Badges for Comic-Con International 2014 go on sale this morning at 9 Pacific, kicking off the anxiety-inducing annual rite for tens of thousands of hopeful attendees.
This year sees a couple of major changes: First, of course, is the elimination of four-day badges, which organizers believe gives attendees more flexibility and will allow more people to attend each day. The second is the personal registration code, implemented to prevent ineligible members from entering the EPIC Registration waiting room and further bog down the process.
If you have a Member ID code but haven't received an email containing your personal registration code and a link to the EPIC Registration landing page, you may want to take a peek in your spam folder. The landing page should be open now to allow hopefuls plenty of time to enter their code and authorize their device to enter the waiting room. (You don't have to camp out there all morning, however; there are no advantages for being the early bird. As long as you're there by 8:45 or 8:50 to do what you need to do, you'll be fine.)
Toucan, the official Comic-Con International blog, has a lengthy Open Online Registration FAQ that will probably answer any last-minute questions you may have.
Good luck, everyone. We'll be checking back in with frequent updates throughout the process (which last year went on for about 90 minutes).
Update, 7: 10 a.m.: It's the Ides of March, which seems appropriate. My Roman history is a little rusty, but I think that scuffle at the Theatre of Pompey began over Preview Night badges ...
Update, 7:15: But, yes, the wait has indeed begun. Just an hour and 45 minutes until the magic happens (or doesn't, depending on your luck).
— Danielle (@artholalouise) March 15, 2014
The official Comic-Con Twitter account cautions those in the waiting room not to refresh your screen, or to press the "back" button at any point during the registration process.
Update, 7:42 a.m.: Wise words. Also, keep it out of sunlight, don't give it any water and, most importantly, never feed it after midnight.
Update, 7:50 a.m.: The first report has surfaced of someone getting bounced from the waiting room.Update, 8:23 a.m.: As anticipation builds, #sdcc is now trending nationwide on Twitter.
Update, 9 a.m.: And so it begins!
— kayla (@flappydicks) March 15, 2014
Update, 9:08 a.m.: Eight minutes of waiting, mostly, with some complaints about the random sorting procedure ...
Update, 9:16 a.m. When no one was looking, the hashtag changed to #sdcc2014 and shot up the trending chart:
Update, 9:20 a.m.: The first success story emerges. (Don't hate the player.)
— Impulsze N Laydeej (@JediIsAmmy) March 15, 2014
Update, 9:34 a.m.: Although the process is undoubtedly agonizing for those still waiting in line to purchase badges, the process appears much smoother than last year, when reports of server errors began within the first five minutes. Comic-Con organizers later apologized for the technical problems.
Update, 9:50 a.m.: By this time last year, four-day badges (which have been eliminated) with Preview Night had sold out. So far this morning, there are no reports of sellouts.
Update, 9:56 a.m. It looks like badges for Preview Night, Thursday and Saturday are running low.
Update, 10 a.m.: There's no official announcement from Comic-Con yet, but there are numerous tweets saying that badges have sold out for Preview Night, Friday and Saturday.
Update, 10:04 a.m.: This screenshot confirms those sellouts.
Update, 10:21 a.m.: It appears now that Thursday has sold out as well, leaving only Sunday.
Updated, 10:25 a.m.: Badges have sold out for Comic-Con in slightly less than 90 minutes.