Here at Comic-Con 2010 it is a standard and recurring complaint that the event has been taken over by branding: An event that started out as a grass-roots gathering of comic-book culture has been overrun by corporate money, corporate product, and above all corporate advertising. Sure, it’s easy to see what they mean. The entire exterior of my Hilton hotel is covered with an ad for Scott Pilgrim (“an epic of epic epicness” — it’s a comic, soon to be a game and a major motion picture starring Michael Cera). The hotel elevators are wallpapered with promos for True Blood. Other buildings are draped in similarly vast posters for the game Red Faction and the upcoming movie Skyline.
The overall effect is a little overwhelming. It is also kind of…awe-inspiring.