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San Diego Comic-Con (Redirected from Comic-Con International)

San Diego Comic-Con International
San Diego Comic-Con International logo.svg
VenueSan Diego Convention Center (main)
Downtown San Diego (various)
Location(s)San Diego, California
Coordinates32°42′23″N 117°09′41″W / 32.70639°N 117.16139°W / 32.70639; -117.16139Coordinates: 32°42′23″N 117°09′41″W / 32.70639°N 117.16139°W / 32.70639; -117.16139
CountryUnited States
InauguratedMarch 21, 1970; 52 years ago (1970-03-21) (as Golden State Comic Book Convention)
Most recentJuly 21, 2022; 2 months ago (2022-07-21)
Next eventJuly 19, 2023; 9 months' time (2023-07-19)
AttendanceAround 167,000 in 2015
Organized byComic-Con International
Filing statusNonprofit Edit this at Wikidata

San Diego Comic-Con International is a comic book convention and nonprofit multi-genre entertainment event held annually in San Diego, California since 1970. The name, as given on its website, is Comic-Con International: San Diego; but it is commonly known simply as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con or SDCC.

The convention was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970 by a group of San Diegans that included Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, Ron Graf, and Mike Towry; later, it was called the "San Diego Comic Book Convention", Dorf said during an interview that he hoped the first Con would bring in 500 attendees. It is a four-day event (Thursday–Sunday) held during the summer (in July since 2003) at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego. On the Wednesday evening prior to the official opening, professionals, exhibitors, and pre-registered guests for all four days can attend a pre-event "Preview Night" to give attendees the opportunity to walk the exhibit hall and see what will be available during the convention.

Comic-Con International also produces WonderCon, held in Anaheim, and SAM: Storytelling Across Media, a conference held in 2016 in San Francisco and beginning in 2018 annually at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego. Since 1974, Comic-Con has bestowed its annual Inkpot Award on guests and persons of interest in the popular arts industries, as well as on members of Comic-Con's board of directors and the Convention committee. It is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards.

Originally showcasing primarily comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts, the convention has since included a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, including horror, Western animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. In 2010 and each year subsequently, it filled the San Diego Convention Center to capacity with more than 130,000 attendees. In addition to drawing huge crowds, the event holds several Guinness World Records including the largest annual comic and pop culture festival in the world.

Comic-Con has been canceled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 marked the first time that the event had been canceled since its establishment. It was rescheduled for July 2021, however, this show was canceled soon after it had been announced. Comic-Con returned later that year with a scaled back version of itself in November 2021, marketed as "Comic-Con Special Edition". Comic-Con, as its former pre-pandemic self, returned to San Diego in July 2022 after a two-year hiatus. The next scheduled Comic-Con will begin on July 20, 2023.

History and organization

The convention was founded in 1970 by Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, Mike Towry, Ron Graf, Barry Alfonso, Bob Sourk, and Greg Bear. Initial comic book and sci-fi club meetings would be held at Krueger's Alert Books in Ocean Beach, where much of the foundation of the early Cons coalesced. In the mid-1960s, Dorf, a Detroit-born comics fan, had 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 one-day convention (Golden State Comic-Minicon) on March 21, 1970, "as a kind of 'dry run' for the larger convention he hoped to stage." Dorf went on to be associated with the convention as president or manager, variously, for years until becoming estranged from the organization. Alf co-chaired the first convention with Krueger and became chairman in 1971.

Convention crowd outside of Golden Hall in 1982

Following the initial gathering, Dorf's first three-day San Diego comics convention, the Golden State Comic-Con, drew 300 people and the venue was held in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel, having been secured by Graf, from August 1–3, 1970. Other locations in the convention's 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. Richard Alf, chairman in 1971, has noted an early factor in the Con's growth was an effort "to expand the Comic-Con [organizing] committee base by networking with other fandoms such as the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Mythopoeic Society, among others. (We found a lot of talent and strength through diversity)." In a Rolling Stone article about the origins of Comic-Con, it noted the work of Krueger, who handled early business matters, and worked to get the event to be organized by a non-profit organization. By the late 1970s, the show had grown to such an extent that Bob Schreck recalled visiting with his then-boss Gary Berman of Creation Conventions and reflecting, "While [Berman] kept repeating (attempting to convince himself) 'This show's not any bigger than ours!' I was quietly walking the floor stunned and in awe of just how much bigger it really was. I was blown away." From 1984 to c. 1994, a trade fair called the "San Diego Comic Book Expo" was held in association with the San Diego Comic-Con; David Scroggy was the organizer.

According to Forbes, the convention is the "largest convention of its kind in the world;" Publishers Weekly wrote "Comic-Con International: San Diego is the largest show in North America;" it is also the largest convention held in San Diego. The convention has an estimated annual regional economic impact of more than $140 million. Yet, in 2009, the estimated economic impact was criticized for allegedly negatively impacting seasonal businesses outside of Comic-Con, low individual spending estimates of attendees, that a large number of attendees live in San Diego, and that the impact of the convention was more cultural than financial.

The estimated economic impact of that year's convention was $180 million. In 2014, the estimated impact of that year's convention was $177.8 million. In 2016, the estimated impact of that year's convention was down to $150 million. By 2018, San Diego Comic-Con saw increasing competition from other comic conventions in places such as New York City, and Washington, D.C., which caused it to compete for attendees and companies time and budget; yet San Diego Comic-Con was described by Publishers Weekly as "a must-do".

