Jason’s Jottings

by Jason Strangis


San Diego Comic-Con keeps getting bigger, and crazier

 

The San Diego Comic-Con is something that has to be experienced to be believed.

Lucky for me, I’ve been able to attend the largest Pop Culture and Arts show in the world several times. Once again I was in the midst of all the action and excitement during the 2017 Comic-Con, which took place July 19-23 at the gigantic San Diego Convention Center.

This show has only gotten bigger and crazier over time. Attendance figures now reach a staggering 130,000 fans who cram into the convention center and navigate through the long aisles to check out the jaw-dropping displays and booths. Hundreds of exhibitors sell all things comics related and more, such as superhero statues, posters, vintage artwork, books, magazines, and the newest collectibles.

Wonder Woman

 

Oddly enough, Comic-Con has become less about comic book dealers showcasing rare Golden and Silver Age comics, and more about movie studios, TV productions, and all forms of media. It has become the cool, hip place for famous celebrities to promote upcoming films and shows. This year Halle Berry, Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) were just some of the big-name stars who showed up to San Diego to speak on panels.

Eager fans wait in line for hours just to get a glimpse of these Hollywood superstars. But because I’m not the patient type willing to stand in long lines, I prefer the smaller panels that are held upstairs in the Pavilion area. One of the highlights was a look at the upcoming Spider-Man comic book series and related titles. Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso appeared on the panel and spoke to the small crowd. In addition there was amazing artwork and cover drawings shown on a big screen. It looked awesome!

Flash

 

The panels are a good chance for fans to get off their feet for an hour or more and take a break while listening to writers, artists, and well-known comic book creators speak about past and current projects. Back on the showroom floor, the madness of Comic-Con is felt in full force. The tens of thousands of fans making their way through endless aisles is a staggering sight to behold. At the end of the day I was truly exhausted, but ready to do it all over again the next day. It was four-and-a-half days (including preview night) of non-stop fun and enjoyment.

Of course one of the best parts of any comic con — including San Diego —  is the phenomenon known as Cosplay, where fans dress up as their favorite superheroes and other fictional characters. A large number of female fans dressed as Wonder Woman, thanks mainly to the hit movie starring Gal Gadot. Speaking of which, Gadot was at the San Diego show along with other stars of the upcoming “Justice League” movie.

Hela

 

Other popular costumes included Posion Ivy, Catwoman, Batman, and Flash. Also spotted in the convention center was Hela, goddess of death, who will be featured in “Thor: Ragnarok” in November.

Once fans leave the convention center after the show, there’s so much to do in the nearby “Gaslamp District.” Hundreds of restaurants and dozens of trendy San Diego nightclubs are all within easy access. But finding a spot at a restaurant is often difficult in the midst of the horde of comic book fans making their way through the Gaslamp area.

By the end of Comic-Con all fans, including myself, feel completely drained and spent and barely able to walk. Yet we keep coming back year after year after year. That’s the magic, and madness, of the San Diego Comic-Con.

Jwstrangis@gmail.com