Starting this Thursday, American “geek” culture will make the San Diego Convention Center its Mecca, when over 100,000 fans and industry celebrities appear for the San Diego Comic Convention. Names like Oscar-winner Peter Jackson will be in attendance, as giants in the TV, film, video game and comic book industries prepare to celebrate their brands alongside their fans.
San Diego’s Comic-Con has become a tradition 43 years strong, and is now an annual showcase for all things pop culture. Exclusive trailers, previews and merchandise make their debut during the four-day convention, beginning with a special Wednesday preview night that is only available to dedicated fans who bought a full weekend pass to the sold-out convention.
Preview night will be the first showing for new and specially released products, many of which will only be available during the convention. Some souvenirs will be offered for free, while rare items may fetch prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
“Comic-Con has become the place, really the only place, where you can go to get these limited-edition, first-edition products,” said Rich Collins of Big Tent Entertainment, which makes toys and products for Dark Horse Comics and other brands. “If you’re a fan of this genre, this is the show, not just in the U.S., but globally.”
Of course, Comic-Con is not exclusively for super fans, as informational panels on the industry and interviews with the creators behind some of pop culture’s most well-known franchises can be rewarding for any ticket-holding attendee, no costume required.