Comic-Con International Hits San Diego

Comic-Con International returns to the San Diego Convention Center beginning with Preview Night on Wednesday, July 17, and continuing with four days of the event running through Sunday, July 21. Don’t think about attending though, the Con sold out in 93 minutes.

The Con as we know it began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. This year marks the 44th year for the show, making it the longest continuously running comics and popular art convention in the US.

FTK editor at the Con.
FTK editor at the Con.

With attendance topping 130,000 in recent years, Comic-Con has become the focal point for the world of comics conventions. Offering a giant Exhibit Hall (topping over 460,000 square feet); a massive programming schedule (over 600 separate events in 2012), a hands-on workshops and educational and academic programming such as the Comics Arts Conference; anime and film screenings (including a separate film festival); games; the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the “Oscars” of the comics industry; a Masquerade costume competition with prizes and trophies; an Autograph Area; an Art Show; and Portfolio Reviews, bringing together aspiring artists with major companies.

But if you plan on attending Breaking Bad, Hunger Games, Captain America or any of the BIG Hollywood panels in Hall H, be prepared to wait… and wait…and wait. Even with 6,500 seats the theater fills up fast. Seriously, bring a comic (or 12) to read because you will be waiting.

While a lot of people will be at the convention with hopes copping the latest toy, tee, art, or other collectible, for others it’s merely the biggest costume party ever. Kicking off with the “Zombie Parade”, many fans will be at the convention sporting costumes they’ve spent the entire year making and have spent  thousands of dollars on. From Darth Vader to the most obscure animae character.

By the way comics may have given birth to Comic-Con, but the monster has since grown into a convention of all things pop culture. From video games, to animae, toys and the big-budget Hollywood,  all have latched onto Comic-Con to debut their newest projects. Xbox, The Walking Dead and Hunger Games: Catching Fire are just a few of the events catching buzz at this year’s convention.