26 NOVEMBER 2021
Today the first SDCC of any kind in a long time kicked off. This little shadow Con has been subject to much dubious speculation and disdain - and now we know just what it has to offer.
Which is.... a weird assortment of panels, with a few good ones sprinkled in amongst some truly amateur ones; a lot of clothing, sticker, and Funko vendors; artists who are mostly talented if obscure; and some very limited cosplay. The absence of studios, big publishers, beloved artists, TV pilots, rare toys, and overrated parties is far louder and more lingering than the presence of anything here.
Harsh, I know. And I would say it's worth coming if you set your expectations accordingly and line up the kind of friends you always have fun with no matter what. You also have to view this for what it is: a fundraiser. Whether you want to plump up the city's coffers or feed some vendors who've probably struggled these last 2 years, this will ideally be a weekend of purposeful generosity. But if you come here expecting the best, well, you'll be disappointed.
Granted, this is only Friday. It's clear that Saturday's offerings will feel a little richer. And there's the museum, which I'm visiting tomorrow and will review in detail. But on the whole, if you stayed home, you didn't miss any kind of magic.
If you're local and you're wondering if you should come down - I'd say yes. It may not be your most exciting weekend, but you'll be supporting an ecosystem that supports us every summer. Walking around the Gaslamp and seeing how many favorite restaurants have gone out of business is a good reminder of how precarious economic survival is these days. Hopefully the turnout this weekend is enough to strengthen SDCC's prospects for a beautiful 2022.