Comic-Con’s Yearly Invasion Begins

Courtesy of MCT

Gilbert C. Anton

Celebrities, such as Tyrese Gibson (shown here), often make appearences at Comic-Con International.

The annual San Diego Comic-Con International returns as comic book fans and geeks-at-heart flock to the halls of the San Diego Convention Center this weekend.

As one of the largest conventions of its kind, Comic-Con has normally drawn in around 100,000 fans each year for the past few years and is marked by major announcements and reveals for comic books, video games, television shows and movies.

Praise and criticism alike have been leveled at the convention for the increased attention that movies have garnered, even those based off comic book properties as the promise of reveals and footage for many of these films have given Comic-Con increased importance as a pop culture event.

Yet many of these same films, like “Scott Pilgrim” and “Green Lantern,” have received favorable reception from audiences at Comic-Con, only to garner less than stellar box office sales upon release.

Hollywood has seemingly taken notice as this year’s Comic-Con is marked by a lack of presence from several big budget films, including “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Avengers.”

“Hollywood has had to learn the hard way that a strong reception from the geek crowd at Comic-Con doesn’t necessarily mean a project will be successful with mainstream audiences,” commented’s Kofi Outlaw.

Even so, Comic-Con still has some major Hollywood players making an appearance as they attempt to capitalize on the fan base present.

The new “The Amazing Spider-Man” reboot of the film franchise promised a new trailer premiere at the event, though the footage has already been prematurely leaked to the Internet.

The “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” panel looks to host one of the largest audiences at the convention with increased importance placed on it after a long absence from the public spotlight.

Other movies and television shows promising big reveals and announcements include “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Cowboys and Aliens,” “True Blood,” “The Walking Dead” and “Glee.”

Major video game properties, including “Batman: Arkham City” will also have a strong presence at the convention with a major announcement, rumored to be a release date, having been teased for “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

While movies, television shows, and video games now hold much of the spotlight, Comic-Con still focuses heavily on the industry from which it was spawned in 1970: comic books.

Major publishers including DC, Marvel, Darkhorse, Image and others have a multitude of panels and booths throughout the weekend focusing on a myriad of properties both old and new.

DC comics has tied its Comic-Con presence at the show largely to its planned relaunch in September with new #1 issues for a total of 52 different series.

In conjunction, comic book shops throughout the nation received special previews yesterday to give out to customers for free that center on the new issues.

Many of those inside the convention will be breaking their bank accounts in pursuit of a multitude of merchandise available from sellers including rare comic book issues, collectable figurines and signed memorabilia available for sale throughout the weekend.

For better or worse the small convention that began over 30 years ago in the basement of a hotel for only a day has expanded into one of the largest and most important conventions in the world for multiple industries, a presence it looks to expand upon this weekend.