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What Free Swag Giveaways At Comic-Con Look Like

By / 07.12.12
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The photo above was taken right about the time someone elbowed me in the face, which coincidentally occurred only a few seconds after the smell of warm sweat became overpowering. It was then that I said to myself, "Oh, I've wasted my life."

One of the biggest and most popular Comic-Con opening night rituals is to grab as much free swag as quickly as you can — think Supermarket Sweep, but instead of stocking your grocery cart with frozen turkeys, you're filling your comically over-sized Pacific Rim tote bag with posters of shows you've never even heard of.

Now, I love free things -- I really did want an Archer poster because, who wouldn't? But MY GOD. To use another food-based analogy: where people once rioted for a slice of bread during the Depression so they wouldn't starve and die, we now push and shove for limited edition pins with the Hulk on it. A Lego Hulk, at that. It's insane — so I put myself through it, to get what I thought was a collection of Fox and FX posters. I was wrong.

Instead, the mass of people who were fighting for a ideal spot around Fox's booth, where poster tubes were being handed out like free Hot Pockets at a Walmart, were quarreling for exactly that: a poster tube. There was nothing inside of it. No Bob's Burgers or American Dad! memorabilia. Just a hollow tube (metaphor?) that I saw someone reach over a small child for. I get why someone would make me a shoving target — I'm 6' 3" and look like the kind of guy who's asking for a shoving — but to quote a show that didn't have anything inside said tube, won't somebody please think of the children? The scene reminded me of a mosh pit at a punk show, but one that the band never actually came onstage.

With that said, I love San Diego Comic-Con and can't wait for the Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad panels, but seriously, people -- unless you're fighting for an opportunity to sleep with a Community cast member of your choosing, it's not worth pushing aside a small child, just so you can get a pen with a My Little Pony logo on it. Photos of the chaos after the jump.

(All photos via Nadia Chaudhury)

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TAGScomic con swagfree swagSan Diego Comic-ConUPROXX AT COMIC-CON

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