This weekend David and I watched the documentary Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope and it was really good. It gave an interesting look at the various types of people who come to comic con. As well as interviews with various creators who love San Diego Comic Con and some of whom have gone every year since they started. In the end they followed six individuals stories of going to comic con. They had a couple of people trying to break into the comic industry, a comic book seller, a costume designer, a couple who met at comic con, and a collector. These are all people who come to the San Diego comic con for different reasons and shows a different part of what the con has been about and is about.
Something that I had never related to San Diego Comic Con was that it is a great place to network and get a foot into the industry. They actually had two guys coming with their portfolios in hand wanted to talk to other comic book artists on the floor to get some feedback. Then there is a whole portfolio review session where you can meet with people from various comic book companies and review your portfolio to potentially get a job. It is an amazing opportunity for people looking to break in to the industry and at the same time there are a lot of people who are at these events. It was a very different side to the con then I had even heard about before.
The other piece was that a costume designer hoping to be seen put together costumes for the masquerade portion of the con. You see people who wear costumes to a con all the time, but apparently some of them are actually working towards being costume designers, which makes sense. She did a fantastic job at making a Mass Effect skit with costumes for the masquerade. They did a fully animatronic head for Grunt with mouth and eyebrow movements that worked amazingly. It was really incredible to see what they put together in a garage.
Now obviously one of the other pieces is that you came to San Diego Comic Con to sell your wears. The documentary specifically looks at the owner of Mile High Comics from Denver, Colorado, someone who has been coming to the con for over 30 years. Now there have obviously been some major changes in the time that he has been selling comics at the con. For one thing comics are not the only thing or even the biggest thing at the con anymore, which has definitely had an effect on business for comic book sellers. It is interesting hearing a comic book seller talking about how to do business in an age of electronic devices and going to a con that is not exactly what it started out to be.
Now obviously you cannot show information about San Diego Comic Con without discussing people who are just fans of the various franchises on display. One of the people was actually a collector, specifically of rare or exclusive toys. His was one of the shortest stories, but it was incredible to see hime and some other people at the con obsessive about getting a specific toy that was probably a con exclusive. It is not just about being there, but being able to take a piece of it home with you.
The other fans are just the standard fans who love comic con and find the con gives them a mutually shared experience. The two that the focused on was actually a couple who met at comic con the year before and were now at the con together. In some ways this is the epitome of being able to come together under shared interests because it is the place where you do not have to hide. In the documentary we got to hear a couple of other stories about people meeting during the con, so it is obviously something that happens.
Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope really gave an insight into a different side of comic con and showed the joy that the people have going to the con. It also showed the crowds and lines that are at the con, which I do not know how much I would enjoy, but might be intriguing to see from an outside perspective. I have to say the stories were interesting and listening to people who have been to the con multiple times was really interesting to listen to. It seems that a lot of the people who have gone once just keep going and there are a lot of reasons that someone might go to the con, which this documentary shows.