Over the years, Comic-Con has become the Coachella of the summer, especially for the people of Los Angeles. Whether it be because you’re a fan or if you’re working it, it seems as if all of Hollywood heads down the 5 to the land of 100,000 geeks.
When the first Comic-Con launched in San Diego in 1970, it was only attended by about 100 fans. It was originally founded to showcase comic books and science fiction/fantasy films and TV shows. The featured guests included a science-fiction book collector and a comic book artist. Since then, Comic-Con has turned into a pop culture mecca across almost all genres, including horror, animation, video games and more. 150,000 people are expected to show-up (would be my personal hell) this year. Is it because there are more comic book fans than ever or because Comic-Con has become the ‘it’ place to be?
There was a time when Comic-Con was thought of to be the place where geeks gather – which, let’s be honest is still true to an extent – but over the years, geek culture has become cool, and all zeitgeisty. I mean the fact that the most popular films over the past decade or so have been superhero films says it all. The kids who were once made fun of for reading comic books aren’t nerds – they’re the ones who know most about current pop culture.
And this particularly reflects at Comic-Con, where it’s become the ‘go-to’ place for celebrities over the past few years. If you want buzz for your TV show or movie, you better go to Comic-Con. All of the major studios get a couple hours to show off their upcoming movies and last year, director Zack Snyder made an unannounced appearance at the Warner Bros. panel to reveal that his Man of Steel sequel would feature Batman. Obviously, since then so much hype has been made about who they would cast as Batman, and even more of a fuss was made when they announced Ben Affleck would become Batfleck.
On the TV side, the cast of Veronica Mars went down to San Diego for a panel in Hall H, the biggest venue with over 6,000 seats. It was the first time the cast and creator Rob Thomas came together in front of the public since they smashed the Kickstarter records, and they debuted the first (mini) trailer for the film. Thanks to technology and social media, people live-blogged, live-tweeted, live-Facebooked etc. the event and the conversation about Veronica Mars reached beyond the 6,000+ people in Hall H – it went all around the world. This is the kind of publicity and buzz entertainment bosses and marketers hope for when they send their casts to Comic-Con, and it’s exactly why the convention has gone beyond traditional comic books (although those folks are definitely prominent throughout the weekend as well).
Like I previously mentioned, Comic-Con is essentially the Coachella of the summer, because it seems like everyone leaves town to go hang out in the desert.
For two weeks in Los Angeles, all you will hear is whether people are going to Coachella or not. It’s literally a mass hipster exodus out of the city, and everyone heads out to the middle of nowhere in Indio, California. For $300 a ticket, you can stand out in the hot desert, drink, do drugs, spot celebs, and wear ridiculous outfits, all while watching the best of indie bands play at various stages. And I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t really not it existed before I moved to LA, or that in general the festival just got more popular, but it is a big deal out here. Like all over your Facebook and Twitter feeds type thing.
I’ve never been, nor do I ever want to, unless it’s free and I would be guaranteed a spot in an air conditioned tent with real bathrooms. I’m making all my assumptions based on photos and videos I’ve seen in the past, but the idea of being that close to sweaty annoying people is my worst nightmare, but I commend the people who can put up with that sort of thing.
And by people, I mean there is definitely a certain type of crowd that goes to Coachella. You have your hardcore hipster types that actually want to see all the bands playing there. Then you have these people:
These people are REAL. Paying $800 for a VIP ticket to see “GOTyah” is absurd, but people do it. But in all fairness, the Coachella lineup reads like a list of names that come up on one of those online band name generators, so you’d have to be pretty legit to know a lot of them. In fact, take this quiz and see if you’re worthy enough to head to Coachella. Unfortunately I got a 0 – “Listens to the Radio”. Well, I guess it’s fate that me and Coachella are never meant to be…