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San Diego Comic-Con at nearly 50: Cosplay, collectibles and long, long lines

por Shanna Abigail (2019-09-24)

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Cosplayers flock to SDCC every year with capes and wigs in tow. 

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images In 2006, long before Tony B Kim sold licensed superhero apparel for a living, he was just a guy who walked up to the door of San Diego Comic-Con for the first time, bought a ticket and marched right in. Thirteen years later, it's hard to imagine Kim, or anyone else, getting into SDCC without months of planning -- and a prayer to the hotel gods. 

The massive event, which started in 1970 as a gathering of about 145 comics fans in a hotel basement, has blown up into one of the world's most highly concentrated -- and highly anticipated -- celebrations of geek culture. Almost 50 years later, it attracts more than 130,000 attendees and consumes not only the San Diego Convention Center, but the nearby Gaslamp Quarter, and seemingly any available green patch or open hotel within reach. 

SDCC -- which this year runs from July 18-21 -- spills out everywhere, not unlike geek culture into the mainstream. If you see Chewbacca and Thor 카지노사이트 walking down the street and overhear snatches of conversation about who should really play Batman, you're in the right spot. 

Now playing: Watch this: The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises 3:00 Tony B Kim at his first SDCC in 2006.

Tony B Kim "Nerd culture has merged with and swallowed whole the rest of popular culture, and [Comic-Con] really is part of that," said Rob Salkowitz, author of the book Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World's Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment. 

When that merge started exactly depends on who you ask. But there's no mistaking that one of the biggest changes to Comic-Con has been the rise in popularity of TV shows and movies that might have once been deemed the sole purview of the nerdy crowd. Consider that from 2013 until now, 10 TV series have spun off from some of the 22 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Throw in another nine or so for DC. That's a lot of angst and spandex.

In the past decade, properties like the MCU, Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Harry Potter have gripped the zeitgeist like a Devil's Snare. Many people can probably find Mordor on a map and definitely know which Hogwarts house they belong to. Avengers: Endgame is this close to becoming the top-earning movie of all time globally, having already raked in north of $2.7 billion in ticket sales. 

"The water cooler talk around the office used to be about who won the big game over the weekend, and now it's about who's going to sit on the Iron Throne," said Kim, that lucky guy who walked right in the Comic-Con door in 2006. Kim runs an apparel company called Hero Within that makes licensed clothing. He also runs the site Crazy 4 Comic Con, a blog with news and updates about SDCC. 

The whole thing started on March 21, 1970, at the US Grant Hotel in San Diego. The one-day "minicon," as it was dubbed, was followed that August by a three-day event attended by around 300 guests, including sci-fi powerhouse Ray Bradbury, legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby, and author A.E. van Vogt, whose narrative style influenced Philip K. Dick.

Since those groundbreaking '70s events, the expanding reach of geek culture has meant that fandom, which is absolutely central to Comic-Con, has had to adapt to welcome those drawn by movies and television shows rather than just comics. 

And growth rarely comes without growing pains.