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Comic-Con Registration Shuts Down Again

Above: Comic-Con International is the largest popular arts convention in the world. It takes place every July in downtown San Diego.

Frustration is running high at Comic-Con offices this morning.

At 6am today, registration re-opened for the sale of single and four-day passes to 2011's Comic-Con International, the popular arts convention held every July in downtown San Diego.

At 6:01 am, staff started noticing error messages, an unwelcome occurrence given the events of two weeks ago when registration was abruptly closed because of technical errors.

Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer told me by phone they decided to close registration today at around 8am. "We're incredibly frustrated, but that pales in comparison to those who got up at 6am to register."

This message now appears on the Comic-Con website:

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED!

Once more, unfortunately, there have been issues with Comic-Con registration. So we have again decided to close it down. We are well aware that many people have taken time from work, school or other activities and others woke up very early. There really is no way to convey our level of regret for this turn of events. We are currently researching our registration options.

Comic-Con's registration process is handled by an east coast company called Epic Registration. Comic-Con began contracting out this portion of their website management when their registration numbers hit 80,000. The convention now sells "memberships" or single/four-day passes to around 125,000 attendees.

In an interview with KPBS film critic Beth Accomando two weeks ago, Glanzer said that 2009's registration process (for the 2010 convention) brought 85 requests per second to the website. Two weeks ago, when the first failed registration process opened, they experienced 250 requests per second, nearly three times the website traffic.

After today's technical problems and subsequent shutdown, Glanzer said Comic-Con organizers are waiting to get a report from Epic Registration. "In the meantime, we are exploring all our other options" to get registration up and working again. "We're not just sitting around waiting for a report."

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