OTW Fannews: Cons, Cons, Cons

Banner by Robyn with the post title over a blurred photos of fans at a convention

  • As many cons are opening their doors this month, SDCC continues to draw a lot of media attention. Vox wrote about its evolution. “Please understand: I don’t think anyone is wrong to love Hall H…But when the only pursuit our films have is awesomeness, and humanity is leeched out of so many of them, it’s not hard to look at all of the marketing here and wonder whether it’s time to stop asking for the 90th iteration of the same old thing and, instead, hope for something new…There’s a beauty and purity to the expression of love that is fandom, but Hollywood has figured out a little too well how to channel that in events like Comic-Con. We are invited, over and over again, to keep paying homage at the same temples, to the same gods. We celebrate, and we celebrate, and we celebrate, but we forget all too often to create.”
  • Early fanzine publisher Maggie Thompson spoke about cons and comics. “You get people who just huff and huff, but there are more comics dealers today, certainly, than there were in 1976! And the people putting on the convention have always made an effort to promote the comic books that are part of that outreach. At the Eisner Awards, I heard people commenting bitterly, ‘Ooh, they’ve got all these celebrities, the comics people aren’t good enough.’ And I’m going, you know what? These guys are fans too! Samuel L. Jackson’s a comic book fan. Jonathan Ross is a London celebrity host of a talk show, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a fan. And it’s one of the things that I love, because it’s the common love that brings us all together. ”
  • NPR’s Monkey See blog discussed SDCC and anxiety. “And the first thing I learned — confirmed for myself, really — is that Comic-Con is much, much less weird than a lot of people who don’t attend it make it out to be. I encountered so many contemptuous tweets about it in absentia, so many assumptions that this was, at best, some kind of Weirdo Dude Ranch where, for once, freaks have the opportunity to be among their own. And I’m not saying there’s none of that, particularly if among freaks and weirdos you count those who would wryly attach that label to themselves. It is, quite clearly, a haven. But I dare you to watch and conclude that the extreme football fan tailgaters profiled therein — who tend to be tagged as extreme in their enthusiasms but not socially derided — are less weird than the people of Comic-Con.”
  • The L.A. Times saw MTV’s fandom awards at SDCC as the next step in marketing. “Despite all of its efforts, it’s unclear whether Hollywood will ever figure out how to harness fan enthusiasm — be it through social media, Comic-Con, or any other avenues — in a way that consistently translates into profits. ‘Veronica Mars’ fans may have brought the long-canceled show to the big screen with their Kickstarter donations, but, despite all the talk of the revolutionary power of crowd-funding, the movie ultimately proved a box office dud, grossing just over $3 million. As former Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart wrote last week on Deadline.com, ‘One studio chief told me recently that all social marketing represents is a road map for spending less money while still failing to find an audience.'”

What are your favorite cons? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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