D23 v. ComicCon
Had a good time at the D23 Expo up in Anaheim over the weekend. If it was my only convention-type event over the summer I would have said great, but following in the heals of The Con, aka San Diego ComicCon, I had to accept that it pales in the comparison. It suffered the fate of an event that couldn’t live up to its media hype.
It is what it is: a fan event for a single entertainment conglomerate. It lacks the diversity of thought and has none of the small press and independent artist exploration opportunities of ComicCon, and was in a relatively sterile corporate neighborhood.
That last part was probably my biggest hang-up. Over the years I’ve been repeatedly told that this is one of the events that makes Anaheim a contender to take ComicCon from San Diego. ROTFLMAO. It has parking – gotta give it that. They need it because their local public transit was clearly not up to the task (looking specifically at you, Anaheim Resort Transit). But that part of Anaheim lacks the flavors and diversity of dining in San Diego’s Gas Lamp, and if D23 was an example of what Anaheim would do to support a Con like San Diego’s ComicCon, the answer appears to be nothing. No restaurant tie ins. No off-site events. Not that you want to go outside because access to the building was limited to a few select (and understaffed) doors, resulting in excessive waits every time you needed to enter or re-enter the Anaheim Convention Center building itself.
But once I accepted the differences, it was a good time. The tie-ins for Star Wars Battlefront (the new game) and Alice Through the Looking Glass were first-rate. The panels we were able to attend, and particularly the retrospective on Disney’s Silly Symphonies hosted by Leonard Maltin and accompanied by a live 32-piece orchestra, were great.
One last rant though to certain vendors, and you know who you are: if you sold something at ComicCon as a ComicCon exclusive, don’t just put them on the shelf again for D23 (or any fan event for that matter). At least have the class to cover up the “Exclusive” label.