Comic Con; Creating Appreciation of the Art and History of Comics, Popular Artforms, and Culture
A girl dressed as Wonder Woman, a man dressed as Iron Man, four kids dressed as their favorite Ninja Turtles, it must be Halloween. Nope, that can’t be, its July. What would make over 100,000 plus people travel to scenic San Diego, many of them dressed in costumes of some of their favorite TV, movie, game and comic characters? It is the San Diego Comic-Con international convention, coming to town July 9, 2015 to July 12, 2015. That’s right, it’s not Halloween, it’s time for an annual get together that, according to the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, has an annual regional economic impact of $162.8 million, with a $180 million economic impact in 2011. Tickets are sold out for this year, but you can sign up for a Comic-Con Member Number to buy tickets in the future! But what is it about Comic-Con that draws so many? What is so captivating about comics? Why has this event become so big, drawing an international crowd every year? I have been asked by the great people at Namaste Luxury to answer these questions and more. So put on your batman cowls and come with me and explore the exciting spectacle that is Comic-Con!!
First I want to take a look back at the roots of Comic-Con and explore exactly what it is and how it all began. World famous conventions don’t pop up over night, they are built over time. The first variation of what would become Comic-Con took place March 21st, 1970. It was called Golden State Comic-Minicon, and it was a one-day event held at the Grant Hotel. It drew only about 200 people, but it was a success, and the following year it was held as a three-day event in the same hotel and attendance more than tripled. Early on in the 48-year history of Comic-Con, the convention moved several times to places such as the El Cortez Hotel, UCSD and the Sheraton, before coming to the San Diego Convention Center. The Convention was originally a celebration of comics, but it has become the one stop for all mass pop culture media. Video games, movies, TV shows, and yes, comics are all compacted into this massive three-day event. It has evolved from 200 people to over 100,000 expected this year.
I was asked to talk about Comic-Con because of who I am. Simply put, I’ve been a geek since a young age and I enjoy comics and all other things “geek.” I could inundate you with stats, facts and figures but you didn’t come to Namaste Luxury for that, you came to find out what Comic-Con is. Simply put, it is exactly that, all things “geek.” But, more than that, it’s all things pop culture. Believe it or not, geek was not always sheik. The geek takeover of pop culture can be traced back to the massive event that is Comic-Con. Many years ago, TV and movie producers figured out that Comic-Con was their demographic. Geeks are opinionated and have wallets that they are willing to open for all of their interests. The conversion from comic book convention to complete pop culture showcase event has made Comic-Con one of the most coveted destinations for us geeks and non-geeks too. The newest TV shows, video games and movies are announced there with exclusive trailers, and panels with the stars. There are celebrity guests ranging from comic artists to A-list celebrities, directors and stars. Most of the trailers and information dropped at Comic-Con is the set up for all the top TV, movie, video game, and comic releases for the next year. Excitement and exclusivity like this is what brings the huge crowds, but what keeps them coming back is geek culture.
There is no judgment at Comic-Con, you can share your passion for some of your favorite media together with everyone! Fans passionately defend their favorite books and characters. Kids see people dressed in costumes and instantly want pictures, and adults are transported back to a younger, simpler time. I have never been to Comic-Con, but I’m going this year. I have been to Wonder Con, the Supernatural Con, the Star Wars Experience and the Star Trek Convention, but am I really prepared? Am I prepared for the massive scale of it all? Everything I love under one roof? That I cannot answer. I am going to take this experience and run with it. I’m going to bring home some unique art, watch my favorite actors on panels, and rejoice in being there to see it all first hand. I don’t think any first-timer is really prepared, but I have the wonderment of a child and the butterflies in my stomach. So, to everybody who calls San Diego home, if you see a mob of people dressed as superheroes invading your town don’t be alarmed. It is July; it’s Comic-Con and its all fun! For directions and more information, check here!