Why I’m Never Going to Hall H Again. Until Next Year. Maybe.

In Editorials/Opinions by James Riley45 Comments

Last year I was telling everyone that I was done with Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con. Overnight wait? Long lines? Mad rush (not running though) for a prime seat? Sitting for 10 hours or more? Missing everything else? Nope. I didn’t want to do that any more.

And then came Star Wars.

GeekShot Exclusive Series Vol 2 Week 26 - Star Wars The Force Awakens 2015 Hall H Ford Fisher Hamill

There was no way I was going to miss the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel at Comic-Con this year. I don’t care how long I had to wait or how long the line was going to be, I would be there. And I was. And it was glorious.

But in the end it just reinforced my desire to quit Hall H.

I missed all but two hours of the con on Thursday to be in line for Friday. Despite having a good time in all the other panels leading up to Star Wars, I would have rather gone to see other panels or walked the floor. There is so much to see and do at and outside the convention, it feels like too much is given up to take two complete days out of the running just to see one panel.

So what makes getting into Hall H such a huge ordeal? Let’s look at the timeline and some general information about those who waited it out for Star Wars, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and everything else happening on Friday:

  • The line for Friday Hall H started between 8 and 9 PM on Wednesday.
  • Wristbands didn’t start getting handed out until 24 hours later, about 8:45 PM Thursday (15 minutes later than the posted time).
  • Wristbands didn’t finish getting handed out until almost 1 AM, four hours later.
  • Line saving before wristbands was abused (CCI posted 5 person limit the next day).
  • Getting in line after the floor closed meant no chance to get in Friday Hall H.
  • Sleeping outside for those who hold places.

But let’s back up here. Didn’t I say that Star Wars was glorious? If so, then why would I quit Hall H going forward?

The answer is simple. There is nothing that will get me back into Hall H on the “big day” except a similar event panel. WB and Marvel are bringing their latest movies? I’ve seen that before. Legendary, Universal, Paramount, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and so on? Done with them when it’s just the latest crop of movies/seasons.

I’ve been feeling run down by doing Hall H the last six years and this is why. While the movies change, the feeling that I’m spending too much time for essentially the same panel keeps growing. After 22 years of going to Comic-Con, it feels like I need to shake things up. It seems I do this about every five years, so it’s time to make a change.

While I won’t be waiting in long lines/overnight, I will pay attention to social media (the blog’s Twitter is the best place to start). This year if you played it smart you could do Hall H on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday with almost no wait in most cases – and social media was a great way to keep track of the wristband distribution and how full Hall H and the tents were at any given moment. Only Saturday was also busy enough to cause long lines, but many still got in with a two hour wait or less. Some even got in by getting in line at 8AM Saturday morning. You may not be near the front, but you still get to experience the panels in person. This sounds like a lot better use of time for me going forward.

However, there’s still always going to be one “big day” in Hall H. Next year it will probably be back on Saturday if Marvel returns and WB continues as usual. That means there’s going to be a seat opening up in Hall H next year. Because my butt won’t be in it.

Unless Star Wars comes back. Or a new Indiana Jones is announced. Or…

Dammit!