Comic-Con International

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Comic-Con International, also known as Comic Con or San Diego Comic Con, is an annual multi-genre convention originally founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and later the San Diego Comic Book Convention in 1970 by Shel Dorf and a group of San Diego-based fans. It is generally a four-day event (Thursday - Sunday) held during the summer in San Diego, California, at the San Diego Convention Center. Originally focusing only on comic books, science fiction & fantasy as well as genre film and television, the convention has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop culture and fandom including as horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and more. The convention is the largest of its kind in the world, with over 125,000 attendees recorded in 2007.

Comic-Con International also produces WonderCon and the Alternative Press Expo (APE), both held in San Francisco, California.

Comic-Con International
Convention logo
Status active
Genre comics, media
Location San Diego, California, United States
Sponsor Comic-Con International
First held 1970
Comic-Con International



As related by Scott Shaw[1], Comic-Con International evolved out of several loosely-grouped associations of fans in late 1960s fandom in the San Diego area. This included science-fiction and fantasy writers and illustrators such as Greg Bear and John Pound, as well as comic-book collectors and BNFs such as Shel Dorf and Richard Alf.

Soon these groups decided to stage a one-day comic book convention, as San Diego had just hosted the WesterCon science fiction convention with great success. Shel Dorf provided professional contacts and connections to potential guests, Richard Alf provided seed money to cover initial expenses and Ken Kruger contributed his experiences in conventions and publishing to get the convention going. In 1970 they hosted both a one-day convention in March and a three-day "San Diego Comic-Con" in August. The convention went through several name changes and changes in venue before establishing its base at the San Diego Convention Center. With regularly over 100,000 people attending, it has become San Diego's single largest annual tourist event.

Impact on fandom

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Kerfluffles and controversy

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Promotional image for EA's "booth babe" contest.
  • At the 2009 Comic-Con, controversy erupted over the marketing tactics of gaming company EA, which were viewed as highly sexist.[2],[3] Attendees were encouraged to engage in "acts of lust" with EA's "booth babes", and "One handpicked winner gets dinner and a sinful night with TWO hot girls, a limo service, paparazzi, and a chest full of booty." Due to the widespread negative response, on July 25, EA issued the following apology:
We understand there's a lot of debate right now around our "Sin to Win" promotion at Comic-Con and wanted to clarify a few things. We created this promotion as part of our marketing efforts around the circle of Lust (one of the nine sins/circles of Hell). Each month we will be focusing on a new Circle of Hell. This month is Lust. Costumed reps are a tradition at Comic-Con. In the spirit of both the Circle of Lust and Comic-Con, we are encouraging attendees to Tweet photos of themselves with any of the costumed reps at Comic-Con here, find us on Facebook or via e-mail. "Commit acts of lust" is simply a tongue-in-cheek way to say take pictures with costumed reps. Also, a "Night of Lust" means only that the winner will receive a chaperoned VIP night on the town with the Dante's Inferno reps, all expenses paid, as well as other prizes.
We apologize for any confusion and offense that resulted from our choice of wording, and want to assure you that we take your concerns and sentiments seriously. We'll continue to follow your comments and please let us know if you have any other thoughts or concerns. Keep watching as the event unfolds and we hope you'll agree that it was all done in the spirit of the good natured fun of Comic-Con.[4]
  • Complaints were also raised in 2009 over the inability of many attendees to get into popular panels, due to the convention's policy of not clearing rooms out at the end of scheduled events. As such, many people would find themselves standing in line for a panel for hours without being able to get inside, while press are given ample access. This lead some to wonder if the convention is becoming too large for its own good, or more of an industry/promotion even with only very secondary regard for the fans attending.[5]


This section needs more information.


A map of the exhibit hall for Comic-Con International, 2009.

Fans attending

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External links

Convention reports

See also


Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community. This section needs more information.

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