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 a non-profit organization, and proceeds of the event go to funding it, as well as SAM: Storytelling Across Media and WonderCon. The convention logo was designed by Richard Bruning and Josh Beatman in 1995. In 2015, working with Lionsgate, a video channel was created to host Comic-Con related content. In 2015, through a limited liability company, Comic-Con International purchased three buildings in Barrio Logan. In 2018 Comic-Con International purchased a 29,000-square-foot (2,700 m2) office in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood.

In 2017, the organization acquired a lease to the Federal Building in Balboa Park, originally built for the California Pacific International Exposition and previously occupied by the San Diego Hall of Champions, with the intention of opening a Comic-Con Museum. By October 2017, the organization began to hire staff for the museum. Nearly a year after acquiring the lease, the museum was not yet open. During the 2018 Comic-Con International, one reason stated for why the museum had not yet opened was the need for additional funds. Organizers are hoping to raise $25 million with a target opening date of late 2020 or 2022.

On April 17, 2020, the 53rd convention was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in California. It was originally scheduled to occur from July 23 to 26, 2020, to coincide with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, which was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic. An "[email protected]" digital streaming event was held during the same time period as a replacement for the 2020 event. Although plans were made for the convention to possibly return in 2021 (with 2020 badgeholders given the option to receive a full refund or to roll over their badge to 2021), it was announced on March 1, 2021, that the convention would be cancelled once again. Despite availability of COVID-19 vaccines, the organizers assessed that it was still premature and unsafe to hold an in-person event at SDCC's full scale on the originally-scheduled dates, and that Comic-Con International was exploring the possibility of holding a smaller in-person spin-off event later in the year. [email protected] will again be held, but in a downsized form due to reduced financial resources.


The San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con in 2013

Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films and portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies. The evenings include events such as awards ceremonies, the annual Masquerade costume contest, and the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, which showcases shorts and feature-length movies that do not have distribution or distribution deals.

Traditional events include an eclectic film program, screening rooms devoted to Japanese animation, gaming, programs such as cartoonist Scott Shaw!'s "Oddball Comics" slide show, Quick Draw! hosted by Mark Evanier with Shaw!, Sergio Aragones and a guest cartoonist responding to improvisational prompts and games (a la Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and animation expert Jerry Beck's program featuring TV's "worst cartoons ever", as well as over 350 hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture.

Like most comic book conventions, Comic-Con features a large floorspace for exhibitors. These include media companies such as movie studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. And like most comics conventions, Comic-Con includes an autograph area, as well as the Artists' Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches. 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.

In recent years, the number of television shows that are promoted far outnumber films. During the 2011 convention, at least 80 TV shows were represented, compared to about 35 films. The shows not only promote in the exhibit halls, but also use screenings and panels of various actors, writers, producers, and others from their shows.

Premium cable channels HBO and Showtime have used the con to promote programs like Game of Thrones (HBO), Dexter (Showtime), Shameless (Showtime) and True Blood (HBO).

In 2013, there were 1075 total panels held during the convention, the plurality of which were anime-focused (29%), followed by comic-focused panels (26%). 1036 vendors participated in the convention in 2013.

There are at least 17 separate rooms in the convention center used for panels and screenings, ranging in size from 280 seats to 6,100 seats. The two biggest are Ballroom 20, which seats approximately 4,900; and Hall H, which seats just over 6,100.

The neighboring Hilton Bayfront is also used, with its main ballroom (Indigo) seating up to 2,600. The other neighboring hotel, the Marriott Marquis & Marina, also hosts a lot of Comic-Con activity. Among other things, the hotel serves as the anime headquarters and is where the nighttime films are shown.

Exclusive collectibles

In the 21st century, the convention has drawn toy and collectibles designers who sell "Comic-Con Exclusive" products. Such companies have included Lego, Hasbro, Funko, Gentle Giant LTD, Mattel, NECA, ThinkGeek, Sideshow Collectibles, Entertainment Earth, Bif Bang Pow!, Mezco, Toynami, and Kotobukiya. Most such exclusives are licensed properties of film, comic book and animation characters.

In the media

Comic-Con International has served as the setting for Mark Hamill's Comic Book: The Movie, and for an episode of the HBO television series Entourage, the latter of which, while set at the event, was not filmed there. Comic-Con also served as an excuse for the fictional characters Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood's trip to Tijuana, Mexico in episode 7 ("The Escape") of the first season of TV series The O.C. The convention also featured prominently as a setting for the Numb3rs episode "Graphic". In season 4 of Beauty and the Geek, an episode was featured where the contestants traveled to Comic-Con 07 and were given a challenge to create their own superheroes. In an episode of Punk'd, Hilary Swank gets Punk'd after an "attack from talking robot". In season 5, episode six, of the Showtime show Weeds, attendees from Comic-Con 2009 are seen in Silas and Doug's medicinal marijuana club.

Comic-Con featured at some length in the 2011 movie Paul which stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Issue No. 72 of The Invincible Iron Man (January 1975) was set at the July–August 1974 Comic-Con at the El Cortez Hotel and featured cameos by a few of the special guests. The fifth Kelly Green graphic novel The Comic-Con Heist (1987) written by Leonard Starr and drawn by Stan Drake was set at the 1983 con and depicted such regulars as Will Eisner, Milton Caniff, Burne Hogarth and Jack Kirby along with Shel Dorf; it initially only appeared in French until Classic Comics Press issued a collection of all five volumes of the series in English in 2016. Other comics set at the convention include Archie No. 538 (September 2003), Archie Giant Series No. 601 (October 1989) and No. 624 (October 1991), G.I. Joe No. 180 (July 2012), Dazzler No. 30 (January 1984), Lobo Convention Special ([September] 1993) and Fanboys Vs Zombies. 1992-1995 the Con partnered with Dark Horse Comics for an annual San Diego Comic Con Comics giveaway to attendees spotlighting characters published by Dark Horse.

