Problems Plague Comic-Con Site

Only a handful of badges were sold

By Jerry McCormick and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Nov 22, 2010  |  Updated 10:37 AM PDT
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NBC Parties at the Con

AP

Garth Bauman dressed as Batman waits in line to get into the preview night at Comic-Con International Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

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Thousands of Comic-Con fans were disappointed Monday when the online registration system failed for a second time this month.

When some fans tried to access the site to purchase pass to the 2011 convention, they were met with an error message. Complaints filled Twitter and Comic-Con's Facebook page.

"Really, this is ridiculous. You would think they learned from the first fiasco," posted Elisa Miranda. "I spent 2 and 1/2 hours waiting the last time. Not going to do this again!"

On Nov. 1, on the original sale date, Comic-Con had to shut down badge sales when the site crashed. Comic-Con announced sales would resume on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 at 6:00 a.m. PT.

A few minutes in, however, it appeared the glitches were not gone. About an hour later, Comic-Con posted an update on Facebook telling fans they are working on the issues.

"It is our understanding EPIC is working to resolve the current problems. We know it's a lot to ask, but we hope you can bear with us while they try to get things on track," posted Comic-Con PR.

Looking at the comments posted in a Facebook discussion, a lot of fans were not so patient. Several questioned the setup.

Felix Serrano Jr posted, "Think if all of us spent an extra 5 bucks this would ever happen again if that amount was allocated to a new server?"

While Cenona Taveras posted her belief that an all-online-or-nothing system is destined to fail. "At least if they had phone, live and internet options, it wouldn't be crashing," Taveras posted.

Before 9 a.m., Comic-Con staffers posted an update:

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED! Once more, unfortunately, there have been issues with Comic-Con registration. So we have again decided to close it down. We are well aware that many people have taken time from work, school or other activities and others woke up very early. There really is no way to convey our level of regret for this turn of events. We are currently researching our registration options.

Badges for the event are only available online and usually sell out pretty quickly.

For a time, Comic-Con's future with SanDiego was doubtful. Its current contract was set to expire in 2012.  Anaheim and Los Angeles were courting the convention amid complaints that the local hotel industry was gouging on room rates. Now, after some high-level diplomacy, 'it's all good.'

"The truth of the matter is, the city, the hoteliers and Convention Center and the mayor really came to bat for us," Glanzer said. "And if these next five years can work, then I hope that the years after that will be successful as well."

The organization has now committed to extend its stay through 2015.

Comic-Con was born in 1970 in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel in the heart of San Diego but has grown into a behemoth taking over the convention center and many meeting rooms of nearby hotels. Its costumed attendees flood the city by the thousands, and, for a few colorful days a year, transform the city into a metropolis out of the pages of fantasy and science fiction.

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