDCC away? What made every man, women, and child in Hall H shed a tear? Read on!

Best Moments:

  1. The Avengers Assembled – Yes, it was just a bunch of actors and actresses. But it was also straight out of every Marvel fan’s dreams and encompassed what so many people have wanted to see for so long. It was not as much an appearance, as a promise to Hall H that Marvel will make their dreams come true.
  2. Scott Pilgrim Screening – Universal could have just held a screening and people would have been happy. Instead they had the entire cast in attendance, live DJing before the screening, and a Metric performance after. Then they threw in two more screenings for good measure. Pure fan service and SDCC magic.
  3. Big Bang Theory Theme Song Performance – The lucky few (thousand) that made it into Ballroom 20 on Friday were rewarded when the Barenaked Ladies lead a sing-along to the BBT theme. Getting the fans in on the action and creating a memorable con experience for everyone in the audience made this a must include on the list. See the video below.
  4. Cowboys & Aliens – Most attendees were expecting Jon Favreau to come out on stage and talk about the movie. Maybe present a few images, but they were still midway through filming. Instead he brought the entire cast and an awesome 8-minute clip from the movie. Oh and that cast? It included Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in their first SDCC appearances. This is how you bring a movie to Comic-Con.

5. Green Lantern Oath – A young fan’s request to hear the Green Lantern oath turned into the cutest thing that Hall H has ever seen. Ryan Reynolds not only filled the kids request, but also made every person in Hall H smile and applaud.

Runners-Up – Flynn’s Arcade, Walking Dead Panel, Will Ferrell’s Megamind Costume, Scott Pilgrim Experience, 6,000 People Booing M. Night’s Name

Worst Moments:

  1. Hall H and Ballroom 20 on Friday – For the first time in many years, attendees could simply walk into Hall H and sit down. No line waiting was necessary. This would have been great if Ballroom 20 wasn’t forced to stop people from even WAITING in line because it was so popular. Hopefully next year Comic-Con will smart up and put the bigger TV shows in H and the smaller movies in Ballroom 20.
  2. The Glee Recap – If someone is attending the Glee panel, chances are that they have seen Glee. Still, Fox decided to put a 20 minute highlight reel of the first season at the start of the panel. Not only was this a complete waste of time when fans had waited hours to see the panel, it also left very little time for Q+A or discussion of any kind before the next show went on stage. 5, maybe even 10 minutes of a clip package is acceptable. But 20? And there’s not a second of new footage? Shame.
  3. The Green Lantern Footage – Suffering from the complete opposite of Glee’s problem, the Green Lantern panel had a teaser trailer that was only about a minute long and consisted of one effects shot and no shots of the suit. This might be at least a little understandable if C&A and Captain America hadn’t gone on the same stage hours later with tons more footage to show at the same point in production. The final nail in the coffin is that WB didn’t even play the trailer twice.
  4. Hall H Stabbing – Who knew that SDCC-attendees could be so aggressive. A simple seat dispute left one man going to the hospital with a pen in the eye and the rest of Hall H watching the slew of trailers that were shown earlier in the day. Giving con-goers a bad name and making people suffer through the trailers for Charlie St. Cloud and Gulliver’s Travels for a second time? That HP-shirt-wearing man is the bane of this year’s con.
  5. Resident Evil Panel – Giving this terrible panel a prime Saturday spot in Hall H was just the first transgression. Attendees then had to suffer through 50 minutes of Milla Jovovich talking about how amazing the film was, Paul WS Anderson comparing 3D to the advent of color, and Wentworth Miller looking embarrassed to even be associated with the film. The one clip they showed was so ridiculously terrible and the 3D so very awful, it made Gulliver’s Travels look like a masterpiece in story-telling and technology.

Runners-Up – Skyline and Battle: Los Angeles (AKA the exact same movies), Green Hornet Panel, Harry Potter Panel, Scott Pilgrim Experience Wait-Time

What are your favorite and least-favorite moments of SDCC 2010?

About Zack Young

  • Sarah Banana

    I completely agree about the Hall H/Ballroom 20 business. I missed the Bones panel because I was in line for 3 hours and barely got into the Whedon panel after it…weak sauce.

