This year San Diego Comic-Con International began planning early to remedy multiple day registration errors last year and an all-day Saturday of waiting and uncertainty. The first step was allowing registration at Comic-Con in person last July. A well-thought out new EPIC registration process resulted in a big success today for those not buying tickets in person last year, although SDCC has one more technical link issue to fix for next year to make registration a completely smooth process. For most, showing up online at 8 a.m. Pacific resulted in the desired tickets. Entry to the online “waiting room” was still available at 8:40 a.m. although the 4-day passes were sold-out by then. Many fans had tickets purchased within 20 minutes–a big difference from 5 or more hours of waiting last year.
SDCC started this year by requiring interested participants to sign-up for a Member ID. This was available for several months and announced at last year’s Comic-Con. The ability to get a Member ID ended in February, so those who wanted to buy badges had plenty of time to get the Member ID but if they didn’t then they were not allowed to attempt to register today. SDCC included both a video and a 4-page step-by-step guide to ensure smooth registration. Individuals with Member IDs received emails earlier this week about this Saturday’s morning registration. Access began with an online waiting room and a number showing the registrant’s order in line which ticked downward very quickly, refreshing every 120 seconds.
Some people reported link issues from the email, but several websites identified a fix that involved merely re-typing the link in the browser which fixed the problem.
This year is expected to again house more than 130,000 comic book, genre, film, TV, and video game fans for the annual four-day pilgramage to San Diego in July. Featured comic book names this year include Sergio Aragones, Klaus Janson, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire, Marc Silvestri, J. Michael Straczynski, Herb Trimpe, and Mark Waid.
With big studios gearing up the marketing for Star Trek XII, Man of Steel and The Hobbit, and The Dark Knight Rises premiering the week after Comic-Con, fans can also expect some surprises and possible appearances on behalf of these films this year. And it’s no time like the present to start your write-in campaign to try to get The Hobbit and Star Trek XII star Benedict Cumberbatch to make his first big Comic-Con appearance!