9 OCTOBER 2012
I suppose this was inevitable. After much protracted and widespread grumbling about how San Diego Comic Con's gaudy pageantry has betrayed its original comic book fans, there is a new comic convention in town devoted only to comic books. It's called San Diego Comic Fest and is being held at the San Diego Town and Country Convention Center on October 19-21.
Supposedly some of the people involved in the earliest SDCC are involved in this. Which would make them... mature, as Comic Con turned 40 this past summer. This con is going to be "old-school" and will deliberately try to summon the spirit of the original Comic Cons, with about 1000 attendees expected.
It could be fun, if you're in the mood for hardcore comic book nerds with whom you can discuss Silver Age this and that. I'll admit that when I hear about early Comic Cons, or see all the bad haircuts on YouTube videos, I get that weird faux-nostalgia you get for past phenomena that you didn't actually experience but wish you had been a part of. If they really do invoke that same early Comic Con vibe, it will be a welcome change from the crowds and bombast of the current Con. (In fact, I recall an appropriate downtrodden charm at the Town and Country from a trip I won in 2001, but I've been informed that it's spiffed up since then.)
Clearly everyone understands that need for an alternative given the last line of this article: "Please note that SDCF is not in any way connected to San Diego Comic-Con International." That that's become a selling point says volumes about the feelings of many comic book fans.