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Plowing Ahead With The Planned Topic For Today, Despite More Prominent News

It’s shameful to admit it, but I never read any Terry Pratchett. I know, I know — I’m a terrible nerd, but I’m afraid I have nothing to say on the man and his work¹ that would be meaningful in any way.

San Diego Comic Con remains — for good or ill — the premiere big show in the country. Much has been written about how each year it becomes less friendly to the average fan (as opposed to members of industry talking to other members of industry) and/or less focused on comics. Many creators will talk about the challenges they endure trying to keep SDCC as a profit center rather than an expense. If you’re there on somebody else’s expense account or primarily interested in networking/socializing it remains much as it ever was, but for the small creator or average attendee, the sheer size and scope (one might say success) of San Diego make it trickier to cope with each year.

And yesterday it got a little trickier. Assuming you got ticketed (passes all but sell out a year in advance) and find accommodation (the hotel lottery system remains Byzantine and fraught with hopes and dashed hopes), you could at least pre-purchase parking to assure that you wouldn’t be hoofing across half of San Diego to get to the convention center. Could, that is, until, oh, now-ish:

This year, according to Ace [Parking] to “provide the best experience possible and take the pain and pressure out of the process”, they’re moving to a lottery based system.

In order to be register, all you need to do is send an e-mail to (one entry per e-mail address) between now and April 12. After that, a random drawing will be done to select the winners, who will then be e-mailed by April 15 with “details on how to purchase your permit at the location you were drawn for”. If you are chosen, you are guaranteed a spot. If you are chosen and choose not to purchase a permit, it will be forfeited.

Got that? If you were planning on pre-purchasing parking, you have to get your email out and hope you get the chance to buy at a facility that will be chosen for you, meaning that you may not get one that bears any relation to your hotel’s location or other physical needs. Lower-demand lots will now become more competitive, and I foresee an active after-market in trades (Hilton Garage here! I’ll trade for Horton Plaza!) unless Ace has contrived a way to disallow that. It’s not that parking (or even convenient parking) is a right for convention-goers, but it becomes one more item that’s left up to chance, meaning that it’s difficult to plan an end-to-end travel experience.

Speaking of which, I asked this on Twitter but now I’m asking here — did anybody in the comics press that’s required to submit for re-verification this year — you have to requalify for SDCC press badges every other year — get a response yet? I sent in my materials well in advance of the 12 December 2014 deadline (and have an automated reply from the same day), and was told to expect a response in six weeks. Following the directions, I sent a followup email to the address provided asking if I’d gotten in or not at the end of January, and again at the end of February. Each time I’ve gotten a duplicate of the original acknowledgement email (from November!) and still have no clue if I’ll be allowed past the doors.

It’s basically impossible to plan out flights or hotel, and I have no idea if I’ll be attending this year or not. I’ve been credentialed every year since 2006 and would hate to break the streak, but the decision appears to not be mine. Since nobody’s answering the press registration email, I figure asking in public like this can’t make things any worse.

Notspam of the day:

brb, gonna see if has been claimed yet …

This comment was too good to not share, and I sincerely hope that every single idiotic TLD has somebody willing to pony up (ha ha — horses, amiright?) twenty bucks to register a Walmart name and cause them a little annoyance.!!!!!! And please, please, please:!

¹ His solo work, I should say; based on Good Omens, I suspect I’ll like Pratchett’s writing very much.

I am quite bemused that you could read Good Omens and not go on to consume the Discworld books at the very least. Hail and farewell, maestro Pratchett.

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