Comic-Con is mentioned in the long-running CBS geek-targeted sitcom The Big Bang Theory in several episodes, and in 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 convention (with it being referred to as "Comic-Con Intergalactic" and the iconic eye logo now sporting multiple eyes), where Fry looks for approval for his own comic while Bender attends a panel from Matt Groening (creator of Futurama as well as The Simpsons) on his new show "Futurella" (a twist on the title of the show and a parody of its cancellation by Fox).

In "It's My Party and I'll Bang If I Want To", an episode of the 2011 season of The Real World: San Diego, the cast attends Comic-Con made up as zombies in order to pass out promotional flyers for the House of Blues, where they worked as part of their season work assignment. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock released a 2011 documentary feature film set at the convention, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. Writer Robert Salkowitz also used the 2011 Comic-Con as a backdrop for his book Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, an analysis of the comics industry's 21st-century dilemmas and what the future may hold.

Since 2015, Conan O'Brien has recorded a week of live shows from Comic-Con at the nearby Spreckels Theatre.

In 2015, the Food Network series Cake Masters had an episode where Duff Goldman presented a cake at Comic-Con to the cast of Fantastic Four.

Comic-Con Begins Podcast

In 2020, SiriusXM in association with Stitcher started production on COMIC-CON BEGINS: Origin Stories of the San Diego Comic-Con and the Rise of Modern Fandom . The podcast is a six-part mini-series chronicling the birth and evolution of the San Diego Comic-Con, and is told by over 50 of the original contributors. Among the founders there are also interviews with celebrities like Felicia Day, Ho Che Anderson, Jackie Estrada, Scott Aukerman, Trina Robbins, Kevin Smith, Neil Gaiman, and Bruce Campbell. Hosted by Brinke Stevens of Slumber Party Massacre. The podcast was expanded into the book See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture by creator Mathew Klickstein and published by Fantagraphics on September 6, 2022. The book includes forewords by cartoonists Stan Sakai and Jeff Smith, and an afterword by Wu-Tang Clan's RZA. The audiobook version was released on the same day by Blackstone Audio.

