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I Really Hope They Aren’t Charging Exhibitors For Inclusion

Hi. Some stuff has been going on since we at Fleen have been away. Let’s try to ease back into it.

Near as I can tell, San Diego Comic Con has still not, institutionally, recognized what a fiasco the Eisner voting data leak was. My hiatus coincided just about perfectly with the deadline I gave CCI’s Communications & Strategy office to respond on the record, a deadline which was blown, and an office that still has not deigned to reply.

But they are talking plenty about what’s going on for Comic-Con@Home, complete with a schedule of panels. We’ll come up with a (likely very brief) list of what looks most interesting and run that tomorrow, so you can make plans to connect to sessions starting on Wednesday afternoon¹.

There will also be some sort of live virtual exhibit hall running from Wednesday through Sunday, but not many details as to what that means. Here’s the gist:

You’ll find company listings, exclusive products for sale, promotional links, and a whole lot more. The Exhibit Hall will be available for all five days of the convention.

That sounds almost like what I was advocating for back in June:

[I]f you could come up with something that lets an attendee produce a verifiable payment, then talk with a creator for five minutes while watching merch get personalized, you’d have something replicating the experience and providing a value-add for so many people who’ve watched their income tank this year.

Related question: is there a mechanism that provides for con exclusives, something that gives people a chance at their favorite variant stuff but keeping eBay churners from snapping everything up?

That being said, creators I’ve seen who are promising interaction with people during the SDCC dates, including the ability to watch your purchases get personalized, don’t seem to be pointing people towards the SDCC site. Case in point: Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett is doing instant-send Zoom links² if you make purchases during specific hours (1 hour pre-dinner on Wednesday night, 1 hour midday on Thursday and Friday, and four hours in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday; all times PDT).

Jeff Smith is taking pre-orders and scheduling times for visible sketching via Facebook Live, which it looks like anybody can watch. And that’s about it, actually. I haven’t found anybody else replicating the fan interaction experience at a distance, which makes me think that SDCC hasn’t devised and destributed a mechanism, leaving exhibitors to work it out themselves.

In non-quasievent news:

  • Achewood has gone full academic: please enjoy a video conference presentation on Achewood and views on masculinity by Ken Alba of Boston University. It’s an intriguing, well-supported thesis, and apart from the abstract’s characterization of xkcd³, there’s pretty much nothing to disagree with here.
  • Oglaf, book 3. The strip keeps getting funnier and ruder from week to week, and your order at Tier 4 and up will contain many stickers and multiple KS-exclusive Sithrak tracts because Stretch Goals. I love the (previous editions here) and when I win the lottery I’m going to buy a few zillion of those and leave them in the bathrooms of every highway rest stop I can find.

Spam of the day:

Strangest Japanese “sex” practice

Oh spammers, how I missed you.

No, wait, the complete opposite of that. And may I say, those scare quotes are doing a lot of work.

¹ Presumably, San Diego time, which is GMT-7.

² Watch the video if you want to see LArDK’s adorable weiner dog, Ollie, doing adorable things.

³ In which Achewood is contrasted with, quote, XKCD, Penny Arcade, and the other ‘manly’ webcomics of the aughts, which just confused the hell out of me. That description is Just Sick as Hell in a way that not even a 3-cell D Maglite can compensate for.

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