As L.A. Weekly has been reporting for several weeks now, the buzz is strong that San Diego Comic-Con may have outgrown San Diego. Should the event decide to leave the city where it blossomed from a small fan gathering to a mega-convention, both Los Angeles and Anaheim are vying to be its new home. As our sister paper O.C. Weekly points out, there are some major reasons why the con should stay put in San Diego. However, as both Comic-Con attendees and Angelenos, we can't help but think of some of the advantages of a northbound move (and they don't involve celebrities).
1. Metro Rails
Yes, traffic in downtown Los Angeles can be frightful, but the Red, Blue and Purple lines all have stops a short walk from the L.A. Convention Center. This can make traversing less of a headache, plus, it provides easy access to Comic-Con for people who are staying at hotels in Hollywood. Trains begin running around 4 a.m. hour and stop during the midnight hour. For the in between times, we suggest finding an afterhours. It's Comic-Con, you don't need to sleep.
2. Art Galleries
One of the most exciting aspects of Comic-Con (or any fandom convention) is checking out the artist alley. But, as big as the Comic-Con artist alley is in comparison to smaller conventions, we've often felt that it wasn't large enough. With many art galleries, as well as downtown's Thursday night art walk, L.A. has the opportunity to extend the creativity of the artist alley across downtown. Imagine cosplayers mingling with The Wandering Marionettes as after parties gather in the local galleries. It could be quite exciting.
3. After Parties
L.A. is in a unique position, not because of the amount of parties we have, but because of the number of geek culture-centric events that occur in the city. From Malediction Society's steampunk nights to Tune in Tokyo's cosplay-friendly, J-pop parties to 8-bit producer Baseck's wild events, there are plenty of opportunities to party without dealing with the Hollywood scene. Since most of these events occur either within a short driving (or subway-riding) distance from the Convention Center, it's possible to keep Comic-Con alive well after the Exhibit Hall closes.
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4. It's Not That Touristy
Despite the addition of L.A. Live, downtown still isn't a tourist trap. If you've been to Anime Expo at the Convention Center, then you know that, by the time the work week ends, downtown is bustling mostly with the convention crowd and local residents. With Comic-Con, which brings in far more people than AX, this lack of a weekend tourist crowd is necessary. It gives the people more room to roam and a better chance to meet and mingle with people outside of convention hallways.
5. There's Plenty to Explore
With neighborhoods like Little Tokyo, Chinatown and Koreatown easily accessible from convention ground zero and with Hollywood and Universal Studios a Red Line-trip away, there are many options if you feel an overwhelming need to get away from the Convention Center for a while.