|San Diego Comic-Con International|
San Diego Convention Center (main)|
Downtown San Diego (various)
|Location(s)||San Diego, California|
|Inaugurated||March 21, 1970(as Golden State Comic Book Convention)|
|Attendance||Around 167,000 in 2015 |
|Organized by||Comic-Con International|
San Diego Comic-Con International is a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, California, United States. The name, as given on its website, is Comic-Con International: San Diego; but it is commonly known simply as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con or "SDCC".
It was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970 by a group of San Diegans that included Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, and Mike Towry; later, it was called the "San Diego Comic Book Convention". It is a four-day event (Thursday–Sunday) held during the summer (in July since 2003) at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego. On the Wednesday evening prior to the official opening, professionals, exhibitors, and pre-registered guests for all four days can attend a pre-event "Preview Night" to give attendees the opportunity to walk the exhibit hall and see what will be available during the convention.
Comic-Con International also produces two other conventions, WonderCon, held in Anaheim, and the Alternative Press Expo (APE), held in San Francisco. Since 1974, Comic-Con has bestowed its annual Inkpot Award on guests and persons of interest in the popular arts industries, as well as on members of Comic-Con's board of directors and the Convention committee. It is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards.
Originally showcasing primarily comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts, the convention has since included a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, including horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. According to Forbes, the convention is the "largest convention of its kind in the world;" Publishers Weekly wrote "Comic-Con International: San Diego is the largest show in North America;" it is also the largest convention held in San Diego. In 2010, it filled the San Diego Convention Center to capacity with more than 130,000 attendees. In addition to drawing huge crowds, the event holds several Guinness World Records including the largest annual comic and pop culture festival in the world.
The convention was founded in 1970 by Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, Mike Towry, Barry Alfonso, Bob Sourk, and Greg Bear. Detroit, Michigan-born, comics fan Shel Dorf, had, in the mid-1960s, mounted the Detroit Triple-Fan Fairs, one of the first commercial comics-fan conventions. When he moved to San Diego, California, in 1970, he organized a one-day convention (Golden State Comic-Minicon) on March 21, 1970, "as a kind of 'dry run' for the larger convention he hoped to stage." Dorf went on to be associated with the convention as president or manager, variously, for years until becoming estranged from the organization. Alf co-chaired the first convention with Krueger and became chairman in 1971.
Following the initial gathering, Dorf's first three-day San Diego comics convention, the Golden State Comic-Con, drew 300 people and was held at the U.S. Grant Hotel from August 1–3, 1970. Other locations in the convention's early years included the El Cortez Hotel, the University of California, San Diego, and Golden Hall, before being moved to the San Diego Convention Center in 1991. Richard Alf, chairman in 1971, has noted an early factor in the Con's growth was an effort "to expand the Comic-Con [organizing] committee base by networking with other fandoms such as the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Mythopoeic Society, among others. (We found a lot of talent and strength through diversity)." By the late 1970s, the show had grown to such an extent that Bob Schreck recalled visiting with his then-boss Gary Berman of Creation Conventions and reflecting, "While [Berman] kept repeating (attempting to convince himself) 'This show's not any bigger than ours!' I was quietly walking the floor stunned and in awe of just how much bigger it really was. I was blown away."
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 logo was designed by Richard Bruning and Josh Beatman in 1995. In 2015, working with Lionsgate, a video channel was created to host Comic-Con related content.
Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films, and portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies. The evenings include events such as awards ceremonies, the annual Masquerade 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, programs such 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 collectibles merchants. And 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.
Academics and comic industry professionals annually hold the Comics Arts Conference at Comic-Con, presenting scholarly studies on comics as a medium.
In recent years, the number of television shows that are promoted far outnumber films. During the 2011 convention, at least 80 TV shows were represented, compared to about 35 films. The shows not only promote in the exhibit halls, but also use screenings and panels of various actors, writers, producers, and others from their shows.
Examples of the wide variety of TV shows recently promoted include Arrowverse shows, Being Human, Bones, Burn Notice, Castle, Chuck, Grimm, MythBusters, Nikita, Once Upon a Time, Psych, Rick and Morty, Supernatural, Teen Wolf, The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Lost Girl, Sanctuary, Torchwood/ Doctor Who, and Warehouse 13.
In 2013, there were 1075 total panels held during the convention, the plurality of which were anime-focused (29%), followed by comic-focused panels (26%). 1036 vendors participated in the convention in 2013.
There are at least 17 separate rooms in the convention center used for panels and screenings, ranging in size from 280 seats to 6,100 seats. The two biggest are Ballroom 20, which seats approximately 4,900; and Hall H, which seats just over 6,100.
The neighboring Hilton Bayfront is also used, with its main ballroom (Indigo) seating up to 2,600. The other neighboring hotel, the Marriott Marquis & Marina, also hosts a lot of Comic-Con activity. Among other things, the hotel serves as the anime headquarters and is where the nighttime films are shown.
In the 21st century, the convention has drawn toy and collectibles designers who sell "Comic-Con Exclusive" products. Such companies have included Lego, Hasbro, Funko, Gentle Giant LTD, Mattel, NECA, ThinkGeek, Sideshow Collectibles, Entertainment Earth, Bif Bang Pow!, Mezco, Toynami, and Kotobukiya. Most such exclusives are licensed properties of movie, comic book, and animation characters.
