Comic-Con has already turned itself into a huge machine. And yet each year as it gets bigger I find myself caring less. I assume this is because of my tree hugging, corporate hating, hippie tendencies. But perhaps something else. After all, pretty much every Comic-Con feature this past week, including Avatar footage, Alice In Wonderland features and an Iron Man 2 panel seems like the sort of thing I'd be up for. So why don't I care? Comic-Con has gotten very little coverage here at The Film Experience so I assume some of you are with me.
Perhaps what's really being signaled by the growth of Comic-Con is that strange often unholy marriage between popular culture and geek culture. It's a marriage of convenience to be sure. Hollywood gets great publicity and the geeks get a whole convention (okay, one of many) dedicated to their salivations. Big studios want to appeal to this rabid fan base but also reach a larger audience. And yet, when it comes to blockbusters the rabid fan base is the larger audience no? Aren't the over-aggressive bullies who make fun of those buried in Batman comics in middle-school the same people who turned The Dark Knight into a box office phenomenon and now over-aggressively defend themselves when I suggest it's not the greatest movie ever (oh god, let's not open up that wound again.)
Four of the top five grossing films this year are sci-fi or fantasy. Last year it was all five. The year before that it was all five. The year before that... you understand. It's not surprising that Comic-Con has become big commercial (thought I suppose what is any convention if not a commercial?) I still wonder, who is the target audience? Considering we're talking about the most financially successful genre of the past 20 years, it's everyone. Comic fans, movie fans, movie and comic fans. Great! Then why do so few of us care?
Or am I wrong? Do you care?