American Studies!

American Studies/History/Culture/Folklore

San Diego Comic-Con International!

San Diego Comic-Con International, also known as Comic-Con International: San Diego (as given on its website), and commonly known as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con, was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and later the San Diego Comic Book Convention in 1970 by Shel Dorf[2] and a group of San Diegans.[3] It is traditionally a four-day event (Thursday through Sunday — though a three-hour preview night on Wednesday is open to professionals, exhibitors, and some guests pre-registered for all four days) held during the summer in San Diego, California, United States, 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, WonderCon and the Alternative Press Expo (APE), both held in San Francisco, California. Since 1974, Comic-Con has bestowed its annual Inkpot Award to 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.

Originally showcasing 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 culture elements, such as horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. The convention is the largest in the Americas, and fourth largest in the world after the Comiket in Japan, the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France,[4][5][6] and the Lucca Comics and Games in Italy, filling to capacity the San Diego Convention Center with over 125,000 attendees in 2007.


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, as well as 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. 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 Conference at 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.

Exclusive collectibles

In the 21st century, the convention has drawn toy and collectibles designers who sell “Comic Con Exclusive” products. Such companies have included Hasbro, Mattel, and Sideshow Collectibles.[15] Most such exclusives are licensed properties of movie, comic book, and animation characters.

In the media

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 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 five episode six of the Showtime show Weeds, attendees from Comic Con 2009 are seen in Silas and Doug’s medicinal marijuana club. It has been reported that a mock up of the external area near Hall D of the Convention Center depicting Comic-Con will be shown in the movie Paul which will be starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.[16] Issue #72 of The Invincible Iron Man (published by Marvel Comics in the fall of 1974) was set at the July–August, 1974 Comic-Con at the El Cortez Hotel. The issue features cameos by a few of the special guests.

Comic-Con Magazine

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 origins of the Comic-Con Magazine come from 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.[37] The last Update issue was on July, 2008 and went on hiatus.[38] Update came back 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.[39][40] The fourth issue of Comic-Con Magazine will be a hybrid with Comic-Con’s Souvenir Book with cover art by Alex Ross, in full color and exclusive to Comic-Con attendees.[39][41]


  1. Weisberg, Lori (November 22, 2010). “Comic-Con registration crashes for second time”. San Diego Union-Tribune (San Diego, California). Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  2. Shel Dorf Tribute
  3. Ken Krueger Tribute
  4. “Un monumental musée Hergé et une super production Tintin” (in French). 29 January 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  5. “35th Angouleme Int’l Comics Festival rings down curtain”. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  6. Peter Rowe (16 July 2009). “Invasion of the comic fanatics”. San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 4 October 2009. “And is the Con good enough to survive, in the face of younger rivals? In Angouleme, France, the 34-year-old Festival International de la Bande Dessinée has drawn up to 400,000 comic-book fans.”
  7. “Founder of Comic-Con Dies at 76”, City News Service via, November 4, 2009
  8. Evanier, Mark. POV Online (column of November 3, 2009): “Shel Dorf, R.I.P.”
  9. Comic-Con Souvenir Book #40 p.61 (2009)
  10. Rowe, Peter. “Obituary: Sheldon Dorf; Comic-Con co-founder, ‘The San Diego Union-Tribune / Sign On San Diego,, November 4, 2009
  11. Malloy, Elizabeth (2008-04-18). “Charting Comic-Con’s Hulk-like growth”. The Daily Transcript. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  12. “Comic Con Memories The 70s”. Comic-Con Souvenir Book #40 p.75 (2009)
  13. “Comic Con Memories The 80s”. Comic-Con Souvenir Book #40 p.90 (2009)
  14. “Comic-Con To Stay in SD At Least Through 2015”.<>
  15. “TNI’s 2007 San Diego Comic Con Exclusives Checklist”, Toy News International 2007
  16. Allen, Mike (20 August 2009). “Comic-Con Scene Bound for Big Screen”. San Diego Business Journal (San Diego Business Journal Associates). Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  17. Evanier, Mark. “News from Me” (column of April 7, 2006)
  18. Evanier, Mark. “News from Me” (column of April 8, 2006)
  19. 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”.
  20. Comic-COn 2008 registration
  21. McLean, Tom (2008-06-25). “Buyers beware scalped Comic-Con tickets”. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  22. More on the SDCC Preview Night sellout — correction
  23. You Were Warned!
  24. Eric, Carpenter (2010-02-23). “Could Comic-Con move to Anaheim?”. The Orange County Register.
  25. REGION: Comic-Con sells out 2011 Preview Night before Con ends
  26. Comic Con Souvenir Book #40. San Diego Comic-Com International. 2009. p. 60.
  27. Comic-Con Chronicles 2006. [internet video]. IFC News. 2006.
  28. “Comic-Con 2006 Special Guest List”. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  29. “Comic-Con: Where ‘nerd has become normal'” USA Today (July 29, 1007), by Scott Bowles
  30. “Comic-Con 2007 Special Guest List”. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  31. Comic-Con seeks bids from hotels
  32. “Comic-Con 2008 Special Guest List”. August 16, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  33. “Comic-Con 2009 Special Guest List”. September 14, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  34. SDCC ’10: A Note About This Week’s Massive Coverage
  35. “Comic-Con 2010 Special Guest List”. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
  36. Matt Goldberg (7 October 2009). “The 4-Day + Preview Night Passes for the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con Are Already Sold Out”. Retrieved 23 October 2009.  and
    Kevin Melrose (6 October 2009). “The comics Internet in two minutes”. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  37. Rogers, John (July 2005). “Inside: Celebrating a Legend” (PDF). Update (San Diego, California: San Diego Comic-Con International) 1 (1): Cover. OCLC 50503872.
  38. Rogers, John (July 2008). “Exclusive World Premiere at WonderCon!: Justice League: The New Frontier” (PDF). Update (San Diego, California: San Diego Comic-Con International) 3 (1): Cover. OCLC 50503872.
  39. “FREE magazine gives you valuable information” (SHTML). San Diego Comic-Con International. Retrieved 2009-02-03. “[…] 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 […]”
  40. Miller, Neil (2008-03-02). “Officially Cool: Comic-Con Magazine Premiere Issue” (PHP). Film School Rejects. Retrieved 2009-02-03. “[…] 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.”
  41. “2009 Comic‑Con Souvenir Book!” (SHTML). San Diego Comic-Con International. Retrieved 2009-02-03. “[…] Alex Ross’ cover for our 2008 Souvenir Book […] The big news this year is that the Souvenir Book is switching to FULL COLOR […]”



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