Chewbacca and Indiana Jones lean against a video game booth discussing "Watchmen," while a flock of pint-sized fans scatters to let the imposing Klingon soldier pass by. For four days a year, the San Diego Convention Center becomes an intergalactic playground, where avatars from every sort of pop, sub and counter-culture entertainment co-exist.
Comic-Con International is the single largest gathering of comic book fans worldwide, and draws crowds from around the globe. Since its debut in 1970, the convention has grown to near epic proportions, drawing more than 140,000 fans each year. Event producers project that if Comic-Con becomes any more popular, it will outgrow the Convention Center by 2012.
Though there are other international comic book conventions, San Diego Comic-Con is truly the pinnacle of fandom, the one event that captures the zeitgeist of an entire culture. Its appeal is not limited solely to comic books, either. Science fiction, fantasy, TV, movies and just about any other diversion available all have a home at Comic-Con.
If you're looking to buy or sell comic books, there are rows of vendors on the ground floor that rival the Middle Eastern market scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
If you're a pop culture junkie, Comic-Con may finally give you the opportunity to tell your friends about the time you were in the same room as Jessica Alba or Kiefer Sutherland. (Just think – you could actually shake hands with Jack Bauer and ask him all those questions that have been at the back of your mind.) In fact, Comic-Con is often the venue where details about next year's big movies are "accidentally" leaked to the public.
If you're a quiet observer of the quirks of humanity, Comic-Con could very well be your richest source for drinking in the foibles of others. Where else will you get the chance to finally put on that Princess Leia outfit?
Comic Con Information
- July 22nd through 25th, 2010
- Thursday: $25, Friday: $30, Saturday: $35, Sunday: $20
- Location: San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Drive San Diego, CA
- Phone: 619-491-2475
- Website: www.comic-con.org