Comic-Con International has served as the setting for Mark Hamill's Comic Book: The Movie, and for an 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 Cohen and Ryan Atwood's trip to Tijuana, Mexico in episode 7 ("The Escape") of the first season of TV series The O.C. The convention also featured prominently as a setting for the Numb3rs episode "Graphic". In season 4 of Beauty and the Geek, an episode was featured where the contestants traveled to Comic-Con 07 and were given a challenge to create their own superheroes. In an episode of Punk'd, Hilary Swank gets Punk'd after an "attack from talking robot". In season 5, episode six, of the Showtime show Weeds, attendees from Comic-Con 2009 are seen in Silas and Doug's medicinal marijuana club.
Comic-Con featured at some length in the 2011 movie Paul which stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Issue No. 72 of The Invincible Iron Man (1974) was set at the July–August 1974 Comic-Con at the El Cortez Hotel, and featured cameos by a few of the special guests.
Comic-Con is mentioned in the CBS television show The Big Bang Theory in several episodes, and in NBC's Chuck in the episode "Chuck Versus the Sandworm", as an event the characters enjoy attending. On the Futurama episode "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences", the main characters attend the 3010 convention (with it being referred to as "Comic-Con Intergalactic" and the iconic eye logo now sporting multiple eyes), where Fry looks for approval for his own comic while Bender attends a panel from Matt Groening (creator of Futurama as well as The Simpsons) on his new show "Futurella" (a twist on the title of the show and a parody of its cancellation by Fox).
In "It's My Party and I'll Bang If I Want To", an episode of the 2011 season of The Real World: San Diego, the cast attends Comic-Con made up as zombies in order to pass out promotional flyers for the House of Blues, where they worked as part of their season work assignment. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock released a 2011 documentary feature film set at the convention, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. Writer Robert Salkowitz also used the 2011 Comic-Con as a backdrop for his book Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, an analysis of the comics industry's 21st-century dilemmas and what the future may hold.
|No.||Dates||Location||Attendance||Official Comic-Con guests||Notes|
|1||March 21, 1970||U.S. Grant Hotel||145||Forrest J Ackerman, Mike Royer||Minicon staged to raise funding for August convention|
|2||Aug 1–3, 1970||U.S. Grant Hotel||300||Forrest J Ackerman, Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, Bob Stevens, A. E. van Vogt:61||a.k.a. Golden State Comic Con|
|3||Aug 6–8, 1971||Muir College,
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California
|800||Kirk Alyn, Leigh Brackett, Ray Bradbury, Edmund Hamilton, Jack Kirby:62|
|4||Aug 18–21, 1972||El Cortez Hotel||900+||Bob Clampett, Harry Harrison, Jack Kirby, Katherine Kurtz, Mel Lazarus, Roy Thomas, Milt Gray:65||a.k.a. San Diego's West Coast Comic Convention|
|5||Aug 16–19, 1973||Sheraton Hotel,
|1,000+||Neal Adams, D.C. Fontana, June Foray, Mike Friedrich, Carmine Infantino:66||Now officially San Diego Comic-Con; first five-day Comic-Con; first celebrity brunch|
|6||July 31 – August 5, 1974||El Cortez Hotel||2,500||Majel Barrett, Milton Caniff, Frank Capra, Chuck Jones, Walter Koenig, Russ Manning, Russell Myers, Charles M. Schulz, Larry "Seymour" Vincent:67||First Masquerade, emceed by June Foray|
|7||July 30 – August 3, 1975||El Cortez Hotel||2,450+||Robert Bloch, Will Eisner, Mark Evanier, Gil Kane, Jack Katz, Stan Lee, Dick Moores, Chuck Norris, Don Rico, Jerry Siegel, Jim Starlin, Jim Steranko, Theodore Sturgeon:68||Radio personality Gabriel Wisdom (dressed as Thor) emcees Maquerade, with Charlene Brinkman (akas Brinke Stevens)|
|8||Nov 7–9, 1975||El Cortez Hotel||1,100||Jock Mahoney, George Pal||Three-day follow-up to summer Con. Con incorporates as nonprofit.|
|9||July 21–25, 1976||El Cortez Hotel||3,000+||Sergio Aragonés, Mel Blanc, Milton Caniff, Rick Griffin, Dale Messick, Joe Shuster, Noel Sickles, Don Thompson, Maggie Thompson:69||Vaughn Bodé, scheduled to appear, dies just before Con.|
|10||July 20–24, 1977||El Cortez Hotel||4,000+||Carl Barks, C. C. Beck, Walter Gibson, Robert A. Heinlein, Michael Kaluta, Jack Kirby, B. Kliban, Joe Kubert, Harvey Kurtzman, Stan Lynde, Alex Niño, Trina Robbins, Bill Scott:70|
|11||July 26–30, 1978||El Cortez Hotel||5,000||John Buscema, Howard Chaykin, Shary Flenniken, Alan Dean Foster, Gardner Fox, Steve Gerber, Burne Hogarth, Greg Jein, Bob Kane, Gray Morrow, Clarence "Ducky" Nash, Grim Natwick, Wendy Pini, Frank Thorne, Boris Vallejo:71|
