Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In which I am disillusioned by Comiccon

The kid and I went to Montreal Comiccon the other week. I'd never been to a comiccon. In past years I've been in the area of the convention and was hugely entertained by the cosplay. Looked like fun.

And when we discovered Matt Smith would be there this year, it was decided. We had to go. Geronimo!

We bought tickets. It turns out that "The Hour of the Doctor" featuring Matt Smith was being treated as a separate event. So we bought tickets for that too.

Then I figured out how the rest of it worked: Book a timeslot to have your picture taken with Matt Smith, $110. Want an autograph? That's another $110. (I believe Smith commanded the highest price among the attending celebrities. Patrick Stewart, a mere $80.)

Sorry, kid. No upclose photos for us. We'd have to settle for hoping to be able to snap something candid.

But we reviewed the schedule and got excited. We'd make a day of it: start off with some Walking Dead cast members, treat ourselves to a nice lunch, wander around, see what there is to see, before settling in to be regaled by the Doctor's charm and wit.

And then the day was upon us.

Walking Dead event: cancelled.

But there was a lot to see. Comic book stores, more comic book stores, poster shops, costume shops, artists selling their comic or comic-inspired wares. Kiosks selling swords and chainmail. And a recruitment booth for the army reserves (really!). And more comic book stores.

Mostly, I'm kind of galled that we paid admission for the privilege of buying stuff. Most arts and crafts fairs don't even do that anymore — event organizers these days tend to waive admission fees and pass the costs of leases and rentals etc. onto the exhibitors.

Food onsite was also incredibly limited: $7 for a slice of pizza. With the anticipated turnout, I'd've thought more options than this would be made available.

I should have known, of course, that it's all about money.

To cap off the day, Matt Smith: cancelled.

And there were tears. He's her ultimate Doctor, after all. (To the point that she refuses to watch Capaldi — "he's sssoo ooolllld.")

Yes, our tickets for the special event are being refunded, but I can't help but wonder, in general, where all the money goes. Does it really go into the celebrities' pockets? I thought comiccon was all about the fans. Does it add value for a fan if the fan pays $100 for some artifact? Does it add value to fans knowing the celebrities aren't doing it for the fans, or for the love of the character, but for cold hard cash, that they're being paid off to perpetuate the myth of a given franchise? Of course it's about the franchise, and the franchise is about the money.

But it wasn't all bad. We had a great time just people-watching and identifying characters (there were Timelords!). Also, watching people try to raise Thor's hammer over their shoulders — "106 pounds of pure steel"!

And we did finally get to board the TARDIS. But this is the way to do it: The Doctor Who Society of Canada sponsored the props, and they'd take your picture for you for a donation (any donation) to the Montreal Children's Hospital. That's something I can get behind.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Too bad it didn't end up being as much fun as you had hoped. I've always thought going to the San Diego comicon would be fun, it's huge and my parents live there so I'd have a place to stay. But the crowds and the cost of tickets can get ridiculous and then there is all the standing in lines. If I ever go I think it will be mainly for the people watching factor. But at least you got your photo taken in the TARDIS! :)