Last July’s first-peek-at-Avatar presentation at ComicCon made it imperative to attend. This year the big draw is a Tron Legacy looksee, and I’m not too sure about it. I’m feeling 65% of last year’s juice, if that, and that’s not enough to make me part with the $1600 or $1700 it’ll cost to fly out to LA, rent a car, stay in some crappy-ass motel, cover food-and-drink tabs, etc.

I’m not trying to diminish Tron Legacy or suggest it might not be good. I loved that early trailer they put out, and I’m into the cult of Joseph Kosinski as much as the next guy. I have no reason to believe that he’s not “the next ‘real deal’ in that he’s got a Cameron-like technical knowledge, is responsible with budgets and operates on an even keel…overall a remarkably talented, well adjusted guy,” as a director-writer said a while back. I just don’t think a Tron Legacy product reel-and-pep rally is worth flying across the country for.

I’d shell out if ComicCon was happening in mid-to-late June, and I knew for certain that the very first screening of the fully finished Inception was on the schedule. That would be worth it, no question.

A friend says the only complete movie that he knows will be showing at ComicCon 2010 is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Bamboo shoots under my fingernails. The other big attractions are things like Green Lantern and Thor and what-have-you. I have a certain amount of geek fervor in my system, but to be into this year’s ComicCon you have to be 110% into geek theology. You have to be willing to go over the geek waterfalls in a barrel. You have to be Ed Douglas, Katey Rich, Devin Faraci, Drew McWeeny…one of those who exalt in the ComicCon atmosphere. “Whoo-whoo…we’re here! Among our own kind! Doesn’t get any better than this!”

Well, it does get better. A lot better. ComicCon can be (and was last year for me) a moderately bruising experience in terms of getting into the big panels and presentations. You have to call and beg and hustle your way into everything, and that means tons of pre-arrival calls and e-mails and cajolings. Unlike the major film festivals, you can’t just show up at ComicCon and pick up your pass and go to town. It’s much, much more difficult to finagle this San Diego soiree than Cannes, Toronto or Sundance. It’s hard enough to file six or seven or more stories per day under any festival circumstance, but to deal with what I’ve come to regard as ComicCon crap pushes it into the red zone.

Tron Legacy will open on 12.17.10.