News / USA

Largest Comic Book Convention Opens in San Diego

Thousands are attending this year's Comic Con in San Diego.
Thousands are attending this year's Comic Con in San Diego.

Multimedia

The world's largest gathering of comic book fans is taking place in California. But organizers of the annual Comic-Con say this convention is not just for comic book fans. Hollywood, TV Networks and videogame makers are all getting into the game - helping to fuel the growing consumer appetite for costumed heroes and fantasy.

Everyone loves a costume party.

And when it's the world's biggest comic book convention - some find it simply too hard to resist dressing up. "Since I was 14, I have liked comics, so of course by default, we started going to Comic Cons when he was young.  He kind of grew out on his own.  It was his idea to dress up," says Jon Graham.

For serious action fans, this convention is as close as some will get to meeting their real-life super heroes - or just acting like one. "Everybody wants to see their comic book hero put into film and flying and [being tough]," says Geri Sumabom. "Doing all the things that we read about. We want to see that come to life.  It's great!"

Comic-con marketing director David Glanzer says the once-fledgling event has grown in recent years, thanks in part to Hollywood's love affair with action heroes. "This is our 41st year.  Each year is different.  Whether it be comic book publishers, toy manufacturers, or whatever.  Everybody's working on new projects.  And Comic-Con is the place you can see those projects before anybody else," he says.

The convention has turned into a marketing bonanza with celebrity guests this year including mega stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

But regular convention goers complain the event has become too big. Milan Chakroboty says "I certainly do think that it has become a victim of itself in many ways, like getting into some of the events are almost impossible.  You have to get there hours and hours in advance."

But some say the convergence of popular culture into one giant venue is not such a bad thing. "You know it's great that Comic-Con has grown into this pop culture event.  This is the event!  In fact I was reading in Vanity Fair and they quoted that Comic-Con is the new Sundance, it is the new Cannes Film Festival," says J.J. Carwell

In recent years, Comic-Con has helped launch films such as Iron Man and Avatar to tremendous box office success.  This year, the number of new films being promoted has nearly doubled.

More surprised than most by the event's success is Stan Lee - the 87-year old co-creator of Spiderman and Iron Man comic books.  Lee is mobbed everywhere he goes. "I feel like a rock star in a way.  But the only bad thing about it - I don't get a chance to really enjoy the Con.   Because I can't just walk around and look at the exhibits," he says.

About 125,000 fans of comic books, movies and video games are expected to attend the 4-day event which runs through July 25.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid