The Whole Wide World Is in San Diego: Comic-Con 2012 — Part I

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By Lorenzo Marchessi

Comic-Con San Diego Conven-tion Center lines.

Comic-Con is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest attended convention in the world. Attracting 130,000 people a day for a five day long adventure — making the attendance over 600,000 for the weekend!

What is Comic-Con? Yes it has comics, comic books, writers, artists, and colorists, but what you may not know is that it has panels that allow you to learn, ask questions, participate in the formation of various projects, and contains classes and seminars on digital design, film production, music recording, computers, comic book writing, programming, writing, personal promotions, advertising, software development, and so much more. It’s no longer the only 100 person attended, one ballroom, five hour event that started 42 years ago.

A Superman Maquette selling for more than $300.

You’ll see costumes, toys, books, comics, maquettes, costumes, props, action figures, scores, art, autograph signings, giveaways, contests, lotteries, and basically a “Geek Explosion” of fans from all over the world. Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Iran, China, Korea, the Philippines, Alaska, Sweden … and more … Chicago, Maine, New York, Iowa, Orlando, Oregon … etc.

This year was amazing … listening to heartfelt scenes that Peter Jackson talks about in the new movie The Hobbit with Sir Ian McKellen … the magnetic and audience-friendly charm of Robert Downey Jr. talking about Ironman 3 … sincerity and warmth towards the fans from Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame speaking of being a world-wide icon … the humor and thoughtfulness of Nathan Fillion expressing, through tears, his appreciation and support of the fans of his short-lived Firefly series … William Shatner gratefully thanking the fans around the world that helped him make his new documentary … and it’s all there at Comic-Con.

Some insights toward attending the Comic-Con experience would be to book your hotel early – in fact the moment you get your tickets – because they sell out as much as eight months in advance!

The BBC America Booth on the Exhibitors Floor.

Recently, the biggest complaint about the event has been the ticket purchasing part. They went to an exclusively online program that failed the first year they rolled it out; misdirected others the next year; and still haven’t made a fair and honest effort to sell tickets evenly as they have in the past.

You should, however, be prepared to walk a lot – so wear great shoes and plan your entire week. The biggest events are always held in the 6,500 seat Hall H. Next largest is the 3,500 seated Ballroom 20. Both of these rooms fill up early and depending on the events of the day — like this year’s Twilight panel — they camped out overnight on theSan DiegoConvention Center grounds just to make sure they got in!

Now, more about what was inside the SD Convention Center … To Be Continued…..

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