A teen sits on the floor, reading comics.

Conventional Wisdom

| Cinnaminson Library

After a two-year hiatus and the greatly reduced 2021 Special Edition, San Diego Comic-Con International returns full force this year from July 21 to 24. Now in its 53rd year, Comic-Con has become one of the largest and most influential pop culture events in the world, attracting ever larger crowds each year. The event features a plethora of seminars, hands-on workshops and presentations with exclusive previews of upcoming comics, TV shows, video games and blockbuster movies.

During Comic-Con, attendees have an opportunity to meet their heroes, score autographs and find many unique limited-edition collectibles. Friday night features the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Oscars of the comic world, commemorating comic pioneer Will Eisner. Cosplay has become a huge part of Comic-Con with a Saturday night on-stage masquerade competition in which participants are celebrated for their creativity and attention to detail. Potential featured guests this year include Bone author Jeff Smith, George R. R. Martin and Kevin Smith with a preview of Clerks III.

Founded by a group of mostly teenage fanboys in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, the event initially focused on comic books and sci-fi/fantasy novels, interests which were largely disparaged by mainstream society at the time. The meeting provided a place where like-minded outsiders could feel at home and be themselves, loving the things they loved in an environment where their interests were normal and cool.

Legendary illustrator Jack Kirby, an early featured guest, advised the group to expand their purview beyond comics to encompass the whole range of fandom across virtually all media and genres: film and television, horror, anime, manga, card games, toys, video games and web comics. It was this flexibility and diversity that resulted in the convention’s explosive growth and longevity and brought obsessive fandom into mainstream pop culture. Comic-Con today celebrates fandom itself in an atmosphere of inclusivity where all are welcome.

Audience: Adult Teens Family
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