Monday, July 28, 2014


If you do not follow your newspaper's comics page, anime, science fiction, graphic books, Game of Thrones, Marvel heroes, DC comics or summer blockbuster movies, you may not have heard of Comic-Con.

And if you were in downtown San Diego last weekend, you would have felt yourself very much in the minority.

A friend of mine, Rick Detorie (see my June 12 post about his syndicated comic strip, One Big Happy) attends Comic-Con each year.  He made the video below last week.  It gives a good introduction to the event.

Looks fun, doesn't it?

Comic-Con is a convention of pop culture promotions and meetings.  There are Comic-Cons all over North America, Europe and even in India and the United Arab Emirates.

The original -- and by far the biggest of these -- is held each summer in San Diego.  This year's Comic-Con attracted more than 130,000 enthusiastic participants.

The video above shows the scene in the exhibition hall.  Serious discussions convened in upstairs meeting rooms with panels of prominent graphic book authors and comic artists, including those responsible for How to Be HappyBONE, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and many, many Batman titles.

The biggest room at the San Diego Convention Center, Hall H with 6,500 seats, is turned over one day to film companies for promotions of future releases.  An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people queued up, starting the night before, to see the presentations this year. Obviously, some were unable to get inside.

In one event, Warner Brothers wowed the crowd with stars and previews of much-anticipated movies:  Batman v. Superman: Dawn of JusticeHobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesJupiter Ascending and Mad Max: Fury Road.  In another, The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) stormed down the aisle in his Hercules costume. Marvel Pictures used its time to announce plans for a SEQUEL to Guardians of the Galaxy -- the first movie only hits theaters this Friday -- and a new feature based on its Ant-Man comic book series.

One bit of fun was the annual Zombie Walk.  Zombies have been a trending theme in recent years, and many Comic-Con attendees got into appropriate costumes and makeup and flooded downtown San Diego one evening, as seen below:

People do like to participate in art.

There was an unfortunate incident during this event.  A family of deaf people was driving in the area, and the children apparently were distressed by the zombie swarm.  As the father tried to move out of the area, he sideswiped a woman, and his car was followed and banged on by angry zombie characters, which no doubt horrified the kids even more.  The woman who was hit is in the hospital.

I'm not sure how this could have been prevented.   Should the San Diego Police Department have put up "Zombie Crossing" signs to warn people?

This issue will need consideration before Comic-Con 2015.

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