Wednesday, July 21, 2010

COMIC CON 2010: has Comic Con outgrown San Diego?

Comic Con 2010 San Diego is a wonderful Mecca of pop culture (and this trip was made possible by the Kings Inn Hotel). Comic Con is a combination of a toy convention, TV production confab, and comic book writers meetup all in one.

At one stop you can see a giant booth for Fox Television next to Lionsgate, then Mattel's down the path a bit, and Hallmark Cards has the kid-friendly Hoops&Yoyo just over there. Stan Lee's in Room 33 cracking jokes (I was there). The whole array is dizzying and on this "preview" day, already very crowded.

The question on the floor, literally, is "Has Comic Con outgrown San Diego?" Some who raise the question point to the availability of hotels, but a deeper look reveals that some hotels aren't getting business because they're trying to price gouge the visitor. Still, that problem has others raising the question more assertively. Indeed, it seems every media person's asking someone the question.

Can San Diego handle Comic Con? I'm going to leave that question open for discussion, but I will observe that Comic Con's attracting more than the 125,000 people who have badges. Moreover, it could grow to a point that it draws twice that many people, and up to 300,000 people.

Already, and again this is "preview day" the San Diego Convention Center's having a problem with people who are so tired from the miles of walking they do, they just want to sit on the floor. The SDCC's having employees tell them they can't sit down, which isn't what a sweaty walker wants to hear. Would that happen in Los Angeles or Chicago? Just a question.

Several veteran Comic Con-goers have said that San Diego's willing to make adjustments to keep Comic Con, but the convention just may fare better in another city. 'It's like a LeBron James thing," observed one man who comes annually from New Jersey and was thinking of how The Chosen One left his home team the Cleveland Cavaliers for The Miami Heat, "Do you leave San Diego? The city that gave birth to you?"

That's a question that will be on the minds of many comes Thursday, when Comic Con 2010 is expected to burst at the seems of the San Diego Convention Center.

You have to be here to see it. Comic Con's an incredible event.

Stay tuned.

Glassman tops list to face McCain

Tuscon Vice-Mayor Rodney Glassman
Former Tucson Vice Mayor Rodney Glassman, U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona, freshly bouyed by his SEIU endorsement, took command of the 2nd Democratic primary debate today while besting three other Democrats: former State Representative Cathy Eden (his closest competitor in the polls according to Rasmussen,) Randy Parraz, and John Dougherty.

Arizonans are enjoying debates on both sides of the contest, and it seems Glassman has gone a long way to impressing voters that he will be the best candidate to take on presumptive GOP nominee John McCain in the fall.
(J.D. Hayworth trails McCain significantly in most polls.)
"John McCain and I might both love town halls, but the difference is that I would host more in Arizona than I would in New Hampshire."
Rodney Glassman

During a debate earlier today on Yuma's KAWC Radio, Glassman discussed the necessity for securing the border, a hot-button issue in the South-West in general, and Arizona in particular, and outlined national security priorities. Already known as a strong advocate for military veterans, Glassman has also recently announced a plan to ensure high-quality medical services for veterans on the Navajo Nation.

By some reports over 70% of Arizona residents support the recently enacted immigration enforcement law, which has drawn national scrutiny and a series of challenges, and this is sometimes seen as an issue that likely drives more support to GOP candidates.

Glassman also explained how he would go about bringing jobs to Arizona, saying he'll build on this success and continue to campaign on jobs, education and how to finally bring Arizona's concerns -- rather than rigid ideology -- to the U.S. Senate.

"I look forward to talking to the people of Arizona about what they want, and don't want, out of Washington," Glassman said. The lively debates are providing Arizona voters an excellent chance to see the candidates in both parties, and discover where they differ from one another, but it's already shaping up to be a likely Glassman vs. McCain election in November.

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, Democratic Campaign Manager (in Minnesota,) journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

In San Diego for Comic Con - On Comic Con, Shirley Sharrod, Andrew Brietbart

San Diego, CA - After a long morning of flying this blogger's in San Diego for Comic Con 2010, thanks to The Kings Inn Hotel, home of The Waffle King.

There are two topics of note to this space that are trending on Twitter today: Shirley Sharrod and Comic Con. Shirley Sharrod is the former USDA regional director who was stripped of her job after a smear attack by conservative Tea Party attack-blogger Andrew Brietbart. Comic Con is the amazing San Diego-based (but for how long?) convention that brings together Hollywood and animation and science fiction. You know you're in the right place when the airport PA announcer says welcome in a Darth Vader voice! This is Mecca for sci-fi fans.

But first Shirley Sharrod.

Shirley Sharrod is a reluctant hero who, before the NAACP on March 27th 2010, gave a great, long speech on the evolution of race relations and how it impacted her. Andrew Brietbart saw her speech, and so blinded by racism, took it and edited it to make it sounds as if Shirley Sharrod was giving a racist message. If anything, she was giving one that's uplifting and here it is in full:

Andrew Brietbart should be jailed for what he did. Saying he's sorry is bullcrap. Andrew Brietbart gave zero thought to how his smear job would effect Shirley and her family. He is an awful, awful, sad man.

Shirley Sharrod should get her old job back and not some civil rights job. President Obama should make everything as it was before Andrew Brietbart decided to act in a criminal way. Throw him in jail!

Or better yet, send him to Comic Con to be thrown to the gallows and punished in a way he would not forget.

Comic Con: it's great to be here.

I've got to wrap this up because Comic Con press registration is on, I need to take a shower and get down there, and Stan Lee's press event is at 5 PM, and Hallmark's is after 6 PM. It's preview day at Comic Con.

Follow me on Twitter and don't forget to take advantage of the food deals of 15 percent off at the Amigo  Restaurant and 20 percent off at The Waffle King at the hotel just by mentioning my blog, Zennie62!

Stay tuned.