Locations and dates

No. Dates Location Attendance Guests Notes
1 March 21, 1970 U.S. Grant Hotel 60-75 Forrest J Ackerman, Mike Royer Minicon staged to raise funding for August convention
2 Aug 1–3, 1970 U.S. Grant Hotel 300 Forrest J Ackerman, Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, Bob Stevens, A. E. van Vogt: 61  a.k.a. Golden State Comic Con
3 Aug 6–8, 1971 Muir College,
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California
800 Kirk Alyn, Leigh Brackett, Ray Bradbury, Edmund Hamilton, Jack Kirby: 62 
4 Aug 18–21, 1972 El Cortez Hotel 900+ Bob Clampett, Harry Harrison, Jack Kirby, Katherine Kurtz, Mel Lazarus, Roy Thomas, Milt Gray: 65  a.k.a. San Diego's West Coast Comic Convention
5 Aug 16–19, 1973 Sheraton Hotel,
Harbor Island
1,000+ Neal Adams, D.C. Fontana, June Foray, Mike Friedrich, Carmine Infantino: 66  Now officially San Diego Comic-Con; first five-day Comic-Con; first celebrity brunch
6 July 31 – August 5, 1974 El Cortez Hotel 2,500 Majel Barrett, Milton Caniff, Frank Capra, Chuck Jones, Walter Koenig, Russ Manning, Russell Myers, Charles M. Schulz, Larry "Seymour" Vincent: 67  First Masquerade, emceed by June Foray
7 July 30 – August 3, 1975 El Cortez Hotel 2,450+ Robert Bloch, Will Eisner, Mark Evanier, Gil Kane, Jack Katz, Stan Lee, Dick Moores, Chuck Norris, Don Rico, Jerry Siegel, Jim Starlin, Jim Steranko, Theodore Sturgeon: 68  Radio personality Gabriel Wisdom (dressed as Thor) emcees Maquerade, with Charlene Brinkman (akas Brinke Stevens)
8 Nov 7–9, 1975 El Cortez Hotel 1,100 Jock Mahoney, George Pal Three-day follow-up to summer Con. Con incorporates as nonprofit.
9 July 21–25, 1976 El Cortez Hotel 3,000+ Sergio Aragonés, Mel Blanc, Milton Caniff, Rick Griffin, Dale Messick, Joe Shuster, Noel Sickles, Don Thompson, Maggie Thompson: 69  Vaughn Bodé, scheduled to appear, dies just before Con.
10 July 20–24, 1977 El Cortez Hotel 4,000+ Carl Barks, C. C. Beck, Walter Gibson, Robert A. Heinlein, Michael Kaluta, Jack Kirby, B. Kliban, Joe Kubert, Harvey Kurtzman, Stan Lynde, Alex Niño, Trina Robbins, Bill Scott: 70 
11 July 26–30, 1978 El Cortez Hotel 5,000 John Buscema, Howard Chaykin, Shary Flenniken, Alan Dean Foster, Gardner Fox, Steve Gerber, Burne Hogarth, Greg Jein, Bob Kane, Gray Morrow, Clarence "Ducky" Nash, Grim Natwick, Wendy Pini, Frank Thorne, Boris Vallejo: 71  George Metzger
12 Aug 1–5, 1979 San Diego Convention Center, U.S. Grant Hotel 6,000 Kelly Freas, Mike Jittlov, Harvey Kurtzman, Victor Moscoso, Nestor Redondo, Marshall Rogers, John Romita Sr., Mort Walker, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman: 72  US$12,000 in receipts stolen from home of Con's treasurer.
13 July 30 – August 3, 1980 San Diego Convention Center, U.S. Grant Hotel 5,000 John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Mike Grell, Paul Gulacy, Larry Niven, Joe Orlando, Richard Pini, Wendy Pini, Jerry Pournelle, Osamu Tezuka, Go Nagai, Monkey Punch, Ryoichi Ikegami, Adam West, Wally Wood: 78 
14 July 23–26, 1981 El Cortez Hotel 5,000 Jerry Bails, Dave Berg, Ray Bradbury, L. B. Cole, Jim Fitzpatrick, Dick Giordano, George Clayton Johnson, Bil Keane, Julius Schwartz, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Sim: 79  Gary Owens emcees Masquerade.
15 July 8–11, 1982 San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego 5,000 Carl Barks, Terry Beatty, Brian Bolland, Max Allan Collins, Will Eisner, Mike Grell, Chuck Jones, Hank Ketcham, Walter Koenig, Frank Miller, Arn Saba, Leonard Starr, Ken Steacy, Robert Williams: 80 
16 Aug 4–7, 1983 San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego 5,000 Douglas Adams, Bob Clampett, Floyd Gottfredson, Harvey Kurtzman, Norman Maurer, Grim Natwick, George Pérez, Trina Robbins: 81  First year the Con tried a theme for the souvenir programs. Arn Saba emcees Masquerade.
17 June 28 – July 1, 1984 San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego 5,500 Greg Bear, Howard Chaykin, Stan Drake, Burne Hogarth, Greg Jein, Ollie Johnston, Bob Layton, Brant Parker, Marshall Rogers, Mike Royer, Robert Shayne, Dave Stevens, Curt Swan, Frank Thomas, Al Williamson: 82  Held early due to Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Sergio Aragonés hosted Masquerade.
18 Aug 1–4, 1985 San Diego Convention Center, Hotel San Diego 6,000 Ben Bova, Jack Cummings, Jack Davis, Gil Kane, Harvey Kurtzman, Alan Moore (in his only U.S. convention appearance), Dan O'Bannon, Jerry Ordway, Alex Schomburg, Julius Schwartz, Jerry Siegel, Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson: 83  Rick Geary toucan design adopted as official logo. Fae Desmond hired as general manager.
19 July 31 – August 3, 1986 San Diego Convention Center,
Hotel San Diego
6,500 Poul Anderson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Greg Evans, Stan Lee, Dale Messick, Frank Miller, Moebius, Mart Nodell, Harvey Pekar, Jim Valentino, Doug Wildey: 84 
20 Aug 6–9, 1987 San Diego Convention Center, Holiday Inn 5,000 Harlan Ellison, Miguel Ferrer, Ward Kimball, B. Kliban, Françoise Mouly, Bill Mumy, Mike Peters, Robert Silverberg, Art Spiegelman, Bernie Wrightson: 85  Debut of Convention Events Guide. Country Joe McDonald performs.
21 Aug 4–7, 1988 San Diego Convention Center, Omni Hotel 8,000 Art Adams, Robert Asprin, Jules Feiffer, Ray Feist, David Gerrold, Matt Groening, George R.R. Martin, Matt Wagner: 86  Seduction Of The Innocent band (Bill Mumy, Steve Leialoha, Miguel Ferrer, Chris Christensen, Max Allan Collins) and anime department debut.
22 Aug 3–6, 1989 San Diego Convention Center, Omni Hotel 11,000 Paul Chadwick, Howard Cruse, Ron Goulart, Mark Hamill, Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez, Selby Kelly, Syd Mead, Fred Rhoads, Jerry Robinson, Gahan Wilson: 87 
23 Aug 2–5, 1990 San Diego Convention Center, Holiday Inn 13,000 Peter David, Will Eisner, Kelly Freas, Michael Kaluta, Mel Lazarus, Carl Macek, Grant Morrison, John Romita Jr., Van Williams: 94 
24 July 4–7, 1991 San Diego Convention Center, Pan Pacific Hotel 15,000+ Clive Barker, Dan DeCarlo, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Keith Giffen, Joe Haldeman, Lynn Johnston, Joe Kubert, Jim Lee, Don Maitz, Sheldon Moldoff, Rick Sternbach, Janny Wurts: 95 
25 Aug 13–16, 1992 San Diego Convention Center, Double Tree Hotel 22,000 Francis Ford Coppola, Creig Flessel, Bill Griffith, Todd McFarlane, Diane Noomin, Rowena, William Shatner, Gilbert Shelton, Lewis Shiner, Mr. T, Gary Trousdale, Vernor Vinge, Kirk Wise: 96  Con hosts Jack Kirby's 75th birthday party. Phil Foglio emcees.
