Autographed copy of the Comic-Con International 2001 Souvenir Book. Art and characters by Jeff Smith.
It used to be you could essentially not plan for Comic-Con and just go if the mood struck you. This was true just a few years ago. Those days are gone.
- Tom Spurgeon
I was for a short period a regular attendee of Comic-Con International - when it was still possible to show-up without pre-registering or even booking a hotel. In fact I've only pre-registered just once for any comics related event in the United States. I'm one of those who utter "San Diego" and "Comic-Con" in the same breadth. Back then, I thought that Comic-Con was positively humongous. The crowd was already straining against the walls of San Diego's convention center. Hollywood was making an even bigger imprint on the event's identity. Comics was becoming mainstream. And manga was fast developing into a seemingly unstoppable force. But for me, Comic-Con wasn't just an excuse to skip work and geek out, it became something of an annual celebration, of a more personal nature.
Things have changed a lot since I was last there. Circumstances prevent me from attending Comic-Con for the forseeable future. And I don't stress about it. But if Comic-Con's organizers decide to leave San Diego, part of me will sorely regret not going by 2012.