Comic-Con: No Room at the Inn?

Javascript, not Java, is being blamed for the blowup this time.

Javascript, not Java, is being blamed for the blowup this time.

If inviting tens of thousands of people who need hotel rooms at San Diego Comic-Con International to simultaneously click a link at 9 a.m. on a given morning is the best solution for everyone involved you couldn’t tell it by yesterday’s results.

Kerry Dixon describes the scene in “Hotelpocalypse 2015: A Tale of Two Forms” at the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog.

At 9AM PT, the link provided by Travel Planners and Comic-Con International was to open to to the General Hotel form, where attendees could rank their top six hotel choices in preference, and fill in all of their required information (like name, e-mail, arrival and departure date, how many people would be staying in the room, etc.) Things got off to a very bad start from the second the form opened, when most users, including us, reported the form taking longer than normal to load. How long it took varied person to person, with some reporting 20-30 seconds, and some reporting minutes. This obviously slowed down everyone’s time in being able to submit the form at all.

But that was only the beginning. It took a few minutes for news to filter down that users actually saw two different forms when they submitted – either the “good” form, with a drop down menu of all the hotel choices….

Or the “bad” form, which didn’t include a drop down menu, but rather a scrollable text box. You could select one, or all six hotels if you held Ctrl down on your keyboard, but there was no way to rank them.

An indigestible bit of Javascript may be to blame –

Read Dixon’s post to see screenshots of both forms, plus analysis of other problems reported by users.

As she observes, trying to get a room for the con is even more stressful than trying to get a badge during Open Registration (where she estimates fans using the system have only a 6% chance of success!)

Cosplayer’s Injuries Were From Fall

A hospitalized cosplayer sustained her injuries in a fall rather than from an attack say San Diego Harbor Police. However, the case of a 29-year-old man they arrested on unrelated charges of having sexual contact with a minor and providing her with alcohol will still be referred to the district attorney’s office.

Their findings are based on a review of surveillance camera recordings and physical evidence at the scene. The press release issued by police reports:

BACKGROUND: Shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday, July 27, 2014, a juvenile female was found with significant injuries in the pool area of a hotel at 333 West Harbor Drive in San Diego. The juvenile female had attended Comic Con earlier in the day and still had her costume on. She was transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment.

In connection with the case, Harbor Police arrested a 29-year-old man early Sunday morning, July 27 at the hotel. He was booked into San Diego County Jail at 11:20 a.m. on charges of sexual contact with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Harbor Police Investigations Unit has been investigating the incident, including the cause of the injuries to the victim.

INVESTIGATION RESULTS: After the incident, Police began a thorough investigation of the facts, including a review of footage from multiple surveillance cameras, as well as the assistance of community members and Comic Con attendees who provided extensive information and sent photographs for review. The investigation concluded with a finding that the juvenile female’s injuries were not the result of a criminal assault, and were likely the result of a fall. Her injuries, and physical evidence at the scene, were consistent with a fall from the distance of approximately six feet.

This finding does not affect the charges against the 29-year-old male, which will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office. Because this case involves a minor, no further information will be released about this incident.

According to the NBC report:

Police said the girl was climbing a gate at the Marriott Hotel after an altercation with an older man.

Police were initially hampered in their investigation by the girl’s inability to remember what happened.

[Thanks to Nancy Collins for the story.]

Cosplayer Assault Update

Police are continuing to investigate the July 28 attack that left a teen cosplayer unconscious by the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina pool on Harbor Drive. The San Diego Union-Tribune’s story names the person arrested but says police are still trying to determine who inflicted her injuries.

Police determined she had been with a man she knew most of the day, and was with him until about 11 p.m. when a party they went to in one of the hotel’s rooms was broken up after a noise complaint, Rakos said. That man, identified as Justin Kalior, was later arrested at the hotel.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of sexual contact with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was not arrested on assault charges.

“We really want to determine who is responsible for her injuries and we are still investigating,” Rakos said.

The San Diego NBC affiliate also has a video report with quotes from the cosplayer’s mother, here.

The Comic-Con Police Blotter

The first of two widely-reported assaults on cosplayers attending the San Diego Comic-Con resulted in an arrest. The other ended with street justice being meted out by a professional model dressed as Catwoman.

