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Comic-Con International 2005: Preview

This year’s Comic-Con International 2005 is the biggest comic book convention in the world. It starts tomorrow, lasts until Sunday and is held in San Diego, CA. Most, if not all, of the big names in the comic book industry attend because there is nothing else like it.

With an unbelievable 444 hours of panels and events over 4 days and 3 nights, not including anime screenings and gaming, Comic-Con’s schedule is devoted to the world of comics. There are panels for all interests: mainstream superhero comics, alternative press, webcomics, the history of comics, newspaper comics, European comics, manga. It’s all here.

Hollywood has as much of a presence at Comic-Con as some of the major comic book artists. The two loves of my life, Natalie Portman and Kate Beckinsale, will both be on hand to promote their upcoming films V For Vendetta and Underworld 2: Evolution respectively. Many directors and stars regularly attend this convention, which is the unofficial publicity event for summer films – not just this summer but next summer and the one after that.

There are tons of things to do. For a nominal fee, your favorite comic artists will draw stuff for you. You can get their autographs and also the autographs of your favorite Hollywood players. You can see clips that studios bring to promote their upcoming films. They regularly give away free stuff like posters, t-shirts and other stuff. It’s a load of fun.

For those of you who are interested in attending but aren’t sure how it is, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of my experience at this past year’s WonderCon 2005 (Comic-Con’s sister convention held in San Francisco, CA earlier this year).

I’m very cheap so I don’t pay to enter, I volunteer. I help out for two hours and after that I have the rest of the day to hang out. Sometimes they also give volunteers dibs on free stuff. WonderCon recently moved to the SF Moscone Center after being previously held across the bay at the Oakland Convention Center.

The Moscone Center is huge. The room that held WonderCon this year was divided into three parts: the autograph area, the exhibit area and the comic area. The autograph area was reserved for booths where the Hollywood stars sat to give autographs to people and most of the section was devoted to waiting-in-line space. The exhibit area had booths for various companies and stores which sold merchandise and displayed information to the crowds. The comic area had booths and rows full of boxes of comic books for sale.

I worked the small free area that was in-between the autograph area and the comic area. The free stuff included many posters, some pins and buttons, fliers, DVDs and t-shirts. The posters I remember getting were of War Of The Worlds, The Jacket, and The Cave. There were more, but I forget what. I also received some t-shirts of The Jacket.

During the day, there are various press conferences and screenings. Comic book artists might get together and talk about their work with fans. Movie stars and directors offer question and answer sessions as well, and also show clips and trailers of their work. There are also some full film screenings shown. Games like Warhammer and Magic: The Gathering are also played.

My story about meeting Elisha Cuthbert can be read in my earlier BC post: here. Paris Hilton was supposed to be there as well, but she dropped out, citing prior commitments. I caught Extra! later that day to see footage of Paris Hilton aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco. Way to go Paris in promoting your movie career – not that I cared if she was there or not. I was there for Elisha.

Overall, WonderCon was great, and even though I haven’t been to Comic-Con, I’m sure it is along the same lines of fun and excitement. I just bribed my friends into traveling with me to next year’s Comic-Con. I WILL BE THERE!

Edited: LH

About Tan The Man

Tan The Man writes mostly about film and music. He has previously covered events like Noise Pop, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, South By Southwest, TBD Festival, and Wizard World Comic Con.

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