  • http://twitter.com/justchristine Just Christine

    Aside from things you’ve mentioned above…

    Among my “worsts”:
    - Booking “CASTLE” into 6BCF (the line got so long they had to cut it off – did they not understand that Browncoats are insane Fillion Fans and would want to be there)?
    - “Chuck” panel running out of time, so there was no Q&A.

    Among my “bests”:
    - The reason there was no Q&A time for “Chuck”, the Jeffster Gaga video and panel entrance.
    - Witnessing “Pacey-Con” (which ended up being for a Funny or Die shoot)

  • Paul O’Brien

    I had the same exact experience! Got there 3 hours ahead of time and had no chance to get into the Bones panel. Very lame!

  • WeAreAtoms

    Another best:
    - Machete Taco Truck experience/party

    Worsts:
    - Needing to stand in line to get a ticket to then stand in another line for shopping on the floor, or whatever.
    - Overselling the capacity of the convention center. The convention center doesn’t need to expand or move, just don’t sell more tickets than the place holds. This will also help solve the Hall H /Ballroom 20 issue
    - Whoever started that “Daft Punk will be playing live at Flynn’s rumor”. I spent a lot of time running around trying to get an invite, solving clues, etc. Waste of time.

  • http://twitter.com/justchristine Just Christine

    Sarah, Paul: my guess would be that the True Blood fans who camped the room all day were the reason you missed out on Bones.

    I was in line for Ballroom 20 from about 7:30am (if I remember my days correctly) because I wanted to see every panel in there except for Caprica, but once True Blood was over the room EMPTIED.

  • Val

    The Skyline panel was incredible. Seeing a preview for what looked like a standard big-budget action flick and then learning that it was homemade with a tiny crew in 11 months — that was one of my Comic-Con highlights. I admit the trailer was otherwise uninspiring, but it seems to me that you’re reviewing just the trailer and not the panel.

  • http://impalergeneral.blogspot.com David Mello

    The lines were the worst. It not only disappoints people who arranged their schedules for a certain panel (barely got into Joss Whedon Experience, but missed Rifftrax because of long lines), but it also hurts retailers because people are in line rather than buying stuff.
    And th eonly time I just walked into Ballroom 20 when when Once More With Feeling came on.
    I think Comic-Con should lower cap to 100 thousand, and raise prices, or it’ll turn into DIsneyland..and not in a good way

  • HitIGirlAssassin

    @Just Christine.
    I have to agree…I was a newbie (first time). I queued, nearly 2 hours for Ballroom 20, and it was packed out by TrueBlood “seat-parking” – some informed me, TB fans had got in, in the morning, and sat there ALL DAY. This was the worst part for me. The Best ?! In that same line, new american friends took pity on my 2hr wait, and still not getting in (for the panel BEFORE TrueBlood) – that AFTER TB panel, I got a ‘queue jump’ – so that last panel made up for my disappointment.

    Capacity: this was also discussed, it was 125,000 this year…its too many people, some speculate they raise the price to deter people (it won’t) – just limit the numbers, make it a less crowded experience.

    On the above: REVIEW the policy for NOT emptying Ballroom 20 & Hall H, for the exact reasons. Other rooms were packed again, with folks really wanting the ‘next panel’ not the one they were sat in, so the real fans for the correct panel, generally didn’t get in (!)

    Advice: If you want Hall H or Ballroom 20, be prepared for it to be the ONLY room you sit in, for the duration of up to your panel…Dream on, if you think you can go between Hall H & Ballroom 20, with an hour in between. You write off at least a morning or afternoon for one panel in these rooms.

    Good: Panels in other rooms, with no queues, or not much waiting – were well supported, and actually really very good. Don’t overlook these.

    Best advice: THIS BLOG and your related TWEETS ;-)

  • Paul O’Brien

    @Just Christine

    That’s probably true Christine. I’ve been telling friends that it’s gotten where you just pray there’s two panels you want to see in the same room because you have to sit in on panels you don’t care about to be there for the ones you want. I thankfully saw the Community panel (which was truly a best!) but sat through three panels I didn’t care about to guarantee I saw the one I did. I hate having to do that! (Both for me and the people I might be squeezing out)

  • Angelique

    Worst:
    *Expanding into the Hilton and the Marriott. Leaving Ballroom 20 with 15 minutes to get to a panel in the Hilton and then having to immediately go to the Marriott afterward was irritating. Either limit the # of panels you have so that everything can fit under one roof or actually have programming in Hall H on Sundays.
    *The insane “line” for the Fulfillment Room at the Marriott on Thursday. There was no line. There were no Comic Con volunteers enforcing order. There was just a mob and everybody that tried to make a nice, orderly line had to deal with some people not caring that you had been waiting for 15+ minutes and jumping to the front of the “line”.
    *The “Chuck” panel only getting 45 minutes, starting late and then not having time for any audience questions. Does the Comic Con scheduler not know by now how big the draw is for “Chuck”?
    *Not having “Castle” in the Ballroom.

    Best:
    *Musical intros. Curt Smith doing “Shout” to kick-off the “Psych” panel, Bare Naked Ladies performing the theme song for “The Big Bang Theory” and the “Bad Romance” dance intro for the “Chuck” panel.
    *Despite being cut short, the “Chuck” panel is always entertaining as is “The Big Bang Theory”. Well worth being in line insanely early to get good seats.

  • Howard

    Not only can I not hear you, text and networking were spotty at best. I can only speak for the AT&T network – it was a failure. Making outgoing phone calls from the convention hall took dozens if attempts before one would connect. Text messages took repeated attempts to send and text messages were delayed by hours until the network freed up in the evening. Props to Comic Con this year for adding dozens more wifi routers to the convention hall, but even that was overwhelmed during most of Con. Needless to say AT&Ts 3G network was almost complete absent during con. It wouldn’t have been so bad except there were just so many Internet based scavenger hunts, contests, ads, web exclusives, on top of the fact that you really want to tell all your friends just how awesome Con is via the web that made communications so important. AT&T has got to step up for next year’s con. 150,000 people… expect the vast majority to be AT&T users.

  • http://goddessvicky.livejournal.com Vicky

    No. No no no no no. CCI should *NOT* review their decision to empty Ballroom 20 and Hall H between panels. Why? Because I got in line at 4 AM for Hall H so I could see EVERY PANEL that was in that room because I was a FAN of every panel in that room. I shouldn’t be forced to leave the room and lose my AWESOME seat that I waited in line forever to get just because other people can’t time their con right. Of *course* there were other things I wanted to see at some point during the con that I had to sacrifice because there was so much I wanted to see. It’s how the Con works. It might suck for people, but it’s how it is.

    I *do* agree that many tickets should be taken down to 100,000 instead of 125,000. I think this would help a lot, and raising the price would be fine too. Other cons are already charging upwards of $200 for their tickets, so $105 isn’t bad at all.

    For the hardcore, getting up at 4 AM or waiting in line for 4-6 hours is nothing. That’s why TPTB created playing cards/iPhones/line buddies to talk to.

  • Elyse

    I read that the fan who was stabbed, was stabbed near the eye, not IN the eye (luckily!). Geez, I know people get testy at cons over stuff, but that’s sorta ridiculous. And stupid.

  • Steve Marine

    Best: This blog!!! I got a lot of free meals from the off-site parties that you had listed. Both me & my friend I went with are unemployed, so it was a Godsend. Thanks! Also, as a huge “Alien” fan, I loved the Nostromo sleep pods/free t-shirts. (I got two!)

    Worst: Ballroom 20 on Friday! AT&T 3G network not working! Lines! Location of fulfillment room! Some of the swag was kind of insulting. (Waiting 30 minutes in a swag line to find out your ticket is only good for a stupid foam hand? LAME.)

  • Stewie

    One of my bests was this website. It was quite helpful and I want to thank those in charge. Other highlights included actually seeing full episodes (American Dad, It’s Always Sunny) and hearing from a ton of the great comic artists of our time.

    My biggest worst was all the choices that had to be made. Do I stay for the Avengers announcement or do I go to the DC Universe Online party? Not to mention all the other panel choices that had to be made …

    Stew

  • Angela

    My husband is on T-mobile, and he had crappy reception too. It wasn’t just AT&T.

