- Comic-Con International
name = Comic-Con International: San Diego
status = Active
genre = Multi-genre
venue = San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California
country = United States
first = 1970
organizer = Comic-Con International
filing = Non-profit
attendance = 125,000 in 2007. Official numbers for 2008 have yet to be released.
website = http://www.comic-con.org/
Comic-Con International: San Diego, commonly known as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con, is an annual multigenre
fan conventionfounded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and later the San Diego Comic Book Convention in 1970 by Shel Dorf and a group of San Diegans. It is traditionally a four-day event (Thursday through Sunday—though a four hour preview night on Wednesday is open to guests pre-registered for all four days) held during the summer in San Diego, California, at the San Diego Convention Center. Comic-Con is both the name of the annual event and the common name of the organization.
Comic-Con International also produces two other conventions,
WonderConand the Alternative Press Expo(APE), both held in San Francisco, California. Since 1974, Comic-Con has bestowed its annual Inkpot Awardto guests and persons of interest in the industries of popular arts as well as to members of Comic-Con's Board of Directors and convention committee. It is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards.
comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television (as was evident by the three circled figures appearing in Comic-Con's original logo), and related popular arts, the convention has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop cultureelements, such as horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. The convention is the largest of its kind in the world, filling to capacity the San Diego Convention Center with over 125,000 attendees in 2007. Although Comiketin Tokyo, Japanis four times larger in terms of attendance than Comic-Con, its focus is solely as a gather for the buying, selling, and trading of " dōjinshi" (self-published comic books and fanzines), somewhat akin to a huge swap meet, and is not a convention in the American sense.
History and organization
The first convention drew 300 people and was held at the
U. S. Grant Hotelin 1970. Other locations in the convention's early years included the El Cortez Hotel, University of California, San Diego, and Golden Hall, before being moved to the San Diego Convention center in 1991.cite news|first=Elizabeth|last=Malloy|title=Charting Comic-Con's Hulk-like growth|url=http://www.sddt.com/Hospitality/article.cfm?SourceCode=20080418tbe|work=The Daily Transcript|date=2008-04-18|accessdate=2008-04-19]
The convention is organized by a panel of 13 board members, 16 to 20 full-time and part-time workers, and 80 volunteers who assist via committees. Comic Con International is a non-profit organization, and proceeds of the event go to funding it, as well as the
Alternative Press Expo(APE) and WonderCon. The convention is scheduled to remain in San Diego until 2012.
Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films, portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies, and such evening events as awards ceremonies and The Masquerade; a costume contest, and the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival which showcases shorts and feature length movies that do not have distribution or distribution deals.
Traditional events include an eclectic film program, screening rooms devoted to
Japanese animation, gaming, and the Comic-Con International: Independent Film Festival, as well as cartoonist Scott Shaw!'s "Oddball Comics" slide show and animation expert Jerry Beck's program featuring TV's "worst cartoons ever", as well as over 350 hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture.
Like most comic book conventions, Comic-Con features a large floorspace for exhibitors. These include media companies such as
movie studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers and collectiblesmerchants. Like most comics conventions, Comic-Con includes an autograph area, as well as the Artists' Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches. Despite the name, artists' alleys can include writers and even models.
Academicians and comic industry professionals annually hold the
Comics Arts Conferenceat Comic-Con, presenting scholarly studies on comics as a medium. Educational forums such as the Comics Arts Conference help Comic-Con maintain its non-profit status.
In the 21st century, the convention has drawn toy and collectibles designers who sell "Comic Con Exclusive" products. Such companies have included
Gentle Giant Studios, Hasbro, Mattel, and Sideshow Collectibles. ["TNI's 2007 San Diego Comic Con Exclusives Checklist", [http://www.toynewsi.com/news.php?catid=20&itemid=11349 Toy News International] 2007 ] Most such exclusives are licensed properties of movie, comic book and animation characters.
In the media
Comic-Con has served as the setting for
Mark Hamill's "", and for the "I Love You, Too" episode of the HBO television series" Entourage", the latter of which, while set at the event, was not filmed there. Comic-Con also served as an excuse for the fictional characters Seth Cohenand Ryan Atwood's trip to Tijuana, Mexicoin the first season of TV series " The O.C." The convention also featured prominently as a setting for the Numb3rsepisode "". In Season 4 of Beauty and the Geek, an episode was featured where the contestants travelled to Comic-Con 07 and were given a challenge to create their own superheroes.
Mark Evanieron the first Comic-Con venue:
Evanier on an early spillover venue:
Issues and criticism
Capacity attendance at Comic-Con in 2006 and 2007 has caused crowding issues. Concerns have been that the event is possibly too massive for the
San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con's home through at least 2012. [ [http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/30/ap3964442.html "Forbes" (July 30, 2007)] : "What began as a comic-book event has grown to include toys, video games, anime and movies. The event practically no longer fits in the San Diego Convention Center, its home through 2012".] In 2006, Comic-Con for the first time, had to close registration for a few hours on Saturday to accommodate crowds. In response, for 2007, Comic-Con introduced a new three-day membership that did not include Saturday. Nevertheless, the 2007 show went on to sell out Saturday, as well as Friday and Sunday for the first time. Additionally, both the four-day and three-day memberships sold out for the first time. For 2008, the three-day memberships were abandoned and the convention decided to sell memberships only in advance, with no on-site registration. [ [http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_reg.shtml Comic-COn 2008 registration] ]
In 2008, all memberships were sold out before the convention for the first time ever. This sellout has given rise to the new phenomenon of Comic-Con memberships being scalped for exorbitant prices on websites such as
eBay. [Citation | last = McLean | first = Tom | title = Buyers beware scalped Comic-Con tickets | newspaper = Variety.com| year = 2008 | date = 2008-06-25| url = http://weblogs.variety.com/bags_and_boards/2008/06/comic-con-ticke.html | accessdate = 2008-07-20]
In April 2008, David Glanzer, Comic-Con's director of marketing and public relations, commented on the organization's desire to remain in San Diego:
In the 2000s, the increasing prevalence of video games and major-studio movies has drawn criticism from those who believe that Comic-Con is losing its focus on comic books, movies, and fantasy literature (which was the original focus of the show as is evident by the three circled figures appearing in Comic-Con's original logo) and instead has become a showcase for large entertainment corporations. Some comic-book retailers have said that the large corporate presence had driven booth prices up significantly. While those comments certainly exist, it is more likely the increase in the rental of the convention center, security, and other costs of doing business in San Diego that is the real culprit. Comic-Con is still one of the few, if only, comic book convention to feature a program where the organization pays the move in labor expenses for exhibitors who take part in the targeted move in program. Also the emergence during the past decade of online selling of high-end comics such as on
Ebayfacilitated by the standardizing of grading via companies such as CGC has diverted much of the selling of classic comics book that formerly took place at conventions to this nationwide marketplace.
San Diego Comic Con is the only major convention that does not charge artists for table space in Artist Alley.Fact|date=August 2008 Other major conventions, Wizard and New York Comic Con to be specific, charge money for table space.
Locations and dates
Science fiction convention
Comic Art Convention
*"San Diego Comic Convention Souvenir Book" 1994 (offline)
* [http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/scott_shaw/archive/2005/07/07/1717.aspx The "Secret Origin" of San Diego's Comic-Con International]
* [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117988845.html?categoryid=1019&cs=1&nid=2562 The early days of Comic-Con] , "Variety", July 11, 2008
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