26 Aug 19–22, 1993 San Diego Convention Center, Doubletree Hotel 28,000 Murphy Anderson, Jim Aparo, Peter Bagge, Dan Clowes, Nancy Collins, Paul Dini, Garth Ennis, Ferd Johnson, Rick Kirkman, Don Martin, Olivia, Dave Sim, Vin Sullivan, Michael Whelan, Robert Williams, Roger Zelazny: 97 
27 Aug 4–7, 1994 San Diego Convention Center, Hyatt Regency 31,000 Mike Allred, David Brin, Dave Dorman, Al Feldstein, Rick Geary, Stan Goldberg, Roberta Gregory, Matt Groening, Chad Grothkopf, Lurene Haines, Dan Jurgens, Frank Miller, Leonard Nimoy, James O'Barr, Lucius Shepard, J. Michael Straczynski, Rumiko Takahashi, Jean-Claude Van Damme: 98 
28 July 27–30, 1995 San Diego Convention Center 34,000 Scott Bakula, Clive Barker, Mike Baron, Simon Bisley, Charles Burns, Alan Davis, Ramona Fradon, Neil Gaiman, James Gurney, Greg Hildebrandt, Tim Hildebrandt, Ryoichi Ikegami, Gil Kane, Stan Lee, Rob Liefeld, Go Nagai, Irv Novick, Harvey Pekar, Stan Sakai, Joe Sinnott, Tom Sito, Jeff Smith, Andrew Vachss: 99  Name change to Comic-Con International. Richard Bruning "eye" logo debuts.
29 July 4–7, 1996 San Diego Convention Center 36,000 Donna Barr, David Brin, Paul Chadwick, Steve Dillon, Mort Drucker, Ben Edlund, Garth Ennis, Dave Gibbons, Joe Giella, Richard Hatch, Dave McKean, Jim Mooney, Kurt Schaffenberger, François Schuiten: 100  Due to the Republican National Convention, Con falls for second time on Independence Day.
30 July 17–20, 1997 San Diego Convention Center 40,000 Brent Anderson, Dick Ayers, Steve Bissette, Terry Brooks, Kurt Busiek, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Steven Hughes, Peter Kuper, David Lapham, Carol Lay, Joseph Michael Linsner, Ralph McQuarrie, Linda Medley, Michael Moorcock, George Pérez, Brian Pulido, Alex Ross, R.A. Salvatore, Kevin Smith, George Tuska, Jhonen Vasquez, Paul Verhoeven, Mark Waid, Al Williamson: 101 
31 Aug 13–16, 1998 San Diego Convention Center 42,000 John Broome, Eddie Campbell, Nick Cardy, Mark Crilley, Colleen Doran, Lorenzo Mattotti, Terry Moore, Paul S. Newman, James Robinson, Joe Simon, Paul Smith, Vin Sullivan, Naoko Takeuchi, Chris Ware, Robert Williams: 102 
32 Aug 13–16, 1999 San Diego Convention Center 42,000 Tom Batiuk, Chuck Cuidera, Samuel R. Delany, Paul Dini, Arnold Drake, Neil Gaiman, Sam Glanzman, Larry Gonick, Irwin Hasen, Patrick McDonnell, Mike Mignola, Mark Mothersbaugh, Jerry Robinson, Art Spiegelman, Jim Steranko, Jill Thompson, Bruce Timm, Barry Windsor-Smith: 103 
33 July 20–23, 2000 San Diego Convention Center 48,500 Kyle Baker, Will Elder, Ric Estrada, Al Feldstein, Phoebe Gloeckner, Jack Kamen, Ben Katchor, Harry Knowles, Harry Lampert, Jeph Loeb, Scott McCloud, Tim Sale, Marie Severin, Kevin Smith, Bryan Talbot, Angelo Torres, Lewis Trondheim, Al Williamson, Gahan Wilson, Janny Wurts: 108 
34 July 19–22, 2001 San Diego Convention Center 53,000 Brian Michael Bendis, John Buscema, Michael Chabon, Frank Cho, Julie Doucet, Brian Froud, Wendy Froud, Gene Ha, Joe R. Lansdale, Russell Myers, P. Craig Russell, Kim Stanley Robinson, Spider Robinson, Alvin Schwartz, Dan Spiegle, Jhonen Vasquez, Judd Winick, Bernie Wrightson: 109 
35 Aug 1–4, 2002 San Diego Convention Center 63,000 Dick Ayers, Mike Carey, Howard Chaykin, Peter David, Roman Dirge, Devon Grayson, Frank Jacobs, Chip Kidd, Bob Lubbers, Jason Lutes, Craig McCracken, Todd McFarlane, Tony Millionaire, Kevin Nowlan, Bob Oksner, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Eric Shanower, Hal Sherman, Herb Trimpe, George Woodbridge, William Woolfolk: 110 
36 July 17–20, 2003 San Diego Convention Center 70,000 Brian Azzarello, Charles Berberian, Sal Buscema, Philippe Dupuy, Neil Gaiman, Jackson "Butch" Guice, Nalo Hopkinson, Steve Jackson, Geoff Johns, Larry Lieber, Carla Speed McNeil, Kevin O'Neill, Howard Post, R.A. Salvatore: 111 
37 July 22–25, 2004 San Diego Convention Center 95,000 Jack Adler, Roger Dean, Dave Gibbons, Tom Gill, Harry Harrison, Sid Jacobson, Geoff Johns, Batton Lash, Chuck McCann, Aaron McGruder, Brad Meltzer, Mike Mignola, Rebecca Moesta, Bill Plympton, Eduardo Risso, Jean Schulz, Frank Springer, Tim Thomerson, Craig Thompson, John Totleben: 112  Con expands into Hall H of San Diego Convention Center, occupying entire exhibit space.
38 July 14–17, 2005 San Diego Convention Center 103,000 Lalo Alcaraz, Lee Ames, Sy Barry, Bob Bolling, Bruce Campbell, Nick Cardy, Greg Evans, Bob Fujitani, Pia Guerra, Ray Harryhausen, Phil Jimenez, Robert Jordan, David Lapham, Richard Morgan, Gary Panter, Eric Powell, Lou Scheimer, J. J. Sedelmaier, Dexter Taylor, Brian K. Vaughan, James Warren: 113 
39 July 20–23, 2006 San Diego Convention Center 123,000 Forrest J. Ackerman, Yoshitaka Amano, Sergio Aragonés, Peter S. Beagle, Brian Bolland, Ray Bradbury, Mark Buckingham, Kurt Busiek, Art Clokey, Daniel Clowes, Amanda Conner, Roger Corman, Luis Dominguez, Brian Fies, Phil Foglio, Basil Gogos, Carmine Infantino, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Robert Kirkman, James Kochalka, Walter Koenig, Kazuo Koike, Tommy Kovac, Roger Langridge, George R.R. Martin, Billy Martinez, Jonathan Matthews, Linda Medley, Brad Meltzer, Jean-Claude Mézières, Sheldon Moldoff, Jim Mooney, Jimmy Palmiotti, Christopher Paolini, George Pérez, Howard Porter, Jerry Robinson, John Romita, Andy Runton, Shag, Gail Simone, J. Michael Straczynski, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, John Wagner, Brian Walker, Greg Weisman, Scott Williams.
40 July 26–29, 2007 San Diego Convention Center 125,000 Sergio Aragonés, Alison Bechdel, Allen Bellman, Ray Bradbury, Dan Brereton, Daryl Cagle, Cecil Castellucci, Darwyn Cooke, Guy Delisle, Paul Dini, Roman Dirge, Cory Doctorow, Ann Eisner, Warren Ellis, Mark Evanier, Renee French, Gary Friedrich, Christos N. Gage, Neil Gaiman, Rick Geary, George Gladir, Laurell K. Hamilton, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Adam Hughes, Joe Jusko, Miriam Katin, Mel Keefer, Scott Kurtz, Joseph Michael Linsner, Joe Matt, David Morrell, Karen Palinko, Mike Ploog, Paul Pope, Lily Renée, George A. Romero, Rowena, Dave Stevens, J. Michael Straczynski, Ben Templesmith, Roy Thomas, Morrie Turner, Mark Verheiden, Matt Wagner, J. H. Williams III, Kent Williams, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Wood.
