The 10 stupidest things your friends say after you lose out in an SDCC badge sale

15 NOVEMBER 2015

  1. Can't you just go to one of the other Cons? They have them everywhere.
  2. That is such a first-world problem.
  3. If you don't get a ticket this year, you'll get in next year. No big deal.
  4. Why would you want to be with all those nerds anyway? Eww.
  5. I heard it sucks anyhow, what with all the lines. 
  6. It's too commercial/popular/Hollywood anyhow. I don't know any real nerds who still go.
  7. I know how you feel, I didn't get tickets to Bon Iver.
  8. Haven't you already been like 7 times? Maybe it's time to let new people go.
  9. You're still into comic books and action figures and that stuff? Still?
  10. Wow, all my other friends got Preview Night badges right away.

If you didn't get a badge yesterday, you possibly woke up today in a black cloud of misery and resentment. Which is completely understandable. And it has nothing to do with knowing that at least half of everyone would get shut out, and that you can try again in Open Reg - it's about feeling that incredible disbelief and then emptiness as the badge sale ends. It feels almost like a rejection, even though you know it was a randomized lottery. Don't let anyone trivialize your feelings today. If San Diego Comic-Con is emotionally important to you, it just is and that's fine.

I will gently point out that even though you do have another shot a few months down the road, it's a fine time to look at other Cons. Are you a comic book fan? You can still get 3 out of 4 days at Emerald City. Read all my fawning ECCC posts and see if you'd want to hit up a Con that in many ways is more hip, fun and nerdy than SDCC. Think about going to NYCC in the fall. Or DragonCon in late summer. Or even SDCC's adversary Salt Lake Comic Con. I truly believe all of us should look outside the SDCC box at this point.

Because, and I'm going to say it like I see it here, Open Registration could be a major nightmare this year. It kind of was last year, in terms of the odds against getting a badge. And I think there's a strong chance that we will see a flood of scalpers this year. You still have a shot at a badge and I counsel you to do whatever you need to do to prepare, but at the same time I want to be honest about what could be awaiting us. Still participate; but also look into other Cons and try to make room in your heart for a 2016 without SDCC. Or maybe you'll come to San Diego anyhow, do Nerd HQ and all the parties and make it work.

Either way, there is life after San Diego Comic-Con. You just have to search it out.

Oh, and #1, 3 and 9 above were said to me yesterday by my dad during the sale. I barked at him like a rabid dog in response. Do the same to anyone who dares to shame you about caring about San Diego Comic-Con.


  1. I had a friend at work who mentioned #3 to me after I told him I couldn't badges. I couldn't help but laughed. It's difficult for outsiders to understand how hard it is to get badges. The entire process is difficult at best, mind numbing at worse. But I am fortunate that I have another friend who's reapplying as a professional. Usually there's a guest pass and he said he'll let me use it next year. I cautioned him, however, that things could change. There aren't any guarantees he'll be accepted as a professional. So the coming months before the actual ComiCon 2016 arrives will most likely see the establishment change...for better or worse.

    1. I hope your friend gets in and you can come as his guest. But you're right - there are no guarantees. Good luck.

  2. I find that if I explain to people that it's like getting a ticket for the Superbowl (and it's not; getting a ticket to SDCC is much more difficult) then they understand.

    1. I use that analogy sometimes but explain the prices are low and fixed, it's just a horrible game of chance. (Kind of.) But the anxiety is harder to convey. My mom said, "So you just sit there and watch the screen? That doesn't seem very hard." They are never allowed to visit during a badge sale again.