|12||Aug 1–5, 1979||San Diego Convention Center, U.S. Grant Hotel||6,000||Kelly Freas, Mike Jittlov, Harvey Kurtzman, Victor Moscoso, Nestor Redondo, Marshall Rogers, John Romita Sr., Mort Walker, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman:72||US$12,000 in receipts stolen from home of Con's treasurer.|
|13||July 30 – August 3, 1980||San Diego Convention Center, U.S. Grant Hotel||5,000||John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Mike Grell, Paul Gulacy, Larry Niven, Joe Orlando, Richard Pini, Wendy Pini, Jerry Pournelle, Osamu Tezuka, Go Nagai, Monkey Punch, Ryoichi Ikegami, Adam West, Wally Wood:78|
|14||July 23–26, 1981||El Cortez Hotel||5,000||Jerry Bails, Dave Berg, L. B. Cole, Jim Fitzpatrick, Dick Giordano, Bil Keane, Julius Schwartz, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Sim:79||Gary Owens emcees Masquerade.|
|15||July 8–11, 1982||San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego||5,000||Carl Barks, Terry Beatty, Brian Bolland, Max Allan Collins, Will Eisner, Mike Grell, Chuck Jones, Hank Ketcham, Walter Koenig, Frank Miller, Arn Saba, Leonard Starr, Ken Steacy, Robert Williams:80|
|16||Aug 4–7, 1983||San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego||5,000||Douglas Adams, Bob Clampett, Floyd Gottfredson, Harvey Kurtzman, Norman Maurer, Grim Natwick, George Pérez, Trina Robbins:81||First year the Con tried a theme for the souvenir programs. Arn Saba emcees Masquerade.|
|17||June 28 – July 1, 1984||San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego||5,500||Greg Bear, Howard Chaykin, Stan Drake, Burne Hogarth, Greg Jein, Ollie Johnston, Bob Layton, Brant Parker, Marshall Rogers, Mike Royer, Robert Shayne, Dave Stevens, Curt Swan, Frank Thomas, Al Williamson:82||Held early due to Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Sergio Aragonés hosted Masquerade.|
|18||Aug 1–4, 1985||San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego||6,000||Ben Bova, Jack Cummings, Jack Davis, Gil Kane, Harvey Kurtzman, Alan Moore (in his only U.S. convention appearance), Dan O'Bannon, Jerry Ordway, Alex Schomburg, Julius Schwartz, Jerry Siegel, Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson:83||Rick Geary toucan design adopted as official logo. Fae Desmond hired as general manager.|
|19||July 31 – August 3, 1986||San Diego Convention Center,
Hotel San Diego
|6,500||Poul Anderson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Greg Evans, Stan Lee, Dale Messick, Frank Miller, Moebius, Mart Nodell, Harvey Pekar, Jim Valentino, Doug Wildey:84|
|20||Aug 6–9, 1987||San Diego Convention Center, Holiday Inn||5,000||Harlan Ellison, Miguel Ferrer, Ward Kimball, B. Kliban, Françoise Mouly, Bill Mumy, Mike Peters, Robert Silverberg, Art Spiegelman, Bernie Wrightson:85||Debut of Convention Events Guide. Country Joe performs.|
|21||Aug 4–7, 1988||San Diego Convention Center, Omni Hotel||8,000||Art Adams, Robert Asprin, Jules Feiffer, Ray Feist, David Gerrold, Matt Groening, George R.R. Martin, Matt Wagner:86||Seduction Of The Innocent band (Bill Mumy, Steve Leialoha, Miguel Ferrer, Chris Christensen, Max Allan Collins) and anime department debut.|
|22||Aug 3–6, 1989||San Diego Convention Center, Omni Hotel||11,000||Paul Chadwick, Howard Cruse, Ron Goulart, Mark Hamill, Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez, Selby Kelly, Syd Mead, Fred Rhoads, Jerry Robinson, Gahan Wilson:87|
|23||Aug 2–5, 1990||San Diego Convention Center, Holiday Inn||13,000||Peter David, Will Eisner, Kelly Freas, Michael Kaluta, Mel Lazarus, Carl Macek, Grant Morrison, John Romita Jr., Van Williams:94|
|24||July 4–7, 1991||San Diego Convention Center, Pan Pacific Hotel||15,000+||Clive Barker, Dan DeCarlo, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Keith Giffen, Joe Haldeman, Lynn Johnston, Joe Kubert, Jim Lee, Don Maitz, Sheldon Moldoff, Rick Sternbach, Janny Wurts:95|
|25||Aug 13–16, 1992||San Diego Convention Center, Double Tree Hotel||22,000||Francis Ford Coppola, Creig Flessel, Bill Griffith, Todd McFarlane, Diane Noomin, Rowena, William Shatner, Gilbert Shelton, Lewis Shiner, Mr. T, Gary Trousdale, Vernor Vinge, Kirk Wise:96||Con hosts Jack Kirby's 75th birthday party. Phil Foglio emcees.|
|26||Aug 19–22, 1993||San Diego Convention Center, Doubletree Hotel||28,000||Murphy Anderson, Jim Aparo, Peter Bagge, Dan Clowes, Nancy Collins, Paul Dini, Garth Ennis, Ferd Johnson, Rick Kirkman, Don Martin, Olivia, Dave Sim, Vin Sullivan, Michael Whelan, Robert Williams, Roger Zelazny:97|
|27||Aug 4–7, 1994||San Diego Convention Center, Hyatt Regency||31,000||Mike Allred, David Brin, Dave Dorman, Al Feldstein, Rick Geary, Stan Goldberg, Roberta Gregory, Matt Groening, Chad Grothkopf, Lurene Haines, Dan Jurgens, Frank Miller, Leonard Nimoy, James O'Barr, Lucius Shepard, J. Michael Straczynski, Rumiko Takahashi, Jean-Claude Van Damme:98|
