Category Archives: Convention

Comic-Con At 50 Looks Back To Its Roots And Ahead To Its Future

On March 21, 1970, a group of teenage comic and movie enthusiasts under the nominal adult supervision of a superfan named Shel Dorf mounted a one-day comic “minicon” at the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, similar to a convention that Dorf had staged in Detroit. The event was successful enough that they decided to do a bigger version over the summer. Over 300 fans turned up to buy, sell, talk, live and breathe all things comics, sci-fi and fantasy with special guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby and A.E. Van Vogt. They called it the San Diego Golden State Comic-Con, eventually settling on the pithier moniker “San Diego Comic-Con” by 1973.

As you may have heard, San Diego Comic-Con is still around. The 50th edition of the show kicks off this week, bringing hundreds of thousands of fans to San Diego for an annual festival that has become a centerpiece of the 21st century media/entertainment industry and global popular culture.

Comic-Con has always been a big deal for the comics and publishing industry, but it really rose to global prominence in the early 2000s, coinciding with the first wave of big superhero-driven blockbusters and the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, which enabled the show’s attendance to balloon from 45,000 in the late 90s to well over 135,000 unique attendees that it draws today. The success of SDCC paved the way for other huge fan events around the world, creating an industry that now contributes billions of dollars in economic impact to host cities.

Through it all, San Diego Comic-Con has persevered, pursuing its mission to promote comics and the popular arts despite the thick fog of entertainment industry marketing hype that now blankets downtown San Diego for the week. Though the days of exponential growth are behind it, at least until San Diego decides to expand its facility further, SDCC remains a magnet for media attention, marketing dollars, exclusive merchandise, and fan frenzy. It’s also put long-simmering speculation of an imminent  move to another locale on hold with the announcement of a new deal to stay in San Diego through 2024.

Read more of the Forbes article HERE.

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At San Diego Comic Con, Go Behind The Scenes of The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Just as George Lucas’s original Star Wars film was first introduced through a panel at San Diego Comic-Con back in 1976, this year fans can get their first glimpse at the future of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art during the convention’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Currently under construction in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park, the museum collection will focus on art that tells stories — including everything from ancient Greek pottery to illustrations created for magazines, comic art, and the art of filmmaking (like storyboards, costumes, props, and visual effects from Star Wars and beyond). “The Comic-Con audience has shown incredible dedication not only to George Lucas and his films, but to narrative art more broadly,” the Lucas Museum team recently shared. “We will have much to offer for everyone at the Lucas Museum and we are excited that the Comic-Con audience will be among the first to hear about our museum and collection.”

During the event next week, attendees can join members of the Lucas Museum’s founding curatorial team — Erin M. Curtis, Anastasia James, and founding curatorial team member of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Ryan Linkof — for Lucas Museum of Narrative Art: Behind the Scenes.

The panel will offer an exciting early glimpse at the collection, carefully assembled to inspire current and future generations through the art of visual storytelling. “We will look at a wide array of works from ancient Roman mosaics to Norman Rockwell to Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, and discuss how these diverse works and artists will come together in our galleries to offer fresh insight into narrative art and its significance throughout history,” the team says.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art: Behind the Scenes panel will take place Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 10 a.m. in Room 5AB during San Diego Comic-Con.

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LEGO Stranger Things San Diego Comic Con 2019 Exclusive Barb Minifigure

LEGO has revealed another exclusive minifigure they will be giving away at San Diego Comic Con 2019 with LEGO Stranger Things Barb. This minifigure will be available on July 19 through a randomized instant win drawing.

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See The New Sith Trooper From Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker At San Diego Comic Con 2019

At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Lucasfilm will celebrate the history of stormtrooper design — and the future.

Fans attending the mega pop-culture event (July 18-21) will be treated to a new exhibit of trooper armor from across the Star Wars saga, including a first look at the next evolution in Imperial/First Order soldiers: the “Sith trooper” from the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It’s a modern and more menacing look befitting its namesake.

“It has some really unique aesthetics to it,” says Madlyn Burkert, Lucasfilm archivist, who is co-producing the exhibit. “And it has some subtle ties to previous stormtrooper designs, which I think fans will enjoy discovering.” There will be a selection of new “Early Release Edition” Sith trooper products debuting at SDCC, which you can see below.

A total of nine different costumes, all screen-used, will be on display at the Lucasfilm pavilion (booth #2913): Imperial stormtrooper, TIE pilot, death trooper, shoretrooper, biker scout, First Order stormtrooper, First Order TIE pilot, Captain Phasma, and Sith trooper. (StarWars.com got a sneak peek at some of these pieces, and is happy to share them here.) Burkert has ordered four new custom mannequins created specifically for stormtroopers. “Most mannequins are made for fashion,” she says with a laugh. “With our armor, we need a different pose.” Appropriately, the Lucasfilm pavilion will have a visual Death Star theme, and the stormtrooper exhibit promises even more surprises, including a photography and video component, the latter of which will feature Star Wars creators such as concept designer Doug Chiang.