41 July 24–27, 2008 San Diego Convention Center 126,000 Forrest J Ackerman, Sergio Aragonés, Kyle Baker, Ralph Bakshi, Mike W. Barr, Lynda Barry, Frank Beddor, Ray Bradbury, Steve Breen, Max Brooks, Ed Brubaker, Matt Busch, Jim Butcher, Eddie Campbell, Howard Chaykin, Kim Deitch, Mark Evanier, Al Feldstein, Hiro Mashima, Keith Giffen, Neil Googe, Victor Gorelick, Mike Grell, Paul Gulacy, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Hill, Bryan Hitch, John Howe, Al Jaffee, Geoff Johns, J. G. Jones, Todd Klein, Dean Koontz, Tite Kubo, Verne Langdon, Jim Lee, Rutu Modan, Noel Neill, Floyd Norman, Jim Ottaviani, Mike Peters, Wendy Pini, Steve Purcell, Robert J. Sawyer, James Shoop, Jim Starlin, Joe Staton, J. Michael Straczynski, Adrian Tomine, Ethan Van Sciver, James Warren, Jeff Watts, Signe Wilkinson, Bill Willingham, Connie Willis, Jim Woodring, Bernie Wrightson, Dean Yeagle.
42 July 23–26, 2009 San Diego Convention Center 126,000 Shane Acker, Michael "Doc" Allred, Kevin J. Anderson, Sergio Aragonés, Ray Bradbury, Brom, Gene Colan, Nicola Cuti, Kevin Eastman, Steve Epting, Mark Evanier, June Foray, Ramona Fradon, Hunter Freberg, Stan Freberg, Gary Gianni, Jimmy Gownley, Russ Heath, Brian Herbert, James Jean, Geoff Johns, Eric Jones, Kazu Kibuishi, Denis Kitchen, John Kricfalusi, Hope Larson, Jim Lee, Francis Manapul, Dwayne McDuffie, Doug Moench, Sheldon "Shelly" Moldoff, Fabio Moon, Patrick Oliphant, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Stephan Pastis, David Petersen, Darick Robertson, Jerry Robinson, Mike Royer, Stan Sakai, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Seth, Bill Sienkiewicz, Gail Simone, Leonard Starr, J. Michael Straczynski, Richard Thompson, Lewis Trondheim, Ramón Valdiosera Berman, Jerry Vanderstelt, Charles Vess, Landry Walker, Bill Willingham, Gene Yang, Leinil Yu. John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki as panelists
43 July 22–25, 2010 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, and San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina 130,000+ Neal Adams, Jason Spyda Adams, Joel Adams, Josh Adams, Sergio Aragonés, Peter Bagge, Gabrielle Bell, Brian Michael Bendis, Ray Bradbury, Émile Bravo, Berkeley Breathed, Kurt Busiek, Chris Claremont, Howard Cruse, Vanessa Davis, Felicia Day, Samuel R. Delany, Dave Dorman, Mark Evanier, Jon Favreau, Matt Fraction, Hunter Freberg, Stan Freberg, Nicholas Gurewitch, Moto Hagio, Charlaine Harris, Dusty Higgins, Tanya Huff, Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Immonen, Van Jensen, Phil Jimenez, Jenette Kahn, Keith Knight, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Paul Levitz, Milo Manara, Larry Marder, Carla Speed McNeil, China Miéville, Dennis O'Neil, Robert M. Overstreet, Tom Palmer, Sean Phillips, Ivan Reis, Douglas E. Richards, Rick Riordan, Jerry Robinson, Steve Rude, Jeannie Schulz, J. Michael Straczynski, Drew Struzan, James Sturm, Jillian Tamaki, Doug TenNapel, C. Tyler, Ann VanderMeer, Jeff VanderMeer, Gerard Way, Al Wiesner, Michael Zulli.
44 July 21–24, 2011 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, and Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel 126,000+ Gerry Alanguilan, Sergio Aragonés, Jean Bails, Ed Benes, Anina Bennett, Jordi Bernet, Yves Bigerel, Joyce Brabner, Patricia Briggs, Chester Brown, Ernie Chan, Jo Chen, Seymour Chwast, Alan Davis, Dick DeBartolo, Tony DeZuniga, Eric Drooker, Garth Ennis, Mark Evanier, Joyce Farmer, David Finch, Dave Gibbons, Tsuneo Goda, Paul Guinan, Kim Harrison (Dawn Cook), Jonathan Hickman, John Higgins, Charlie Huston, Jamal Igle, Joëlle Jones, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Peter Kuper, Richard Kyle, Mell Lazarus, Jim Lee, Paul Levitz, David Lloyd, Patricia Lupoff, Richard A. Lupoff, Patrick McDonnell, Rebecca Moesta, Christopher Moore, Grant Morrison, Alex Niño, Ethan Nicolle, Malachai Nicolle, Anders Nilsen, Jerry Robinson, Bill Schelly, Scott Shaw, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Jeff Smith, Frank Stack, Jim Steranko, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart, J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Tatulli, Roy Thomas, Maggie Thompson, Peter J. Tomasi, Scott Westerfeld, Ashley Wood Steven Spielberg appeared as a panelist.
45 July 12–15, 2012 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, and San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina 130,000+ Charlie Adlard, Bill Amend, Sergio Aragonés, Tom Batiuk, Kate Beaton, Alison Bechdel, Tim Bradstreet, Mike Carey, Gail Carriger, Becky Cloonan, Geof Darrow, Ben Edlund, Steve Englehart, Mark Evanier, Greg Evans, Brecht Evens, Gary Gianni, Stan Goldberg, Rob Guillory, Larry Hama, Peter F. Hamilton, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Klaus Janson, N.K. Jemisin, Lynn Johnston, Joe Jusko, Karl Kerschl, Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, John Layman, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire, Paul Levitz, Rob Liefeld, Andy Mangels, Rudy Nebres, Dan Piraro, Whilce Portacio, Nate Powell, James Robinson, Brandon Sanderson, Ben Saunders, Doug Savage, John Scalzi, Mark Schultz, Scott Shaw, Gilbert Shelton, Jason Shiga, Jim Silke, Marc Silvestri, Scott Snyder, J. Michael Straczynski, Angelo Torres, Herb Trimpe, Morrie Turner, Michael Uslan, Jim Valentino, Trevor Von Eeden, Mark Waid, Tom Yeates, Anthony Bourdain Comic-Con begins charging for Preview Night; pre-registration during 2011 held off-site at Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, and number of pre-registrations limited.
46 July 18–21, 2013 San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, Petco Park Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Chula Vista Center 130,000+ Sergio Aragonés, Tom Batiuk, Brian Michael Bendis, Jon Bogdanove, Vera Brosgol, Jeffrey Brown, Frank Brunner, Gerry Conway, Denys B. Cowan, Jeromy Cox, Michael Davis, Gene Deitch, Jose Delbo, Derek T. Dingle, Paul Dini, Mark Evanier, Christine Feehan, Ellen Forney, Gary Frank, Charlotte Fullerton, Neil Gaiman, Tom Gauld, Russ Heath, Faith Erin Hicks, Adam Hughes, Tony Isabella, Georges Jeanty, Dan Jurgens, Richard Kadrey, Sam Kieth, Jim Lee, Paul Levitz, John Lewis, Todd Lockwood, Elliot S. Maggin, Leonard Maltin, Jeff Mariotte, Val Mayerik, Dave McKean, Terry Moore, Dean Mullaney, Ted Naifeh, Mike Norton, Jerry Ordway, Dan Parent, Martin Pasko, Lincoln Peirce, George Pérez, Fred Perry, Richard Pini, Wendy Pini, John Romita Jr., Chris Samnee, Ruth Sanderson, Scott Shaw, Christopher Shy, Louise Simonson, Bill Skarsgård, Jeff Smith, Nick Spencer, J. Michael Straczynski, Duane Swierczynski, Romeo Tanghal Sr., Roy Thomas, Bruce Timm, J.H. Williams III
