Cartoonist Scott Kurtz posted an interesting critique about the recent Dallas Comic Con. The convention was held at the Richardson Civic Center, packed to capacity-- most to see film stars Sean Astin, Tom Jane, and Patricia Arquette. Typically, the media guests gain more attention than the comic book guests (Steve Niles and Raven Gregory, among others). The hope is that one market would benefit, and not eclipse, the other. However, the issue Kurtz brings up has been echoed by others. At what point does the "comic book" convention become a "pop culture" convention, or as Kurtz suggested a "media-con" or "photo-op con".
Kurtz posted these comments on the Dallas Comic Con forums, which were then taken down. However, Hero Realm posted Kurtz' critique on their own forum. It's also being discussed on the Fanboy Radio forum.
All the major conventions are placing more and more emphasis on the film industry. 100,000 people attended the San Diego Con. Does this have a direct effect on comic book sales? If 100,000 people attend a comic book convention, why do only the best-selling titles solicite those type of numbers? To be fair, comic book conventions have always featured a mix of pop culture, sci-fi, and gaming industries.
Was the Dallas Comic Con overwhelmed by the turnout? Was it simply a matter of poor planning or (worst case scenario) brutal neglect towards those comic book professionals and retailers?
For the record, I like the Dallas Comic Con. We have a strong, supportive local comic book community. We're fortunate to live in a city with such events organized on a regular basis. But this subject should not be so easily dismissed... has the film industry co-opted the comic book industry?