In the first case a cosplayer [name redacted] came to Comic-Con with friends but separated from them after a disagreement. She later was discovered on the side of a road, unconscious and bloody, her ID gone. When she awoke, she had no recollection of the event that caused her injuries.

Her mother’s appeal on Tumblr for help in finding out what had happened was widely copied online.

The next day (July 27) the San Diego Harbor Police arrested a suspect, a 29-year-old man, and charged him with sexual contact with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. [The victim’s identifying information has been redacted because the girl is a teen and she is the victim of a sexual crime.]SD Harbor Police Press release

In the second case, tv personality Alicia Marie (“Cardio World”) was in the Comic-Con Gaslamp area dressed as Tigra and taking photos when a man came up behind her and yanked her tail and pants down. Adrianne Curry, the first winner of the reality television series America’s Next Top Model, was on hand — attired as Catwoman — and sprang into action. Alicia Marie told her Facebook followers:

I just freaked out, screamed trying to keep my bottoms up — but Adrianne Curry literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his ass. Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip — he had zombie blood on his face – got on her costume. Katrina got in his face, Todd shoved him, the guy ran off – huge ruckus and yep some people got their cell phones out of course.

Earlier MSN ran a photo of Curry as Catwoman and two other cosplayers with a story on at-con harassment and Geeks for CONsent’s petition. However, Curry thought her answer was more practical:

People signing forms about violating girls isn’t helping.Try beating the shit out of em. I doubt the guy who’s ass I kicked will do it again.

Alicia Marie and Adrianne Curry

Alicia Marie and Adrianne Curry

Updated 07/30/2014: Redacted first victim’s identifying information.

2014 Scribe Award Winners

iamtw950x350-logo CROPThe International Association of Media Tie-In Writers revealed the winners of the 2014 Scribe Awards at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Novel Adapted

  • Pacific Rim by Alex Irvine

General Novel Original

  • Mr. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad

Speculative Novel Original

  • Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

Short Stories

  • “So Long, Chief” by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane

Young Adult

  • Archie Comics: Kevin by Paul Kupperberg


  • Blake’s 7: The Armageddon Storm by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright


  • Diane Duane

2014 Eisner Award Winners

eisners2014_01San Diego Comic-Con International announced the winners of the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards on July 25.

Best Short Story

  • “Untitled,” by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

  • Hawkeye #11: “Pizza Is My Business,” by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)

Best Continuing Series

  • Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best Limited Series

  • The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)

Best New Series

  • Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

  • Itty Bitty Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

  • Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)

Best Humor Publication

  • Vader’s Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

Best Anthology

  • Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Best Digital/Webcomic

Best Reality-Based Work

  • The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)

Best Graphic Album—New

  • The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium

  • Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

  • RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips

  • Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

  • Will Eisner’s The Spirit Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

  • Goddam This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

  • The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)

Best Writer

  • Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist

  • Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

  • Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

Best Cover Artist

  • David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)

Best Coloring

  • Jordie Bellaire, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero (Image); The Massive (Dark Horse); Tom Strong (DC); X-Files Season 10  (IDW); Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery (Marvel); Numbercruncher (Titan); Quantum and Woody (Valiant)

Best Lettering

  • Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

Best Comics-Related Book

  • Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth,  by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)

Best Scholarly/Academic Work

  • Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)

Best Publication Design

  • Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award

  •  Joe Field

Will Eisner Hall of Fame

  • Judges’ Choices: Orrin C. Evans, Irwin Hasen, Sheldon Moldoff
  • Recipients: Hayao Mizazaki, Alan Moore, Bernie Wrightson

Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing

  • Robert Kanigher
  • Bill Mantlo
  • Jack Mendelsohn

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award

  • Legend Comics & Coffee, Omaha, Nebraska
  • All Star Comics, Melbourne, Australia

Two More 2014 Comic-Con Links

(1) San Diego’s NBC affiliate reports HBO is treating fans to a free Game of Thrones tattoo:

At the exhibit, in the buzzing Gaslamp District just outside of Comic-Con, artists from the San Diego tattoo shop “Left Hand Black” offered free tattoos of symbols from the series.

Two tattoo artists were paid by HBO to offer the unique opportunity to die-hard fans.

“Yesterday I did 20,” one artist told NBC 7.

The interest is strong, with about 40 fans per day are getting inked up. The line outside is first come first serve, but fanatics said it was worth the wait.

