I love San Diego Comic Con, but every time I go I face a dilemma of first world proportions. I call it the Hall H conundrum. For the uninitiated, Hall H is the largest hall at the San Diego convention center. It fits thousands of people. It’s the place where the longest line at the Con ends up. Why do people flock to it? Because it’s where the biggest movies and television shows are pedaled to the public. For example, it’s where they announced the “Avengers” movie and where the first footage of “The Hobbit” was shown.
So what’s the dilemma? If you want to see a Hall H panel you pretty much have to stay in the room the entire day. For example, if I want to see the Marvel panel that starts at 6:00 pm I have to get in line at 4:00 am and sit through all the other panels until the Marvel one starts. Now the earlier panels are usually pretty good and worth the time, but it prevents me from getting to see any of the smaller panels happening in other places at the convention center. No Disney Afternoon panel. No Bryan Fuller panel. No Nerd HQ panels.
The Hall H panels typically show exclusive film footage, which is not seen anywhere else and rarely makes it to YouTube (understandably). So it’s pretty cool to come home and tell your geeky friends that you’ve seen footage of Pacific Rim and it looks crazy good. It’s also the place where the biggest celebrities visit. Your Robert Downey Jr.’s and your Will Ferrells. Plus, you’re most likely to get swag in Hall H. So it’s pretty cool and full of amazing energy. But some of my friends like to point out that eventually I’ll see the movie anyway.
“Why waste your time in Hall H when you can see cool smaller panels that won’t ever be replicated?”
It’s a good point. And the majority of these panels will end up on YouTube, sans the exclusive clips. Meanwhile there’s no guarantee that the smaller panels will end up as a podcast or online video. It does happen. I watched the Disney Afternoon panel on YouTube this past year. But it’s more likely not to. Logically speaking I should attend the smaller panels and be content with seeing the exclusive footage when the trailer or movie comes out. But each year I find myself in Hall H. Each year I end up in a never-ending line, making new geeky friends, as we wait to see Stephen Moffatt introduce the new Doctor.
So tell me. What do you do? What would you do? Do I have a sickness or am I perfectly sane? Does anybody else lose sleep contemplating his or her choices?