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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid