Its Comic Con time?

Note: this is a purely editorial article based upon perceptions of this year’s San Diego Comic Con.

At the writing of this article, we are less than 20 days away from the biggest pop culture convention of the year. I’m referring to San Diego Comic Con, the event that has become the epicenter for all things pop culture. However, this year I don’t seem to be as excited as in years past; and I’ll attempt to explain why.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you should be aware that last year’s convention was impacted greatly by the Screen Actors Guild strike authorization. This historic strike was the first of its kind in nearly 40 years and put the entire film industry at a standstill. The strike centered around various topics of which included generative AI and fair wages to members. It was the generative AI issue that remained in the forefront of everyone’s mind. It was the fact that artificial intelligence does not create content and it only steals or learns from what it is given. A computer cannot create content without that knowledge and that was the protection that was asked for within the strike.

The historic strike would conclude in November of 2023 leaving many people still without any hope for the future of the industry. In fact, much the AI protections sought were not given in the final contract with the AMPTP. This would lead many to speculate why they sacrificed so much when given so little.

Due to the timing of the strike authorization, San Diego Comic Con was hit the hardest.  The strike authorization did not permit actors, or anyone in the union, to participate in any activity promoting a studio. However, a revision to the strike authorization from committee member Michelle Hurd (Star Trek: Picard) permitted union members to attend conventions and sign autographs as long as the union member did not provide such items or talk about a covered property. This would be the main reason we saw an empty Hall H that is usually filled to capacity during Comic Con.

Now with the 2024 convention just a couple of weeks away it is really hard for me to get excited for something that just don’t see having a lot of variety. Sure, there will be plenty of things to see in the exhibit hall but how much participation will we receive from the various studios? Last year every one of them seemed to pull out of the convention. The exception came from Paramount+ who were quite eager to showcase their properties and hats off to them for doing that. I have not seen many announcements for this year’s convention apart from Paramount and Funko, with the latter doing their annual party. There have been grumblings amongst the fan community that IGN will return with their annual party but that’s really just a rumor at this point.

What we do know about Comic Con is that there will be a plethora of panels hosted by the fan community including those in the industry. I get excited when I see the variety of content that is available because it shows me that people are still interested in this show even though there may not be a celebrity portion. Believe me when I say I want to be excited about this convention. I have been attending San Diego Comic Con since 2010 and I’m hoping for many more years to be able to enjoy the show. We have just had some bad years since the pandemic, and it seems like Comic Con needs a home run at this point.

I don’t want to leave this editorial with complete doom and gloom. Some of my best experiences of Comic Con have been in the presence of fans and friends that I have met along the way. This show is always about what you make of it not about what is there and that has been my philosophy. Hopefully, you’ll be able to adopt a similar mindset and go in the show cautiously optimistic. For those of us who attended right after the pandemic we saw a very odd convention and now it’s time for us to get our show back.

Written By

Justin Toney
Justin Toneyhttps://www.fandomappearances.com
Justin is the Managing Editor for FandomAppearances.com and the Host of the YouTube Channel "The Weekend Geeks"
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