|28||July 27–30, 1995||San Diego Convention Center||34,000||Mike Baron, Simon Bisley, Charles Burns, Alan Davis, Ramona Fradon, Neil Gaiman, James Gurney, Greg Hildebrandt, Tim Hildebrandt, Ryoichi Ikegami, Gil Kane, Stan Lee, Irv Novick, Harvey Pekar, Stan Sakai, Joe Sinnott, Tom Sito, Jeff Smith, Andrew Vachss:99||Name change to Comic-Con International. Richard Bruning "eye" logo debuts.|
|29||July 4–7, 1996||San Diego Convention Center||36,000||Donna Barr, David Brin, Paul Chadwick, Steve Dillon, Mort Drucker, Ben Edlund, Garth Ennis, Dave Gibbons, Joe Giella, Richard Hatch, Dave McKean, Jim Mooney, Kurt Schaffenberger, François Schuiten:100||Due to the Republican National Convention, Con falls for second time on Independence Day.|
|30||July 17–20, 1997||San Diego Convention Center||40,000||Brent Anderson, Dick Ayers, Steve Bissette, Terry Brooks, Kurt Busiek, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Steven Hughes, Peter Kuper, David Lapham, Carol Lay, Joseph Michael Linsner, Ralph McQuarrie, Linda Medley, Michael Moorcock, George Pérez, Brian Pulido, Alex Ross, R.A. Salvatore, Kevin Smith, George Tuska, Jhonen Vasquez, Paul Verhoeven, Mark Waid, Al Williamson:101|
|31||Aug 13–16, 1998||San Diego Convention Center||42,000||John Broome, Eddie Campbell, Nick Cardy, Mark Crilley, Colleen Doran, Lorenzo Mattotti, Terry Moore, Paul S. Newman, James Robinson, Joe Simon, Paul Smith, Vin Sullivan, Naoko Takeuchi, Chris Ware, Robert Williams:102|
|32||Aug 13–16, 1999||San Diego Convention Center||42,000||Tom Batiuk, Chuck Cuidera, Samuel R. Delany, Paul Dini, Arnold Drake, Neil Gaiman, Sam Glanzman, Larry Gonick, Irwin Hasen, Patrick McDonnell, Mike Mignola, Mark Mothersbaugh, Jerry Robinson, Art Spiegelman, Jim Steranko, Jill Thompson, Bruce Timm, Barry Windsor-Smith:103|
|33||July 20–23, 2000||San Diego Convention Center||48,500||Kyle Baker, Will Elder, Ric Estrada, Al Feldstein, Phoebe Gloeckner, Jack Kamen, Ben Katchor, Harry Knowles, Harry Lampert, Jeph Loeb, Scott McCloud, Tim Sale, Marie Severin, Kevin Smith, Bryan Talbot, Angelo Torres, Lewis Trondheim, Al Williamson, Gahan Wilson, Janny Wurts:108|
|34||July 19–22, 2001||San Diego Convention Center||53,000||Brian Michael Bendis, John Buscema, Michael Chabon, Frank Cho, Julie Doucet, Brian Froud, Wendy Froud, Gene Ha, Joe R. Lansdale, Russell Myers, P. Craig Russell, Kim Stanley Robinson, Spider Robinson, Alvin Schwartz, Dan Spiegle, Jhonen Vasquez, Judd Winick, Bernie Wrightson:109|
|35||Aug 1–4, 2002||San Diego Convention Center||63,000||Dick Ayers, Mike Carey, Howard Chaykin, Peter David, Roman Dirge, Devon Grayson, Frank Jacobs, Chip Kidd, Bob Lubbers, Jason Lutes, Craig McCracken, Todd McFarlane, Tony Millionaire, Kevin Nowlan, Bob Oksner, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Eric Shanower, Hal Sherman, Herb Trimpe, George Woodbridge, William Woolfolk:110|
|36||July 17–20, 2003||San Diego Convention Center||70,000||Brian Azzarello, Charles Berberian, Sal Buscema, Philippe Dupuy, Neil Gaiman, Jackson "Butch" Guice, Nalo Hopkinson, Steve Jackson, Geoff Johns, Larry Lieber, Carla Speed McNeil, Kevin O'Neill, Howard Post, R.A. Salvatore:111|
|37||July 22–25, 2004||San Diego Convention Center||95,000||Jack Adler, Roger Dean, Dave Gibbons, Tom Gill, Harry Harrison, Sid Jacobson, Geoff Johns, Batton Lash, Chuck McCann, Aaron McGruder, Brad Meltzer, Mike Mignola, Rebecca Moesta, Bill Plympton, Eduardo Risso, Jean Schulz, Frank Springer, Tim Thomerson, Craig Thompson, John Totleben:112||Con expands into Hall H of San Diego Convention Center, occupying entire exhibit space.|
|38||July 14–17, 2005||San Diego Convention Center||103,000||Lalo Alcaraz, Lee Ames, Sy Barry, Bob Bolling, Bruce Campbell, Nick Cardy, Greg Evans, Bob Fujitani, Pia Guerra, Ray Harryhausen, Phil Jimenez, Robert Jordan, David Lapham, Richard Morgan, Gary Panter, Eric Powell, Lou Scheimer, J. J. Sedelmaier, Dexter Taylor, Brian K. Vaughan, James Warren:113|
|39||July 20–23, 2006||San Diego Convention Center||123,000||Forrest J. Ackerman, Yoshitaka Amano, Sergio Aragonés, Peter S. Beagle, Brian Bolland, Ray Bradbury, Mark Buckingham, Kurt Busiek, Art Clokey, Daniel Clowes, Amanda Conner, Roger Corman, Luis Dominguez, Brian Fies, Phil Foglio, Basil Gogos, Carmine Infantino, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Robert Kirkman, James Kochalka, Walter Koenig, Kazuo Koike, Tommy Kovac, Roger Langridge, George R.R. Martin, Billy Martinez, Jonathan Matthews, Linda Medley, Brad Meltzer, Jean-Claude Mézières, Sheldon Moldoff, Jim Mooney, Jimmy Palmiotti, Christopher Paolini, George Pérez, Howard Porter, Jerry Robinson, John Romita, Andy Runton, Shag, Gail Simone, J. Michael Straczynski, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, John Wagner, Brian Walker, Greg Weisman, Scott Williams.|