While Lucasfilm’s previous costume exhibits have largely centered around film releases, this year the goal was to celebrate both The Rise of Skywalker and the Star Wars saga as a whole. The stormtrooper was a natural focal point to accomplish this. “The stormtrooper itself is one of the most iconic parts of Star Wars,” says Este Meza, Lucasfilm’s senior manager of events. “Seeing all of the pieces of armor together is very powerful.”

“We’re really excited to show this design history,” Burkert says. “It takes us from the beginnings of Star Wars and leads us right to the final chapter of the Skywalker saga.”

Sith Trooper Geeki Tiki SDCC exclusive

Beeline
Sith Trooper Geeki Tikis – Early Release Edition ($20) and Sith Trooper Mini Muglet – Early Release Edition ($7)
Booth #2913-M

Sith Trooper Fifth Sun Tee SDCC exclusive

Fifth Sun
Sith Trooper Tee (Red Helm Short Sleeve Crew Tee) – Early Release Edition ($28)
Booth #2913-J

Sith Trooper Funko Pop! SDCC exclusive

Funko
Sith Trooper Pop! – Early Release Edition ($15)
Booth #5841

Sith Trooper Black Series figure

Hasbro
The Black Series, Special Edition, Sith Trooper – Early Release Edition ($32)
Booth #3329

Sith Trooper hat by BioWorld SDCC 2019 exclusive

Sith Trooper pin by BioWorld SDCC exclusive

Heroes & Villains by BioWorld
Sith Trooper Hat – Early Release Edition ($20) and Sith Trooper Pin – Early Release Edition ($30); Hat and Pin Combo ($50)
Booth #2913-K

Hot Toys Sith Trooper SDCC 2019 exclusive

Hot Toys
Sith Trooper 1/6 Scale Figure – Early Release Edition ($230)
Booth #1929

Sith Trooper Loungefly backpack SDCC 2019 exclusive

Loungefly
Sith Trooper Unisex Backpack – Early Release Edition ($70; $75 with Sith Trooper Funko Pop!)
Booth #5248

Rubi’s Sith Trooper kids costume SDCC 2019 exclusive

Rubie’s
Sith Trooper costume sets and masks for kids and adults, perfect for fans of all ages – Early Release Edition ($6-$75)
Booth #4049

Trends International Sith Trooper bookmark SDCC 2019 exclusive

Trends International
Sith Trooper Premier Bookmark Giveaway
Booth #2913-D

LEGO

Sith Trooper Bust
Booth #2829

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Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con Bonus Issue Cover Story Features IT Chapter Two

Get an exclusive look at IT: Chapter Two in Entertainment Weekly’s special Comic-Con International bonus issue, distributed throughout the weekend in San Diego.

IT: Chapter Two (out September 6), the sequel to Andy Muschietti’s 2017 film IT was adapted from Stephen King’s classic novel. The movie starred a group of misfit kids — who dubbed themselves the Losers’ Club — battling a child-slaying supernatural entity who reveals himself to his prey as a clown called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). Despite initial doubts from horror fans that Skarsgård could match Tim Curry’s iconic performance as the fanged entertainer in the much-loved 1990 It miniseries, the Swedish actor and the Losers’ Club turned out to be winners, with the $35 million-budget film praised by critics and going on to gross $700 million at the global box office.

It: Chapter Two is set 27 years after the events of its predecessor, as Pennywise returns to the streets — and sewer drains — of the fictional New England town of Derry to slay more children…unless the Losers’ Club can stop him. The young cast of the first IT was, unsurprisingly, in large part made up of unknowns, with Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, who played the wiseacre Richie, the best known of the bunch. Chapter Two, in contrast, boasts several high-profile actors, including Jessica Chastain, who plays Beverly, the lone woman in the Losers’ Club; Bill Hader as Richie; Sinister franchise actor James Ransone as the grown-up version of the supposedly sickly Eddie; and James Mc­Avoy as Bill, who lost his younger brother, Georgie, to Pennywise in the first film.

The Muschiettis cast Jay Ryan (Top of the Lake) as Ben, Andy Bean (Swamp Thing) as Stanley, and Isaiah Mustafa (Shadowhunters, the Old Spice commercials) as Mike, the one member of the Losers’ Club to remain in Derry, who now works as a librarian. 

Read more HERE.

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San Diego Comic Con Funko Conan Pop! Designs Unveiled

This year’s San Diego Comic Con Funko Conan Pop! designs have been unveiled. They include Conan as John Snow, Iron Man, Pennywise, and Woody from Toy Story. A different Funko Pop! will be given out for free to audience members who attend the Conan tapings during the convention.

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LEGO San Diego Comic Con Zebra Batman Minifig Exclusive

San Diego Comic-Con 2019 is quickly approaching and there are tons of fun exclusives to pick up at the annual pop culture event.

One booth that always gets a ton of foot traffic is LEGO and they will be giving away a Zebra Batman minifig based on the Caped Crusader’s costume featured in the pages of Detective Comics #275. 