“I slept out on the concrete; I was waiting outside at 9 p.m. last night,” said “Game of Thrones” fan John Stumpf.

(2) The LA Times’ impressive gallery “Faces of Comic-Con 2014” contains 120 photos of cosplayers at Comic-Con.

Heroic Coverage of Comic-Con

For the Los Angeles Times’ pop culture blog Hero Complex the opening of the San Diego Comic-Con is the pinnacle of the geek social season. Here is a sampling of its extensive coverage.

There’s a roundup of celebrity appearances and odd entertainments in Cumberbatch, Radcliffe sightings and more in San Diego:

Daniel Radcliffe is coming to Hall H: But not to discuss his most famous role as the Boy Who Lived. Rather, the “Harry Potter” star will be on hand to talk up a decidedly different turn in the horror movie “Horns,” which premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival. Based on the Joe Hill novel, “Horns” tracks Radcliffe’s Ig, who gains unusual powers after he is accused of murdering his girlfriend and wakes up looking much like the monster he’s suspected of being.

The work of IDW special projects editor is celebrated in IDW’s Scott Dunbier champions comics artistry with heroic precision, producing hardcover art books using scanned-in original artwork.

Artwork used for Artist’s Editions is scanned and reproduced in full color so that readers can see the non-photo-blue pencil lines artists use to lay out a page before doing detailed art — lines that disappear in other means of copying.

“You get more of a sense of what was done, what the artist was thinking, what changes he made, what corrections he did, what corrections he didn’t do — there’s a lot to be studied,” said “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola, who collaborated with Dunbier on a newly released Artist’s Edition collection of his own work.

Using full-color reproduction on black-and-white pages was a lesson Dunbier learned in the 1990s while trying to photocopy Neal Adams pages he had for 60 or so fellow comic book art enthusiasts in an amateur press association.

Two Comic-Con exhibits by a famed film director are described in Guillermo del Toro takes fans into ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Pacific Rim’:

The director helped create two immersive worlds for the Legendary booth at the convention, a virtual reality encounter where fans can train to pilot a Jaeger–the giant, neurally linked robots from his 2013 science-fiction epic “Pacific Rim”– and a Gothic gallery they can stroll through to enter the world of his next project, the 2015 haunted house film “Crimson Peak.”

To enter the “Crimson Peak” portion of the booth, which Del Toro gave press a tour of Wednesday night, fans walk through snow-covered gates into a space that includes evocative props and costumes from the film. Set in a deteriorating mansion in 19th century northern England, “Crimson Peak” stars Mia Wasikowska as a young author who discovers her charming husband (Tom Hiddleston) isn’t who he seems to be. The objects in the gallery spell out clues from the film — there’s a book on the history of insects, a bloody knife, a portrait of an intimidating matriarch. A moth print in the wallpaper spells out the word fear.

Somewhat disappointing is Hero Complex blogger Rebecca Keegan’s article “Outcry, action against harassment grows”, a lengthy but superficial account that repeatedly fails to probe the claims of people on both sides of these important questions.

Geeks for CONsent’s petition is taken at face value, despite gaining a trivial number of signatures compared another social justice effort, last year’s petition against the movie made from Orson Scott Card’s novel.

On the other hand, Comic-Con’s David Glanzer is allowed to avoid accountability for refusing to upgrade SDCC’s anti-harassment policy, while boasting about the event’s security and city-mandated emergency services — as if the only misbehavior worthy of concern is something that would require intervention by the police.

“Anyone being made to feel uncomfortable at our show is obviously a concern for us,” Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said in an email. “The safety of our attendees is a primary concern of ours. For this reason we have more staff and security than other events of our type. In addition we also have a command post in the lobby of our event that is staffed with members of the San Diego Police Department, fire and other emergency services.”

Then, despite her awareness of John Scalzi’s personal policy towards cons which lack anti-harassment policies (“Last summer, Scalzi wrote a blog post titled “My New Convention Harassment Policy,” saying he would only be a panelist or guest of honor at a convention that has a clear, visible and enforced harassment policy. More than 1,100 people, including several other authors, co-signed his post.”), she gives him a complete pass –

Though Scalzi’s publisher, Tor Books, had already booked him to attend Comic-Con this year, he decided to hold his event, a reading and signing, at a location outside the convention center.

— by failing to ask how this appearance within the orbit of Comic-Con reconciles with his policy.