|40||July 26–29, 2007||San Diego Convention Center||125,000||Sergio Aragonés, Alison Bechdel, Allen Bellman, Ray Bradbury, Dan Brereton, Daryl Cagle, Cecil Castellucci, Darwyn Cooke, Guy Delisle, Paul Dini, Roman Dirge, Cory Doctorow, Ann Eisner, Warren Ellis, Mark Evanier, Renee French, Gary Friedrich, Christos N. Gage, Neil Gaiman, Rick Geary, George Gladir, Laurell K. Hamilton, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Adam Hughes, Joe Jusko, Miriam Katin, Mel Keefer, Scott Kurtz, Joseph Michael Linsner, Joe Matt, David Morrell, Karen Palinko, Mike Ploog, Paul Pope, Lily Renée, George A. Romero, Rowena, Dave Stevens, J. Michael Straczynski, Ben Templesmith, Roy Thomas, Morrie Turner, Mark Verheiden, Matt Wagner, J. H. Williams III, Kent Williams, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Wood.|
|41||July 24–27, 2008||San Diego Convention Center||126,000||Forrest J Ackerman, Sergio Aragonés, Kyle Baker, Ralph Bakshi, Mike W. Barr, Lynda Barry, Frank Beddor, Ray Bradbury, Steve Breen, Max Brooks, Ed Brubaker, Matt Busch, Jim Butcher, Eddie Campbell, Howard Chaykin, Kim Deitch, Mark Evanier, Al Feldstein, Hiro Mashima, Keith Giffen, Neil Googe, Victor Gorelick, Mike Grell, Paul Gulacy, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Hill, Bryan Hitch, John Howe, Al Jaffee, Geoff Johns, J. G. Jones, Todd Klein, Dean Koontz, Tite Kubo, Verne Langdon, Jim Lee, Rutu Modan, Noel Neill, Floyd Norman, Jim Ottaviani, Mike Peters, Wendy Pini, Steve Purcell, Robert J. Sawyer, James Shoop, Jim Starlin, Joe Staton, J. Michael Straczynski, Adrian Tomine, Ethan Van Sciver, James Warren, Jeff Watts, Signe Wilkinson, Bill Willingham, Connie Willis, Jim Woodring, Bernie Wrightson, Dean Yeagle.|
|42||July 23–26, 2009||San Diego Convention Center||126,000||Shane Acker, Michael "Doc" Allred, Kevin J. Anderson, Sergio Aragonés, Ray Bradbury, Brom, Gene Colan, Nicola Cuti, Kevin Eastman, Steve Epting, Mark Evanier, June Foray, Ramona Fradon, Hunter Freberg, Stan Freberg, Gary Gianni, Jimmy Gownley, Russ Heath, Brian Herbert, James Jean, Geoff Johns, Eric Jones, Kazu Kibuishi, Denis Kitchen, John Kricfalusi, Hope Larson, Jim Lee, Francis Manapul, Dwayne McDuffie, Doug Moench, Sheldon "Shelly" Moldoff, Fabio Moon, Patrick Oliphant, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Stephan Pastis, David Petersen, Darick Robertson, Jerry Robinson, Mike Royer, Stan Sakai, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Seth, Bill Sienkiewicz, Gail Simone, Leonard Starr, J. Michael Straczynski, Richard Thompson, Lewis Trondheim, Ramón Valdiosera Berman, Jerry Vanderstelt, Charles Vess, Landry Walker, Bill Willingham, Gene Yang, Leinil Yu. John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki as panelists|
|43||July 22–25, 2010||San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, and San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina||130,000+||Neal Adams, Jason Spyda Adams, Joel Adams, Josh Adams, Sergio Aragonés, Peter Bagge, Gabrielle Bell, Brian Michael Bendis, Ray Bradbury, Émile Bravo, Berkeley Breathed, Kurt Busiek, Chris Claremont, Howard Cruse, Vanessa Davis, Felicia Day, Samuel R. Delany, Dave Dorman, Mark Evanier, Jon Favreau, Matt Fraction, Hunter Freberg, Stan Freberg, Nicholas Gurewitch, Moto Hagio, Charlaine Harris, Dusty Higgins, Tanya Huff, Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Immonen, Van Jensen, Phil Jimenez, Jenette Kahn, Keith Knight, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Paul Levitz, Milo Manara, Larry Marder, Carla Speed McNeil, China Miéville, Dennis O'Neil, Robert M. Overstreet, Tom Palmer, Sean Phillips, Ivan Reis, Douglas E. Richards, Rick Riordan, Jerry Robinson, Steve Rude, Jeannie Schulz, J. Michael Straczynski, Drew Struzan, James Sturm, Jillian Tamaki, Doug TenNapel, C. Tyler, Ann VanderMeer, Jeff VanderMeer, Gerard Way, Al Wiesner, Michael Zulli.|
|44||July 21–24, 2011||San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, and Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel||126,000+||Gerry Alanguilan, Sergio Aragonés, Jean Bails, Ed Benes, Anina Bennett, Jordi Bernet, Yves Bigerel, Joyce Brabner, Patricia Briggs, Chester Brown, Ernie Chan, Jo Chen, Seymour Chwast, Alan Davis, Dick DeBartolo, Tony DeZuniga, Eric Drooker, Garth Ennis, Mark Evanier, Joyce Farmer, David Finch, Dave Gibbons, Tsuneo Goda, Paul Guinan, Kim Harrison (Dawn Cook), Jonathan Hickman, John Higgins, Charlie Huston, Jamal Igle, Joëlle Jones, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Peter Kuper, Richard Kyle, Mell Lazarus, Jim Lee, Paul Levitz, David Lloyd, Patricia Lupoff, Richard A. Lupoff, Patrick McDonnell, Rebecca Moesta, Christopher Moore, Grant Morrison, Alex Niño, Ethan Nicolle, Malachai Nicolle, Anders Nilsen, Jerry Robinson, Bill Schelly, Scott Shaw, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Jeff Smith, Frank Stack, Jim Steranko, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart, J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Tatulli, Roy Thomas, Maggie Thompson, Peter J. Tomasi, Scott Westerfeld, Ashley Wood Steven Spielberg appeared as a panelist.|
