The Comic-Con phenomenon
HENLEY DOHERTY | ASST. BUSINESS EDITOR | THE USD VISTA | @hensolo_
Tickets for this year’s Comic-Con went on sale online on Feb. 20 and sold out completely within an hour, to the disappointment of many fans and students.
The convention will be held in downtown San Diego at the Convention Center from July 21-24. In addition to the actual convention there will be a special preview night which will be held on July 20.
Convention visitors used to be able to buy multi-day passes to attend every day of the convention. However, as Comic-Con has exploded in popularity in recent years, only single-day passes can now be purchased.
Comic-Con began in San Diego in 1970, but has only now experienced such wide-scale recognition. This is because the convention isn’t just about comics; it showcases art, books, and most famously, upcoming movies and TV shows.
The convention holds live panels with cast and production members, giving fans the chance to interact with them and ask them questions during the panels.
Movies and TV shows are showcased in the now-notorious section of the Convention Center known as Hall H, where convention attendees are known to camp out for days with the hopes of claiming a seat at the panels.
In recent years, the convention has gone from secret treasure to pop culture phenomenon.
Junior Daniel Guerra has been to Comic-Con four times and expressed his views on the convention.
“In my opinion Comic-Con is and can be exactly what you want to make it,” Guerra said. “I believe in recent years it definitely has blown up due to the sci-fi, superhero, and video game industry pushing newer and more everyday consumer oriented products. That being said, I personally went the first time because a friend of mine won tickets. I fell in love with the atmosphere. Whether you’re into dressing up as your favorite character or going in street clothes and enjoying all there is to see, Comic-Con truly is a unique experience.”
Guerra also shared his opinion on the massive publicity Comic-Con now receives.
“I would say it is worth going,” Guerra said. “There is nothing quite like it. “There is enough to see for anyone, does not matter the age, cultural background, or interest in comic-books. Nowadays all the biggest TV networks are there to promote their latest shows, and the biggest names in the gaming industry make an appearance too, I love belonging to a unique community of people that get to preview all the latest things. Comic-Con is continuing to grow and attract new crowds because it is not a let-down whether it’s someone’s first time or their tenth year in a row, Comic-Con never disappoints.”
Junior Sarah O’Connor has attended Comic-Con several times and shared her experience at the convention.
“I have gone for the last three years, and have badges for this year too,” O’Connor said. “My family is very comic book centered, and my uncles have been attending for the last 20 years, back when it was twenty for a ticket. It has just become a fun family activity, especially since the influx of celebrity attendance has enticed my teenage sisters to come too.”
O’Connor also shared her thoughts on how the convention has grown so rapidly in recent years.
“I feel like that with Marvel moving to the Disney convention, it has lost some of the aspects that I personally found worth the trip, but the whole week is so much fun that I think it is worth the hype. So many people from all over the world make the trip to San Diego. The local economy is stimulated by all the visitors, and all of the festivities shut down Gaslamp which allows you to experience downtown in a whole new way. Plus I feel that the convention has become less comic centered and now a tribute to pop culture, so there is something for everyone, even if it is just walking around the outside of the convention.”
If you’re lucky enough to be in possession of a ticket to this summer’s Comic-Con, you can expect to see panels for a lot of highly-anticipated upcoming TV shows and movies. Although the lineup for Hall H is not yet confirmed, there are currently panels planned to include “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” “Star Wars: Rogue One,” as well as a panel for the the upcoming installments of “Game of Thrones.”