    Best: Big Bang Theory & Chuck intros. Quantum Leap panel

    Worst: Getting a Clash of the Titans bag (that’s all I got-I expected the lines-they did suck, but there was always a reward at the end!)

  • Angela

    Another best: the counter protest for WBC & Bender with his “Kill all humans” sign.

  • Francis

    One of the worst was how fast the lines were capped on preview night. I went to the Hasbro Booth and it was capped 10 minutes in. Usually that equals exhibitors buying the exclusives and selling it at their booth at twice the price (at least).

    The Scott Pilgrim Experience was really well done in my opinion. Even though the lines could get long people didn’t leave empty handed. They really stole the promotional show for me. Flynn’s Arcade was cool to.

  • Mohammed

    Curse you Paul! I wanted to see the Guild panel but couldn’t get in! :P

    The camper problem was definitely strong with True Blood though. I say put that thing in Hall H in the morning. I remember three years ago the Simpsons was in that room at 10 am on Saturday.

  • K

    Best: I liked all the Scott Pilgrim stuff….also really liked the Megamind Panel with Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill. Also really liked the Hawaii 5-0 panel – Grace Park was hilarious. Flynn’s was awesome too. And this blog – totally felt like an insider this year with all the cool stuff that was posted here! Thanks!

    The one thing that I thought that really sucked was Britt’s Garage for The Green Hornet over at the Park at Petco Park. Went over there on Sat. morning about a half hour before they opened at 9:30 to get a shirt and ride Black Beauty. Around 9:20, they are getting ready to open and find that the one car that they will be using will not start and needs to be jumped. One of the models tells us that they are down to the one car because the other two cars that they actually have decked out are not street legal and they have already been pulled over. They finally get the car started, but then they still have to get gas but it should only be 10 minutes. After waiting 20 minutes for the car to come back for gas, we finally give up and leave, which the other people in line in front of us have already done. One of the employees then tells us that they have no control over what happened since it was an “act of God.” Not having enough gas is NOT an act of God. And you would think that if they were gonna bring three cars down for people to ride in, that they would have actually made sure that the cars were all street legal. And why wouldn’t you spend a little more time getting ready, instead of trying to scramble a few minutes before you are going to open? Poor planning and execution of their marketing if you ask me…..Yeah, we did get a t-shirt and we should have left earlier but we waited since we were towards the front of the line….we wasted over an hour that would have been better spent at a panel or with other exhibitors that actually care to present their best foot forward instead of giving excuses.

  • Jennifer

    I agree that some of the seat camping in the bigger rooms caused heartache for those hoping to get in to panels later on in the day, but I can also see the other side of the coin, as Vicky up there also attests to. I’ve only gone to SDCC in 2009, and the one panel I wanted to get into (surprise, surprise) was True Blood. I went with one other person Saturday morning, waited in line for many an hour, and eventually got in. Got to see two panels prior to TB, and yep, kept my spot (it was not a great one, but that’s ok).

    I would agree with Mohammed – SDCC needs to take a look at the potential popularity of some of the panels, whether they are recurring (for a tv series or movie sequel) or new, and stick what they think would be the “crowded panels” at the beginning of the day, or a panel or two in at least. That way folks who want to get in to the bigger ballrooms to see slightly less popular shows/movies can still do so. I think that’d be a more feasible fix for SDCC’s powers that be than capping attendance (What? And lose money?) or raise prices (which they’re doing anyway).

    Also, I agree with “Just Christine” on the Castle Panel. In 2009, I didn’t catch it, but tried to get in to the Browncoats panel that Nathan was a part of. Didn’t even make it up to the door. They definitely needed a bigger room, though Nathan made up for it (didn’t need to, but he’s just awesome that way). He headed out during the panel to make way to the Browncoats booth, and stopped for a few minutes for pictures and autographs, so those of us waiting in line got to say a quick hello/nicetomeetyah.

  • Bryy Miller

    You left out the insanely insane Captain America and his goat, telling people not to go to Anaheim.

  • http://www.free18.net free

    Another best: the counter protest for WBC & Bender with his “Kill all humans” sign.

  • http://www.xescort.net escort

    You left out the insanely insane Captain America and his goat, telling people not to go to Anaheim.

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