There are three types of people that make their way to San Diego Comic-Con in July: Attendees, Professionals and Press. (Sure, we’ll grant you, there’s also BABYLON 5 fans but that’s a totally different subject and we’ll cover them in a whole other post.)
The first two categories are yet to be arranged – the Pre-Registration for Returning Attendees will happen ‘sometime in the Fall’, the General Attendees badge sale will happen in the New Year and SDCC Pros were sorted out lo-ooong ago (the application period for them closed back last month). However, for those wanting to attend Comic-Con to cover the event for a media outlet, a website, a magazine or some such, the window of opportunity is open now: CCI have announced that they are now taking applications for Press Passes for 2018 until Friday 3rd November.
These Clark Kent’s of Comic-Con aren’t given any special treatment at SDCC, other than a free badge to the show – no behind-the-scenes access, no early doors – but there are dedicated press rooms held by the studios and dignitaries, bringing their wares and Beautiful People especially to California. It’s hard work being Press, because those that make the journey as a member of the Fifth Estate are certainly there to put the effort in, taking in as much as they possibly can at an event where nobody can take in as much as they possibly can.
If you’ve applied before, the process is different this year: all applications are conducted online via a webform, with each one carefully scrutinised by the CCI Press Office, headed by Public Relations & Media Director David Glanzer.
However, you’re applying for the first time, you’ve got some additional work to do. First thing first, everyone who applies must have a Comic-Con International Member ID in place (that Member ID is also where someone can find out their current Press status, if they are needing to reapply after a two-year approval period or not), and you must fall into one of the five press catagories: Print Media, Digital Media, Broadcast Media, Blog/Podcast, or Documentary. No Tumblr accounts, social media sites or community forums will be accepted here. Skedaddle, ye varmints!
Interestingly, there’s a new addition to the submission criteria for 2018: with a new or updated press application, you must include a signed assignment letter from the boss of the organisation that you’re going to be submitting, on a full blown company letterhead and with the remit of journalistic duties that you’re being committed to. This really ties the press organization to the individual applying, and we’re assuming that this is to cut down of the amount of applications being sent in under a organisations name that they may not have been fully aware of. Makes sense… but is a bugger for those freelancers that are sent out by sites on a temporary contract – mind, they can still apply but they’ll only be approved for the one year instead of the two. If they’re approved at all, of course. That letterhead will have to carry some pretty mighty weight.
All of your questions about the application criteria and procedure can be found on a dedicated FAQ page of the Comic-Con International website and you can start the ball rolling on your application by downloading the Press Guidelines and Press Checklist PDF’s. The sooner you get your application in, the sooner it’ll be processed and reviewed (within a eight to ten week period) so don’t delay and get your application in today.
With your editors permission, of course.