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Is Comic-Con really Hollywood-con?

The LA Times writes how “Hollywood-ized” the San Diego Comic-Con has become.

They didn’t care how acclaimed the director, how bright the star, if you didn’t measure up to their very high bar, they would flay you. When the Hollywood power brokers started showing up in the ’90s, the hardcore fans who had been making the trek since the ’70s and ’80s, when Comic-Con was little more than boys with their boxes of comics to trade, were unimpressed, unintimidated.

As a result, it was the one place to find truth-tellers who would shout their likes and dislikes loud, long and on the record. Cast Halle Berry as “Catwoman” in the wake of her Oscar win for “Monsters Ball” and the screams would become howls that sent chills down the studio spine, as The Times’ own super geek, Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher, found in his analysis of the Comic-Con effect in 2005. The film and its star went on to pile up a ton of Razzies (the annual award for the worst this and that).

With the power of the fanboys finally registering ? they could make or break a film ? in typical fashion, there were those who wanted to harness that power. In the kingdom of the geek, no longer would sending a trailer suffice, as Tim Burton was able to do with “Batman.” The actors, directors, producers and marketers were expected to show up in person to kiss the ring. And before you could say, “Ching, ching,” the convention had blown up into a giant focus group, featured in real time on the Internet.

Community Comments

#1 Rick Schmitz
July/21/2010
@ 12:20 am

As usual, the newspapers are about 7 years behind this painfully obvious story.

#2 jhorsley3
July/22/2010
@ 1:14 pm

I agree with Rick, this is not news. This wasn’t even news 5 years and publishing something like this today comes across a lazy. Reverse this article around and talk about the effect on a true comic con goer of the olden days (like my dad) and how they feel about this new fangled comic-con then THAT might be something new.

#3 Stephen Beals
July/22/2010
@ 3:06 pm

I think you will find that there are a lot of subjects that get repeated yearly in the news, and it’s not just in newspapers. Sports are especially good at recycling the same debates over and over.

I don’ t think that’s a bad thing. Talk about comics. Talk about fans. Talk about other cons. A lot of people could become interested for the first time.

#4 Gerry Mooney
July/23/2010
@ 12:30 pm

the media are constitutionally unable to discuss something like Comic-Con without looking down their noses at it. Heck, they treat all the arts pretty much the same way. Galleries, gallery art, museums, when they’re mentioned at all, are treated reactively, as in, “Look at that! Can you believe THAT’S art?” followed by an implied eye-roll.

So, nothing new here, folks.

#5 JW Wills
July/26/2010
@ 2:07 am

As usual, the LA Times misses the mark by a mile. Sadly, they are so out of touch with reality on so many levels. Heck, just one look at their comics’ pages will prove that point.

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