SDCC 2019: The geeky '70s comic convention is now a potpourri of everything that is entertainment
SDCC is now a four-day event with three hundred thousand attendees which contributes $150 million to the economy annually. All genres - horror, anime, manga, games, webcomics - have forayed into the iconic convention
Comic-Con fans have every reason to rejoice as the San Diego Comic-Con is less than a week away. The iconic convention has been host to some of the world's best collections, announcements, and panels of comics, TV, and movies. SDCC was first organized in 1970 and was called the Golden State Comic Book Convention by a bunch of San Diegans that included comic nerds Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, and Mike Towry.
Who knew that a one-day, mini-con would be a massive success. In the present day, it is one of the largest cultural gatherings that sees people across the world take part?
A report by Rolling Stones states that SDCC draws an average of about 300,000 people combined to just its New York and San Diego outposts every year. And what's more, the convention contributes a staggering $150 million to the economy annually.
Back to the '70s then. Unlike the creators, directors, cast, and crew who now walk into a panel to standing ovations, cheers, applause and the works, the first-time edition saw Forest J. Ackerman, a leading expert on science fiction, horror, and fantasy films, and acknowledged as the world's most avid collector of genre books and movie memorabilia. Accompanying him was Mike Royer, a freelance product designer and character artist for The Walt Disney Company.
SDCC is now a four-day event that boasts of big names.
The first Con reserved much of its spotlight on comic books and, over the years, science fiction, fantasy, TV, and a varied range of pop culture and entertainment elements have forayed into SDCC. This also includes horror, western animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. 'Star Wars' may have its own celebration, but the first Hollywood panel at SDCC was, appropriately, about the cult classic. Charles Lippencott, the film's marketing director, showed off slides from the film. Reportedly, only a handful of attendees showed up.
What drew the crowds to Con, in addition to the panels and the screenings, was the cosplay or 'The first Masquerade Ball', a fan-made costume and makeup contest, that took place in 1974.
Such was the popularity of SDCC that it immediately became more than just a passing reference. It is mentioned in the long-running CBS geek-targeted sitcom, 'The Big Bang Theory' and on NBC's 'Chuck' in the episode 'Chuck Versus the Sandworm', as an event, the characters enjoy attending. On the Futurama episode 'Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences', the main characters attend the 3010 conventions (with it being referred to as 'Comic-Con Intergalactic').
Over the past few years, SDCC has become the focal point of comic conventions across the world. Come July 17, and the SDCC will celebrate its 50th anniversary and San Diego Comic-Con, for better or worse, will continue to grow by the year. The fact of the matter is that the SDCC has evolved by the year and is more than just about comics now.