San Diego Comic-Con International is a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, California. The name, as given on its website, is Comic-Con International, San Diego and it is a four-day event held during the summer at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego. On the Wednesday evening prior to the opening of the event, there is a preview for professionals, exhibitors. Comic-Con International also produces two other conventions, WonderCon, held in Los Angeles, and the Alternative Press Expo and it is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards. In 2010, it filled the San Diego Convention Center to capacity with more than 130,000 attendees, the convention was founded in 1970 by Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, Mike Towry, Barry Alfonso, Bob Sourk, and Greg Bear. Detroit, Michigan-born, comics fan Shel Dorf, had, in the mid-1960s, mounted the Detroit Triple-Fan Fairs, one of the first commercial comics-fan conventions. When he moved to San Diego, California, in 1970, he organized a convention on March 21,1970. Dorf went on to be associated with the convention as president or manager, variously, Alf co-chaired the first convention with Krueger and became chairman in 1971. Following the initial gathering, Dorfs first three-day San Diego comics convention, other locations in the conventions early years included the El Cortez Hotel, the University of California, San Diego, and Golden Hall, before being moved to the San Diego Convention Center in 1991. I was quietly walking the floor stunned and in awe of just how much bigger it really was, the convention is organized by a panel of 13 board members,16 to 20 full-time and part-time workers, and 80 volunteers who assist via committees. Comic Con International is an organization, and proceeds of the event go to funding it, as well as the Alternative Press Expo. The convention logo was designed by Richard Bruning and Josh Beatman in 1995, in September 2010, the convention announced that it would stay in San Diego through 2015. In 2015, working with Lionsgate, a channel was created to host Comic-Con related content. According to the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, the convention has a regional economic impact of $162.8 million. Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films, like most comic-book conventions, Comic-Con features a large floorspace for exhibitors. These include media companies such as studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers. And like most comics conventions, Comic-Con includes an area, as well as the Artists Alley where comics artists can sign autographs. Despite the name, artists alleys can include writers and even models, academics and comic industry professionals annually hold the Comics Arts Conference at Comic-Con, presenting scholarly studies on comics as a medium
The San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con.
Comic Con crowds in 2011 as seen from a helicopter – Panorama.
Comic-Con crowd inside the second floor of the convention center in 2011 waiting for the exhibition hall to open.