SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — “It wasn’t the Comic-Con we expected," said Mary Jane's restaurant manager, Mackenzie Ducehesanu.
Comic-Con Special Edition day 2 brings a different vibe this holiday weekend.
"It's a little smaller. The energy is a little off, but still good. The guest list is smaller," said artist, David Wong. "The holiday throws it off and Black Friday throws it off,"
It’s a much smaller scale intended for a more intimate gathering rather than large crowds. Many attendees say they don’t mind the change.
"It's been refreshing to ease back into things and not have overwhelming crowds. It's been great actually," said attendee, Wendy Newton.
"I think it's really fun! There's lots of different shows and movies," said attendee, Joshua Hanson.
"It's nice to be back. It's been 2 years. I've gone to every ComicCon since 1994," said attendee, Kerry Nelson.
Much like 1994, now fanatics and cosplayers can buy tickets at the San Diego Convention Center for $150.
"Those who were at the show 20 years ago remember that you can buy tickets here. It's a throwback," said David Glanzer, spokesperson for Comic-Con.
Restaurants in the Gaslamp district are seeing a slight boost in business.
"Business is a lot better than the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, we were really busy," said Ducehesanu. "It's been a slower start today. We are thinking it will be busy tonight. We can't wait,"
In 2019, it was the last time Comic-Con was fully up and running. That year it brought around $140-$150 million in revenue to the city.
Glanzer is eager to see what this year's numbers look like with the more intimate rollout.
"I hope it brings more people back and tourists filling up the hotels," said Nelson.
"We want to see the economy thrive and it's great to see people back and all the livelihood down here," said Newton.
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