Monday, July 27, 2009

Comic Pros and Comic-Cons

Robert here. If you're like me and regularly scour the web for movie news you've no doubt noticed that it's Comic-Con time of year. What's Comic-Con? It's a convention celebrating comics, fantasy, sci-fi, and other facets of geekdom. It's also an opportunity for elusive comic-loving women to wear skimpy outfits that seem far less gender reductive than the misogyny-laden ogle fest that Halloween-time has turned into. But I digress.

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?


Tack Sverige said...

I'm surprisingly uncaring towards Comic Con. I love a good sci-fi film but some of the übergeeks turn me off. And I don't mean the ones that love quality-fare, but the ones that shout "THIS IS GONNA BE SOOOOOOOO AWESOME" at a New Moon trailer. It's the lack of brains in that kind of fans that I find disturbing...

Andrew K. said...

Tack you hit the nail on the head so to speak.It is the rabid fans that I find disturbing and make this genre so weird for me.

Jim T said...

Well, I'm not sure I agree with the question "do you care?". I mean, I care about some of the films and about people like Jackson and Cameron talking about stuff but I didn't see any of the footage so I don't really think there is something to care about since I wasn't there.

Daniel Armour said...

Comic Con is something I'm very much interested in going to one day, so I would definitely say I care but I can see why it would turn off some people. Nevertheless, I don't think it's completely evil (everybody has to make a buck) and it seems like a fun way for people to share their love of genre material (Box office or not, it's not an easy thing to do in public because you'll always get the geek label).


the biggest reasons Comic-Con got so little coverage here are three

1. I'm not convinced my readers care. I've tried to cover the smaller NY version a couple of times and the response was muted.

2. i wasn't there and who can compete with all the 75+ posts salivating on what might happen there (prior to the Con) followed by the 50+ posts on what actually happens there and then the 10+ posts on looking-back-on-what-happened-there going on at the other sites.

3. I find myself caring less and less about "exclusive" or "first looks at" or "sneak previews" or whatever because invariably they're online the next day or sometimes the same day. I don't see any real exclusivity with movie stuff because the studios want their stuff to spread like wildfire.

Simone said...

I could really care less about Comic Con. Although I am a sci-fi/fantasy/superhero fan, I know I would not fit in well or feel comfortable amongst the hordes of people/geeks at CC.

I'm embarrassed by the whole geeky event, just look at the costumes these grown people wear. And although I'm not a Megan Fox fan, I watched clips and read about the Jonah Hex panel (mostly for Fassbender) and was embarrassed that Megan was fawned over by those creepy guys, and most of them did not know who Michael Fassbender was.

Comic Con is only going to get bigger and because of the attention, more crazier nerds will be attending. CC is like a car crash, I'll look at it with amazement and disgust, but stay far away from it.