If you thought that the comic book market only consisted of kids and geeky adults sporting unruly hair and a wardrobe consisting of black T-shirts and exhibiting some degree of arrested development, well, then there must be a heck of a lot of them out there. If you don't believe it, then head out to the San Diego Convention Center and see for yourself: it's where the annual San Diego Comic-Con International 2012 is setting up shop for four days, July 12-15 (preview night is July 11).
Now, to the uninitiated, Comic-Con is not some little gathering of comic book geeks sharing stories and trading their wares. No, sirree - Comic-Com is a huge gathering of comic book and pop culture geeks sharing their stories and trading their wares - over 120,000 strong. You see, Comic-Con is the largest convention of its kind in the world, but it is truly more than comics.
Comic-Con was first held in 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel, where it attracted 300 people. As the event grew, subsequent homes included the downtown El Cortez Hotel in the 1970s and the San Diego Convention and Performing Arts Center in the 1980s. Comic-Con moved to the then newly built SDCC in 1991.
At Comic-Con, the programming incorporates the whole realm of pop culture, and in particular, the science fiction, horror, action, adventure, and animation genres. And Comic-Con is a big deal: the annual gathering is where the major comic book publishers like DC Comics and Marvel Comics unveil their latest projects. It's where Hollywood presents exclusive previews of their upcoming productions, presented by the actual directors and stars of the films. It's where retailers gather to discuss issues within the industry. And it's where the latest merchandise is rolled out (action figures are a big deal here.)
On top of that, Comic-Con offers tons of panels and discussions from virtually a who's who in the comic, animation, film making industry. It's a chance to hear and meet the world-class artists, animators, writers and directors of the film, comic and graphic novel industries.
Comic-Con also has a huge exhibit hall of retailers selling every conceivable piece of comics, collectibles, memorabilia, toys and more. In other words, it's a Star Wars geek heaven. And with the variety of seemingly sane people dressing up as their favorite Star Wars, Star Trek or whatever character, you'll get my drift. In fact, Comic-Con puts on a masquerade costume contest with cash prizes to go to some very impressive outfits.
With an unbelievable 400+ hours of panels and events over 4 days and 3 nights, not including anime screenings and gaming, Comic‑Con’s schedule remains devoted to the world of comics. There are panels for all interests: Mainstream superhero comics, alternative press, webcomics, comics history, newspaper comics, European comics, manga: It's all here.
But I'm not doing the comic geeks justice. You'll have to go see for yourself - and unleash the inner-geek in yourself.
Comic-Con Quick Info:
111 Harbor Drive
July 12-15, 2012 (preview night: July 11 6-9 p.m.)
Thu-Sat Hours:9:30 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Sunday Hours:9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
4-DAY MEMBERSHIPS - SOLD OUT
SINGLE DAY Memberships - SOLD OUT