July 17, 2013
This week, Artinsights is prancing about happily at the greatest convention on Earth: San Diego Comic-Con.
San Diego Comic-Con! Four simple words that unleash spasms of nerdly happiness in every geek in the world. The promised land, the capital of geeks, nerds and fanboys/girls everywhere! Most people have, at least, heard of the now legendary convention, which is swarmed by close to 130,000 con-goers every year from around the globe. But what is SDCC? How did it start? Read on, fellow geeks, read on.
The convention that would become known as San Diego Comic-Con began in 1970. It was originally called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon and was held in Mrch 1970. It lasted only 1 day and drew in 100 con-goers. It’s success led to a full three-day convention later that same year, called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con. This second convention had over 300 attendents and featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings and more, creating the model of every comic book convention afterwards.
SDCC has always been about more than just comic books, however. Comic-Con has always held an interest, love and appreciation for all of the popular arts that are enjoyed by the geek community, including films, sci-fi and fantasy literature, television, etc. In 1973, it was officially named San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). In 1995, the event changed it’s name to Comic-Con International: San Diego, in recognition of its current status as a global convention phenomena. Still, everybody refers to it as SDCC, San Diego Comic-Con or just Comic-Con.
This convention is huge. Like the Incredible Hulk, the convention can barely contain itself it’s such a behemoth. It’s held every year at the San Diego Convention Center in (where else?) San Diego, California. The convention has become so large, with so many attendees that it has come to virtually take over downtown San Diego for its duration. It offers the complete convention experience: a gigantic exhibit hall, massive numbers of programs featuring comics and every aspect of the popular arts, workshops, educational and academic panels, games, competitions, film screenings, film previews, panels with actors, directors, artists, an art show, portfolio reviews, the list goes on. Literally everything and anything of interest to a geek is available at Comic-Con. And, of course, there’s cosplayers galore. (A cosplayer is someone who dresses up in a costume of their favorite character, whether it is comic book, anime, film, tv, literature).
I’m sure that you’re super excited to go next year. A word of caution: Comic-Con is big. Comic-Con is popular. Comic-Con is expensive. Comic-Con tickets get sold out almost the instant they are put on sale. Hotels become packed with reservations for the week of Comic-Con weeks/months beforehand. It’s not easy going to Comic-Con. But, if you manage to make it, then you can congratulate yourself on reaching nerd-Nirvana.