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DAY ZERO:

HOTELOWEEN

It’s a cold, rainy March day in Seattle, and my wife, Eunice, has taken the morning off to dial the same telephone number over and over until she gets through. Across the room, I am on two different computers trying to load a website that went live just seconds ago. The hourglass on the browser spins as the page starts to fill one character at a time, as if we were still in 1988 and connecting to CompuServe with a 300-baud modem.

Welcome to “Hoteloween,” the term coined by comics journalist Heidi MacDonald for the dreadful day when the hotel reservation lines for the San Diego Comic-Con open. Though the show itself is still ...

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