|45||July 12–15, 2012||San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, and San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina||130,000+||Charlie Adlard, Bill Amend, Sergio Aragonés, Tom Batiuk, Kate Beaton, Alison Bechdel, Tim Bradstreet, Mike Carey, Gail Carriger, Becky Cloonan, Geof Darrow, Ben Edlund, Steve Englehart, Mark Evanier, Greg Evans, Brecht Evens, Gary Gianni, Stan Goldberg, Rob Guillory, Larry Hama, Peter F. Hamilton, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Klaus Janson, N.K. Jemisin, Lynn Johnston, Joe Jusko, Karl Kerschl, Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, John Layman, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire, Paul Levitz, Rob Liefeld, Andy Mangels, Rudy Nebres, Dan Piraro, Whilce Portacio, Nate Powell, James Robinson, Brandon Sanderson, Ben Saunders, Doug Savage, John Scalzi, Mark Schultz, Scott Shaw, Gilbert Shelton, Jason Shiga, Jim Silke, Marc Silvestri, Scott Snyder, J. Michael Straczynski, Angelo Torres, Herb Trimpe, Morrie Turner, Michael Uslan, Jim Valentino, Trevor Von Eeden, Mark Waid, Tom Yeates||Comic-Con begins charging for Preview Night; pre-registration during 2011 held off-site at Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, and number of pre-registrations limited.|
|46||July 18–21, 2013||San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, Petco Park Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Chula Vista Center||130,000+||Sergio Aragonés, Tom Batiuk, Brian Michael Bendis, Jon Bogdanove, Vera Brosgol, Jeffrey Brown, Frank Brunner, Gerry Conway, Denys B. Cowan, Jeromy Cox, Bill Skarsgård, Michael Davis, Gene Deitch, Jose Delbo, Derek T. Dingle, Paul Dini, Mark Evanier, Christine Feehan, Ellen Forney, Gary Frank, Charlotte Fullerton, Neil Gaiman, Tom Gauld, Russ Heath, Faith Erin Hicks, Adam Hughes, Tony Isabella, Georges Jeanty, Dan Jurgens, Richard Kadrey, Sean Kieth, Jim Lee, Paul Levitz, John Lewis, Todd Lockwood, Elliot S. Maggin, Leonard Maltin, Jeff Mariotte, Val Mayerik, Dave McKean, Terry Moore, Dean Mullaney, Ted Naifeh, Mike Norton, Jerry Ordway, Dan Parent, Martin Pasko, Lincoln Peirce, George Pérez, Fred Perry, Richard Pini, Wendy Pini, John Romita Jr., Chris Samnee, Ruth Sanderson, Scott Shaw, Christopher Shy, Louise Simonson, Jeff Smith, Nick Spencer, J. Michael Straczynski, Duane Swierczynski, Romeo Tanghal Sr., Roy Thomas, Bruce Timm, J.H. Williams III|
|47||July 24–27, 2014||San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, Petco Park, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Harbor Club Condominiums, Westfield Horton Plaza, Chula Vista Center, Qualcomm Stadium||130,000+||Mark Brooks (comics), Amanda Conner, Jane Espenson, Jim Lee, Sara E. Mayhew, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Quesada, Stan Sakai, Dan Slott, Brian Stelfreeze, J. Michael Straczynski, Brian K. Vaughn, Gene Luen Yang|
|48||July 9–12, 2015||San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Petco Park, Park at the Park, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Public Library, Horton Plaza Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Spreckels Theater Building, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade||167,000||Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Humberto Ramos, J. Michael Straczynski, Jhonen Vasquez, Skottie Young|
|49||July 21–24, 2016||San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Public Library, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Gaslamp Quarter, Petco Park, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Children's Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Spreckels Theater Building, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade||135,000+||Sergio Aragonés, Peter David, Ben Dunn, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Ed McGuinness, Tsutomu Nihei, Patrick Rothfuss, J. Michael Straczynski||RFID badges are first introduced. This requires attendees to "tap in" as they enter the convention center and official offsite events and "tap out" as they exit.|
|50||July 20–23, 2017||San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Public Library, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Gaslamp Quarter, Petco Park, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Children's Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Spreckels Theater Building, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Balboa Theatre||130,000+||Sergio Aragonés, Paul Dini, Mike Grell, Erica Henderson, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Simone, R. L. Stine, J. Michael Straczynski||First year badges are mailed in commemorative boxes to US attendees which includes a preview guide, an Amazon video 30-day free trial voucher, and an exclusive SDCC '17 pin.|
