San Diego’s Comic-Con International officially began Thursday morning after a sneak-preview for some dedicated fans the night before.
Although the convention had its roots in the 1970s as a festival devoted to all things comic books, over the years it has expanded to be the grand convention for all things pop culture — a mecca for geeks of all stripes to don the costumes of their favorite characters and meet the creators of their beloved shows.
Twilight fans lined up nearly a week in advance to get a good seat for a never-before-seen screening of a few minutes from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.” This ended in tragedy on Tuesday as 53-year-old Gisela Gagliardi was struck and killed by a vehicle as she ran into an intersection while the light was red.
Celebrities such as Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland”), Sylvester Stallone (“Rocky”), Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Terminator”), John C. Reilly (“Stepbrothers”), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man 1, 2, 3), Jackie Chan (“Rush Hour”), and Sarah Silverman (“The Sarah Silverman Program”) were all in attendance, giving audiences exclusive previews of their upcoming movies, signing autographs and attending audience question and answer sessions.
The cast of television shows such as Dexter and Psych were also in attendance to discuss certain aspects of the next season of their respective series and to allow audiences brief glimpses into the direction the shows are headed.
Photo Gallery by Jay M. Stevens:
Hollywood has taken up an ever-stronger presence at the convention in recent years. However, there has been a marked decrease in Hollywood’s presence at the convention this year compared to previous years. Companies such as 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Brothers have taken smaller booths or foregone the convention entirely, as there are no pictures in their development cycle in a state ready to preview for audiences.
The slack has been taken up partly by the rising video game industry giants. Activision, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Capcom, and Nintendo all had large booths with playable demos of games that will be released later this year such as Halo 4 and Assassin’s Creed III, while the technology entertainment channel G4 had their hosts recording live from the convention floor.
Comics still have their place at the convention — half the convention floor was dedicated to the convention’s namesake, with traditional comic publishers like Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse sharing the convention area with Japanese manga publishers such as Viz Media. There was also a growing assortment of independent web-comics such as “Cyanide and Happiness” and “Penny Arcade.”
Day Two promises a reunion of the entire cast from the cult television series Firefly for the ten-year anniversary of the series, alongside panels for shows such as “The Big Bang Theory,” “Community,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Game of Thrones.” Other notable highlights of upcoming days include glimpses at “Iron Man 3,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” “Glee,” “Doctor Who,” “Supernatural,” “Mythbusters,” “Family Guy,” and “Futurama.”
Jay M. Stevens is an emerging writer on the scene and new contributor to SWRNN.