Concentrate: This Week in Con News (Friday, February 20) [Update]

Welcome back to our weekly news feature where we boil down the week’s news from the convention circuit plus share our calendar of the weekend’s upcoming conventions.

We’re cheating with this top story this week, because it’s not a geek event – but considering San Diego Comic-Con open registration is this weekend, we think the timing on this couldn’t be better. Burning Man tickets went on sale this week – what relevance does this have to Comic-Con? Following the Burning Man ticket saga makes for an interesting case study: like Comic-Con, the demand for Burning Man tickets has far surpassed the supply, so in 2012 they switched to a lottery system. It apparently didn’t work, because they’re now back to ye olde first-come, first-serve – and, well, that didn’t work out too well this week either.

A 20+ mile backup just waiting to get into Burning Man. And you thought convention center parking was bad. By Alxndr on Flickr.

A 20+ mile backup just waiting to get into Burning Man. And you thought convention center parking was bad. By Alxndr on Flickr.

As many Burners failed to get tickets to their annual summer pilgrimage (sound familiar?), complaints about the ticket vendor being either unprepared (servers crashing left and right) or in cahoots with scalpers (tickets available on StubHub almost immediately) were loud and plentiful. However, Burning Man has been more transparent about their system and their numbers, going so far as to revoke the tickets of anyone who purchased using a “technical backdoor.”

These are two very different events with a very similar problem taking two very different approaches to solving it. It’s too early to tell which system is better – perhaps they’re equally flawed. But it will be interesting to compare the two as they go on.

  • Updated: Students hoping to get into San Diego Comic-Con this summer might want to look into this summer study program through Wittenberg University. You don’t have to be enrolled at Wittenberg, but you do have to be a college student and demonstrate your academic study of the popular arts in your application – the program includes giving a presentation as part of the Comics Art Conference.
  • Collectors: Toy Fair was this week in New York, meaning we’ve got our first look at what will be the biggest items of the upcoming convention season. Comics Alliance has some great breakdowns of the offerings from Hasbro, Funko, and Lego, among others. Meanwhile, Blastr takes a look at the upcoming Star Wars toys.
  • Expect Star Wars Rebels cosplayers at all future cons to have really accurate costumes: the show has actually released Pantone color guides to some of the costumes. That’s an impressive level of respect for the fans.
  • The Mary Sue goes inside the greatest Mardi Gras krewe of all time: Chewbacchus. Yes, that’s a Mardi Gras parade dedicated to all things geek, and they throw Wookie bandoliers instead of beads. They’re even registered as a religious entity. We want to go to there.
  • Tumblr fans of Ms. Marvel hosted a virtual convention earlier this month dubbed Kamalacon, which Comic Book Resources described as including “cosplay photos, selfies with their collections, Kamala-themed playlists, and fanart that ranged from sketchbook drawings to animated GIFs to cookies and Funko sculptures.”
  • Nicholas Brendan (Buffy‘s Xander) has a history of bad behavior at conventions, brought on by his very serious struggle with alcoholism. It happened last year at Tree City Comic Con, and last weekend it happened again, with Brendan trashing his hosts at Shock Pop Comicon in Fort Lauderdale and then trashing the hotel room they paid for, before attempting to run out on the bill.
  • Comic retailers are in the middle of their own tradeshow-type get together this week, at the annual ComicsPRO membership meeting – although we wish the tradeshows we’ve been to had Dark Horse swag like this. Photo from Bleeding Cool, who also have coverage of the membership meeting.


Check back soon for our tips on SDCC open registration, and follow us on Twitter for all the Saturday morning action!

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What’s Happening This Week (Wednesday, February 18 – Tuesday, February 24)

Organizers: hosting a con soon? Fans: want to help get the word out about your favorite event? Contact us to have it added to the calendar.

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