|51||July 19–22, 2018||San Diego Convention Center, San Diego Public Library, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Public Library, Horton Grand Theater||John Walsh||Online lottery system first implemented for high demand signings, exclusives, and booth access. First year Harbor Drive (and some additional streets) is closed to vehicle traffic from 7am to 9pm.|
Comic-Con Magazine, formerly known as Update, is the official magazine of San Diego Comic-Con International, WonderCon, and Alternative Press Expo, published free by San Diego Comic-Con International in the United States. The seed of the Comic-Con Magazine was a short one-shot issue of The Spirit, based on Comic-Con and sold exclusively in 1976 at the San Diego Comic-Con International. The Comic-Con Magazine debuted as Update in July 2005 and mainly focused on the winners of the Eisner Awards. The last Update issue appeared in July 2008; then it went on hiatus. When it came back, it was as Comic-Con Magazine, which not only covered San Diego Comic-Con International, but also WonderCon and the Alternative Press Expo, more commonly known as APE. The new Comic-Con Magazine features interviews with Comic-Con attendees and complete coverage of the Comic-Con events. The fourth issue of Comic-Con Magazine was a hybrid with Comic-Con's Souvenir Book with cover art by Alex Ross, in full color and exclusive to Comic-Con attendees.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2017)
A large number of exhibitors from art, comics, games, film, TV, and publishing are at Comic-Con.
There are three type of exhibitors at San Diego Comic Con. Inside the convention center, which requires a badge to visit during the convention, includes artists alley and the main exhibitor hall. Artist Alley is for up and coming artists who are new to the pop culture world by selling their new books, comics, toys, and or services. They range from local companies and businesses in Southern California to international ones, but are manly private endeavors. Artist Alley is usually located in Hall G of the convention center. Spaces for these exhibitors are highly sought after and are on a lottery and need based system.
The main exhibit hall, which includes larger well-recognized companies, takes up halls F through A. These companies sell or promote new and up comping movies, television shows, and video games as well as featuring toys and exclusives with many selling for hundreds or even thousands on the secondary markets outside the convention. Some notable recurring companies include Lego, Hasbro, Funko, Hallmark Cards, Lucasfilm, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, 21st Century Fox, and Blizzard Entertainment.
The other type of exhibitors include offsite exhibitors, booths and events which are located outside the convention center. These locations are usually within walking distance of the convention center but have been moving into nearby parks in recent years. Some notable examples include Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, Petco Park, and Children's Park (San Diego). In recent years, these offsite events have no connection to SDCC. Instead, companies such as Amazon, TruTV, Laika, and HBO have negotiations with the city of San Diego rather than directly with San Diego Comic Con. In the past, most sites have not required a comic con badge. There are some official offsite events that require a badge, for example panels, Conan which is filmed at nearby Spreckels Theater Building during SDCC, or Anime and gaming rooms.
Capacity attendance at Comic-Con in 2006 and 2007 has caused crowding issues. Concerns have been raised that the event is possibly too large for the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con's home through at least 2021. 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. In 2008, all memberships were sold out before the convention for the first time. This sellout has given rise to the new phenomenon of Comic-Con memberships being scalped for exorbitant prices on websites such as eBay and Craigslist.
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:
We've been approached by other cities, [but] I don't think anybody wants to leave San Diego. I certainly don't. It's a perfect fit for us. It's expensive, whether it be paying for the street signs that tell you what streets are closed, or for any police or the hall or any of the myriad things, it's expensive. But it's a great city. There's been some talk of expansion of the center, which we would certainly welcome. Hopefully if everything lines up, we will be here for many more years.
