Ask any film, gaming, or comic fan around the world about the one place they would want to visit in their lifetime and the majority would without doubt mention the San Diego Comic Convention. Besides being the “world’s largest comic book convention”, SDCC has acquired such a cult status that it has become the go-to place for all production houses, in any field of entertainment, even remotely associated with comic characters. For the fans it is a place where they can meet like-minded individuals; a place where the “geeks”, the “nerds”, the artists, and the celebrities, all merge together and form an unspoken bond of mutual appreciation.
Morgan Spurlock directs the documentary trying to showcase the various aspects of the convention. The good thing about the direction is that Spurlock manages to rope in a number of stars, like Seth Green, Seth Rogen, Eli Roth, and Stan Lee to talk about their experiences at SDCC, but keeps the focus of the stories being told on the everyday people who visit the convention. A comic book seller trying to sell a prized possession of his because of the business being on a decline; a surprise marriage proposal organized with the help of Kevin Smith; the technical knowhow and passion exhibited by cos-players; Spurlock gets into the psyche of the fans and their obsessions and that is how he gives a true picture of the importance of the convention for both the people participating and those attending.
Unfortunately, while the documentary and its maker have their heart in the right place, the entire “episode” sticks to the surface of this iconic gathering. Comic-Con Episode Four could easily have been named Comic-Con 101 as it leaves out the juicy gossip, anecdotes of interest, preferring to have a more businesslike approach to the entire proceedings. While I enjoyed the documentary, I came out of it none the least more educated about the convention than I already was. Still, for someone who lives halfway across the world, and isn’t sure if he will ever have a chance to visit the convention, the documentary provides a small window into the events that drives thousands of people each year to pay homage to their film, comic, and gaming “Gods”.