Monday, July 11, 2016

Is the San Diego Comic-Con really only a week away?

My very first Comic-Con, and second visit to any convention, was way back in '75.  That first one was held several months earlier at a high school that was closed for the summer.  Mostly what we would call a 'marketplace' nowadays, but with a few panels for those interested.The con was held at the now defunct El Cortez hotel and the entire place could fit easily into a corner of Hall H and be missed by most folks in attendance.  The idea of a few hundred folks wandering around, looking at old comics and even panels discussing them was amazing to me.  Those folks who complain that SDCC is no longer about comics, should know that even then there were panels on movies, television and animation.  Actors like Jock Mahoney and Kirk Alyn were there among others.  The following year people were there promoting some film called, STAR WARS that was still in production.  Whatever happened with that?

Comic-Con is so huge now that major stars show up promoting their latest projects. Companies vie for space on the convention hall floor, taking up hundreds of square feet to push and sell their products to over a 150,000+ folks.  Media reporters from around the world cover the event like it was the Super Bowl. The fans snickered at four decades ago are now shaping the culture of the entertainment industry.  Yeah, there are still those who laugh at the folks dressed up in costumes, but many of them are shelling out hundreds of dollars a year to see the films and play the video games based on those same characters.

I never know what to expect when I go to the Con every year, despite that list of 'must attend' panels and comic book creators I want to meet.  There are always surprises, from running into a celebrity at a restaurant or hotel lobby to ducking into a panel room, just to rest, and discover some new film, TV show or comic I'd never heard of before.  Heck, I've even come to know some of my favorite creators by their first names and to have shared a lunch or beer with a few.  The coolest part is when one of them unexpectedly remembers me and says hello on a crowded convention floor or walking into a room for a presentation.

Like every year I'll try to post some of my daily adventures when I get back.  I will also be posting some photos on Facebook and Twitter when something cool catches my eye.  Hope I can share a little of what goes on.

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