In the issue from 1960, Batman was irraditated by a machine created by the lesser known villain, Zebra-Man. Once zapped, the machine translated the energy in the Caped Crusader’s body into energy stripes and voilà the black and white zebra striped costume.

The minifigure will be available at the LEGO booth (#2829) on Saturday, July 20th and attendees will have a chance to win the figure in a randomized instant-win drawing. 

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DC & AT&T Team To Bring The Batman Experience Powered By AT&T To Comic-Con

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Batman, DC and AT&T today announced The Batman Experience powered by AT&T, a massive, interactive exhibition that includes the largest-ever collection of Batman-related props, costumes and vehicles. The immersive pop-up museum and gaming-centric installation will transport fans into the crime-fighting world of the Dark Knight and will be open to the public at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park at 10 a.m. PT from Thursday, July 18th through Sunday, July 21st. No SDCC badge is required to enter this free exhibition.

The Batman Experience, custom-built by AT&T with DC, will include activities on all three levels of the Museum’s staggering 68,000 square feet space. A sneak peak of the exhibition will be available to attendees at The Gathering, a special ceremony inducting Batman into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 17 at 5 p.m., the first time a comic book character has ever been given that honor. Tickets are available at www.ccmgathering.org.

“DC is pulling out all the stops for this year’s Comic-Con to celebrate Batman’s 80th, from our dozens of panels to our newly expanded booth which is the largest on the convention center floor – The Batman Experience takes everything to the next level,” said DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, who contributed several original pieces to the exhibition including the original artwork commissioned exclusively for the commemorative program guide cover celebrating Comic-Con International’s milestone 50th anniversary.

“We’re honored to have a role in celebrating Batman’s induction into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame, and we wanted to celebrate this iconic Super Hero in a way that is unique to what AT&T has the power to do,” said Valerie Vargas, SVP of Advertising and Creative Services, AT&T. “The Batman Experience will be an epic, fan-centric activation showcasing how creativity and innovative technology can unlock new opportunities for fans, allowing them to engage and interact with Batman in a whole new way.”

Other featured elements of The Batman Experience include:

– The Dark Knight Dive is the centerpiece attraction of The Batman Experience and a one-of-a-kind VR skydiving experience into the Gotham City. By combining a skydive booth with the magic of VR goggles and a helmet in the shape of a Batman cowl, gamers and Batman fans will enjoy a 4D interactive experience. Visitors will virtually fly through Gotham City in pursuit of the Scarecrow, who in attempting to take over the city, unleashes his Fear gas and creates a harrowing journey for fans through Batman’s 80 years of friends and foes.

– The Batcave gaming lounge will feature all generations of Batman video and arcade games straight from the DC archives – examples include Warner Bros. titles such as Batman The Brave And The Bold (Wii or 3DS), LEGO Batman 3 (PS4), Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4) and Injustice 2 (PS4) – and are all available to play as part of The Batman Experience.

– Hundreds of rare pieces of iconic DC comic book art and large-scale film and television props, including several from Tim Burton’s groundbreaking “Batman” film such as the Batmobile and Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton. The original Batman feature film is celebrating its own 30th anniversary this year. Joining these classic pieces will be a new car created by “Wayne Technology” that will give fans a taste of their future entertainment experiences in autonomous cars with 5G.

– WHAAM! KABOOM! POW! The Rogue Gallery Rumble is an interactive punching bag experience that uses projection mapping and lights to trigger classic and iconic animations and sounds throughout the space.

– A special 6-foot Batman Black & White Statue designed by acclaimed artist and writer Todd McFarlane will be unveiled on July 17, marking the 100th statue in the line. The one-of-a-kind life-size version of the 100th statue will be displayed throughout SDCC along with the other 99 Batman Black & White figures from DC Collectibles.

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It’s Christmas In July When NOS4A2 Makes Comic-Con Debut

Christmas comes early this year as AMC’s new supernatural horror series makes its debut at Comic-Con with a panel on Saturday, July 20 from 5:30pm-6:30pm in Room 6A.

Stars Zachary Quinto and Ashleigh Cummings will appear on the panel, plus showrunner and executive producer Jami O’Brien, and author and executive producer Joe Hill. The panel will be moderated by Entertainment Weekly senior writer Clark Collis.

NOS4A2 introduces Vic McQueen (Cummings), a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx (Quinto). Manx is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland – a twisted place of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims – without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.

Based on Joe Hill’s 2013 best-selling novel of the same name, NOS4A2 stars Emmy-nominated actor and producer Zachary Quinto, Ashleigh Cummings, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Virginia Kull, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Jahkara Smith.

Watch the latest episodes now. The Full Season 1 is available now for AMC Premiere subscribers on amc.com and the AMC App for mobile and devices

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LEGO San Diego Comic Con Exclusive Advanced Suit Spider-Man Minifigure

LEGO has revealed one of the exclusive 2019 San Diego Comic Con LEGO Minifigures with the Advanced Suit Spider-Man from the 2018 Playstation 4 Spider-Man game. 

Attendees will have a chance to win this minifigure in a randomized instant-win drawing on Thursday, July 18.

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