Heidi McDonald reported on her blog The Beat as of October 7, 2009, Preview Night for the 2010 show had already sold out. Glazner explained the early sell-out:
For 2010 the decision was made to offer an option (of whether they wanted to attend Preview Night) to those who pre-registered for four-day badges. We limited the number of badges for Preview Night to the number of those who attended in 2008.
Mark Evanier on his blog News from ME noted as of November 9, 2009, that all 4-day passes for the 2010 show had already been sold out. On February 23, 2010, The Orange County Register reported that the larger Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim would be making a bid to become the new home of Comic-Con starting in 2013. On September 30, 2010, Comic Con announced that they had extended their stay up to 2015. The North County Times reported on July 26, 2010, that 4-day passes with access to Preview night for the 2011 Convention had sold out two hours before the 2010 convention closed. Comic-Con International announced that 4-day passes for the 2014 convention (July 24–27) would no longer be available and only single days would be sold. Due to overcrowding, organizers of the event capped attendance; this cap has been in place since 2007.
As of October 2013, a $520 million proposed expansion to the San Diego Convention Center received approval from the California Coastal Commission. The proposed expansion would increase the available space within the convention center and had a target completion date of early 2016. The expansion would add approximately 225,000 square feet of exhibit space, an additional 35%; and a brand-new 80,000 square foot ballroom, 20% larger than Hall H. The plan would also add a second tower to the Hilton Bayfront hotel, adding 500 rooms adjacent to the Convention Center. Due to the proposed expansion of the convention center, Comic Con extended its contract for San Diego to 2016. In 2014, convention center expansion was halted due to a lawsuit. As of July 2015, convention center expansion is effectively frozen, partly because the city no longer has financing lined up for it (any financing plan would involve taxpayer money and would have to be approved by a public vote), and partly because the city lost the rights to the only contiguous parcel of land where expansion could occur. Other cities, including Los Angeles, began to seek to have Comic-Con move out of San Diego; In 2015, Comic-Con entered into negotiations with San Diego. As a result of these negotiations, Comic-Con entered into a contract to stay in San Diego through 2018. In 2017 the commitment to San Diego was extended to 2021.
In 2010, a 53-year-old woman crossing at a red light was hit by a car and killed in the days leading up to the convention.
In 2013, a young woman attempted to jump off the balcony of a local high-rise, but nearby stuntmen prevented it.
In 2014, multiple pedestrians marching in Comic-Con's ZombieWalk were struck by a car forcing its way through an intersection. A 64-year-old woman sustained serious injuries to her arm; two others had minor injuries.
The same year, a teenage cosplayer was initially thought to have been sexually assaulted early Sunday morning, and a suspect was arrested on Sunday at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina. Police later stated that the teenage girl was injured in a fall; the arrested individual was released without any charges.
In 2014, San Diego Comic-Con sent a cease and desist order to the organizers Salt Lake Comic Con, asserting that "Comic-Con" and "Comic-Con International" were registered trademarks of the convention, and that use of the term "comic con" in any form was trademark infringement as it implies an unauthorized association with San Diego Comic Con. A U.S. court ruled in favor of San Diego Comic-Con and awarded $20,000 in damages (albeit not considering the infringement to be willful). Phoenix Comiccon changed its name to Phoenix Comic Fest as a proactive move to avoid possible legal issues in the wake of this ruling. They then filed a motion in an Arizona Federal Court to strike down San Diego Comic Convention's trademark In 2017, the Salt Lake Comic Con changed its name to FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention (or just FanX). On January 16, 2018, Salt Lake Comic Con filed a motion for a new trial.
While the Con's impact is global, it's San Diego's single largest convention, drawing more than 100,000 people who will rent hotel rooms, order meals and buy bagfuls of whatnots, all to the tune of $32 million.
That same year, the direct economic impact of Comic-Con — a five-day pop culture celebration that is the county’s largest convention — was pegged at $180 million.[permanent dead link]
The event has become so popular that organizers have capped attendance at around 130,000 and implemented the digital-registration system to reduce long lines onsite (there are enough of those already) and to prevent ticket brokers from buying blocks of admission badges for resale.
[...] the new official publication of the San Diego Comic-Con International, WonderCon, and APE, the Alternative Press Expo [...] Comic-Con Magazine will still contain the elements that made the Update the official preview of all the Comic-Con events [...] We will continue showcasing exclusive interviews with special guests from all three of our shows [...]
[...] produced by the folks who run the San Diego Comic-Con, it's little sister show WonderCon and APE, the Alternative Press Expo. This new publication, Comic-Con Magazine, is the evolved version of Update [...] there is a pretty in-depth preview of this year's San Diego Comic-Con [...] a Comic-Con A to Z Guide and Interviews with actual Comic-Con attendees.
[...] Alex Ross' cover for our 2008 Souvenir Book [...] The big news this year is that the Souvenir Book is switching to FULL COLOR [...]
People who want to attend Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday will have to purchase a badge for each day
"As you know because of limited space at the San Diego Convention Center we have had to cap attendance for the last few years," organizers said in their e-mail.
Comic-Con reached a self-imposed attendance limit at the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) in 2007 and has had to cap attendance at approximately 125,000 people each year since.
The woman was in a crosswalk and had a red light when she tried to run across Harbor Drive toward the convention center about 9:20 a.m., said police Sgt. Ron Glass.
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