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Quietly Impressed

I may have vented in the somewhat recent past about how NYCC has decided I no longer serve their purposes; a year ago I was venting about how SDCC couldn’t get their act together to either grant or deny me press access. This is a cyclical process, as there have been years that each show has been really smooth and painless to interact with, and years when it’s nigh-impossible to tell what the hell is going on. Typically, they stand in opposition to each other, so I really should have expected rejection from NYCC because SDCC has been pretty painless this year.

Case in point: I got the customary receipt for my registration from SDCC via email back in April; as in prior years, I expected to print it out, line up with a lot of people early on Preview Day, get the barcode scanned, and then get my badge. It usually takes 10-20 minutes. This year, I found an email on Monday morning that said to expect my badge in the mail (no more lining up!) in 3-5 days.

Later on Monday, it was in my mailbox. I can line up for a lanyard, a program book, tote bag, and the rest at my leisure. The rest is done, and I appreciate the time that will not be spent in line.

Interestingly, this is a more complex badge than in past years — SDCC has taken a cue from NYCC and gone to an RFID-enabled hard badge that needs to be tapped on entry and exit. But that’s only good for building access — to provide at-a-glance determination of when/where you’re allowed, there’s a printed paper frame with category coding (PRESS), validity coding (P1234 = Preview Night, Days 1, 2, 3, and 4), and what I assume is color-coding (light blue for me, presumably other for paid, pros, exhibitors, VIPs, etc)¹.

The frame sits behind the RFID badge in the plastic holder with its text peeking around the perimeter, and contains some additional barcodes/QR codes on the back. If this doesn’t prevent counterfeiting, they’ll have to escalate to DNA testing and even then I bet some enterprising crook would find a novel use of CRISPR.

Since it appears nothing barring travel fiasco can keep me from the show, we’ll get to our traditional markup of the floor map in the next couple of days, and discuss programming when the event schedule is released in about two weeks.

Spam of the day:

Be in the biggest truck on the road.

Dude, I’m already qualified to drive a multiton ambulance with lights and sirens. Appealing to my sense of insecurity ain’t going to work.

¹ Now I just have to remember to bring the damn thing with me and hope that the airport scanner doesn’t fry the RFID tag.

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