That's what I might have to start referring to it as now. It's no longer about the "geek" (comics, manga, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, traditional gaming, etc.) but about movie stars and big studios pandering their product to the masses.
Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of "geek" to satisfy anyone. But even the change from 2007 to 2010 has been noticeable. I couldn't get half way across an exhibit row without running into an endless line for autographs from the stars of USA Network's Psych and Burn Notice, and not to mention the hoard of fanboys and fangirls that invaded Hall B for the Harry Potter panel. It was literally a solid mass of humanity blocking the entire hallway.
So while I'm trying to make my way to Room 6F for "Cartoon Dump - Worst Cartoons Ever", I can't help but notice all of the other stuff going on that has nothing to do with "geek". Last year Twilight and Lost fans invaded. This year it was all fans of True Blood and Dexter.
Talking with some of the artists and illustrators in the Small Press booths and Artist Alley, I heard mixed reactions. Some like the increased traffic, because they see it as an opportunity to broaden their audience. Others don't like being pushed off to the far ends of the exhibit halls, almost as afterthoughts.
Personally, I'm indifferent. I find what I like at Comic Con, no matter what else is there or who else is there. I can't say I'm a huge fan of hallway-clogging hordes of fangirls trying to get Brad Pitt's autograph, but at the same time I can see how expanding things can be beneficial both to the small press exhibitors and freelance illustrators and to the bigger studios and retailers.
I'd hate for the convention to leave San Diego, though. If they moved to Los Angeles I'd have to wear a gas mask while outside, and if they moved to Las Vegas I'd have to be scraped off the pavement with a spatula after melting from the 100+ degree heat.
More on the convention later.
Stay classy, folks.