The Comic-Con International celebration this year will again be the place to be for fans of science fiction and fantasy, but anyone without an entry badge at this point might be out of luck: Tickets to the San Diego pop-culture phenomenon, scheduled for July 18-21, sold out in a little more than 90 minutes after they went on sale Saturday morning.
All four-day badges with access to preview night and all four-day badges were gone just 53 minutes after being made available to the public, according to Deadline Hollywood. Fifteen minutes after that, all Friday and Saturday single-day badges were sold, and 28 minutes after that, nothing was available.
While Comic-Con's promoters were celebrating, many hopeful fans took to Twitter to complain about problems with the ticket-sales process. Tickets were apparently so hard to come by because the ticket-sales site was quickly overloaded and couldn’t handle the sudden boost in traffic.
Blogger Rob Beschizza described a friend’s anguish in a post on Boing Boing: “I emerged victorious. I clicked to get in at 9 a.m. exactly, and earned the #12,994th spot in line -- but only after waiting several harrowing minutes for a server response. Heather, having done likewise on her own computer, was left to wait a little longer -- and was instead forwarded to the above landing page at about 9:07 a.m. I was eventually moved on to the ticket purchase page at about 9:30 a.m., and got us both sorted; in the meantime, further attempts by her to access the waiting room were to no avail.”
Some of the same problems occurred last year, with Comic-Con organizers reselling and refunding nearly 5,000 tickets at the start of the festival. Still, fans had hoped the technical problems were in the past.
The frustration, and disappointment, that came to so many ticket seekers who struck out was on full display Saturday under the Twitter hashtag #ComicCon.
“I feel like I ought to treat myself with the $150 I had set aside for the badge I didn’t get,” tweeted one of them, @LyraLillie.
Some of the irritation almost certainly stems from the fact that many fans, comic-book lovers in particular, will miss out on hearing their favorite artists and writers share their insights. More guests will be scheduled in the coming months, but already on the docket are Sergio Aragones, the legendary Mad Magazine cartoonist, and Tom Batiuk, the creator of the “Funky Winkerbean” comic strip.