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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More