47 July 24–27, 2014 San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, Petco Park, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Harbor Club Condominiums, Westfield Horton Plaza, Chula Vista Center, Qualcomm Stadium 130,000+ Mark Brooks (comics), Amanda Conner, Jane Espenson, Jim Lee, Sara E. Mayhew, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Quesada, Stan Sakai, Dan Slott, Brian Stelfreeze, J. Michael Straczynski, Brian K. Vaughn, Gene Luen Yang
48 July 9–12, 2015 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Horton Grand Theatre, Horton Plaza Mall San Diego Central Library, Petco Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Children's Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Grand Theatre, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Embarcadero Marina Park South, Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, Marina Spreckels Theatre 167,000 Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Humberto Ramos, J. Michael Straczynski, Jhonen Vasquez, Skottie Young Anime rooms, returned to the San Diego Convention Center for 2015.
49 July 21–24, 2016 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Horton Grand Theatre, Horton Plaza Mall San Diego Central Library, Petco Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Children's Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Grand Theatre, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Embarcadero Marina Park South, Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, Marina Spreckels Theatre 135,000+ Sergio Aragonés, Peter David, Ben Dunn, Duff Goldman, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Ed McGuinness, Tsutomu Nihei, Patrick Rothfuss, J. Michael Straczynski RFID badges are first introduced. This requires attendees to "tap in" as they enter the convention center and official offsite events and "tap out" as they exit. Anime rooms return to Marriott.
50 July 20–23, 2017 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Horton Grand Theatre, Horton Plaza Mall San Diego Central Library, Petco Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Children's Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Grand Theatre, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Embarcadero Marina Park South, Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, Marina Spreckels Theatre 130,000+ Sergio Aragonés, Mike Daniels, Paul Dini, Mike Grell, Erica Henderson, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Simone, R. L. Stine, J. Michael Straczynski First year badges are mailed in a box, with an exclusive SDCC '17 pin.
51 July 19–22, 2018 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Horton Grand Theatre, Horton Plaza Mall San Diego Central Library, Petco Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Children's Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Grand Theatre, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Embarcadero Marina Park South, Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, Marina Spreckels Theatre 130,000+ Yoshitaka Amano, Brian Fies, Duff Goldman, Jim Lee, Trina Robbins, R.A. Salvatore, John Walsh Online lottery system first implemented for high-demand signings, exclusives, and booth access. First year Harbor Drive and some additional streets are closed to public vehicle traffic from 7am to 9pm Wednesday to Sunday.
52 July 18–21, 2019 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Horton Grand Theatre, Horton Plaza Mall San Diego Central Library, Comic-Con Museum, Petco Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Children's Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Grand Theatre, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Embarcadero Marina Park South, Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, Marina Spreckels Theatre 135,000+ First year Comic-Con shuttles are not operating continuously. Shuttles operated from 5am to 1am during the con. 50th Anniversary of Comic-Con International.
53 July 23–26, 2020 San Diego Convention Center N/A Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Replaced with virtual event.
54 July 22–25, 2021 San Diego Convention Center
55 November 26–28, 2021 San Diego Convention Center, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Comic-Con Museum, Gaslamp Quarter 40,000+ Titled as "Comic-Con Special Edition". Unlike previous years, badges were not mailed in advance. Badge pick up occurred in Hall H (instead of Sails Pavilion) after attendees received a wristband, indicating proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 48 hours prior to the first day of the event. Covid vaccine/testing verification wristbands were distributed at pop-up booths located outside Halls C and H. Masks were required. First time badges for individual days were not sold. Instead, badges were marketed as a 3-day badge only (Fri-Sun). No preview night on Thurs. No Comic-Con shuttles, however complementary shuttles between the Comic-Con Museum and the Convention Center were available. No online lottery system implemented for exclusive booth access. Instead, only one onsite lottery was held (Funko) inside Hall A each morning. First time in a decade that badges did not sell out.
56 July 21–24, 2022 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, San Diego Central Library, Comic-Con Museum, Petco Interactive Zone, Omni San Diego Hotel, Children's Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Embarcadero Marina Park South, Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, Marina 135,000+ First in-person San Diego Comic-Con since 2019, returning to its usual July dates. Due to the cancelation of the 2020 show, attendees who had 2020 badges were able to roll badges over to 2021. When the 2021 show was canceled, the same option was available for the 2022 show. Badges were shipped without a commemorative box and an exclusive pin as in years prior. Masks were required, similar to SDCC "Special Edition" 8 months prior. All valid badge holders were required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 48 hours prior to the first day the badge is valid for. Covid vaccine/testing verification wristbands were distributed at various pop-up booths located around San Diego, with most located in and around the convention center complex, with some expanding to nearby hotels. Comic-Con partnered with CLEAR which enabled US citizens to streamline the process.
57 July 20–23, 2023 San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Horton Grand Theatre, San Diego Central Library, Comic-Con Museum, Petco Park, Park at the Park, Omni San Diego Hotel, Children's Park, Gaslamp Quarter, Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, Embarcadero Marina Park South, Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, Marina TBD

Comic-Con Magazine

Comic-Con Magazine, formerly known as Update, is the official magazine of San Diego Comic-Con International, WonderCon, and SAM: Storytelling Across Media, published free by San Diego Comic-Con International in the United States. The seed of the Comic-Con Magazine was a short one-shot issue of The Spirit, based on Comic-Con and sold exclusively in 1976 at the San Diego Comic-Con International. The Comic-Con Magazine debuted as Update in July 2005 and mainly focused on the winners of the Eisner Awards. The last Update issue appeared in July 2008; then it went on hiatus. When it came back, it was as Comic-Con Magazine, which not only covered San Diego Comic-Con International, but also WonderCon and the Alternative Press Expo, more commonly known as APE (which the con owned through 2014). The new Comic-Con Magazine features interviews with Comic-Con attendees and complete coverage of the Comic-Con events. The fourth issue of Comic-Con Magazine was a hybrid with Comic-Con's Souvenir Book with cover art by Alex Ross, in full color and exclusive to Comic-Con attendees.


A large number of exhibitors from art, comics, games, film, TV, and publishing are at Comic-Con.

There are three types of exhibitors at San Diego Comic Con. Inside the convention center, which requires a badge to visit during the convention, includes artists alley and the main exhibitor hall. Artist Alley is for up and coming artists who are new to the pop culture world by selling their new books, comics, toys, and or services. They range from local companies and businesses in Southern California to international ones, but are mainly private endeavors. Artist Alley is usually located in Hall G of the convention center. Spaces for these exhibitors are highly sought after and are on a lottery and need-based system.

The main exhibit hall, which includes larger well-recognized companies, takes up halls F through A. These companies sell or promote new and upcoming movies, television shows, and video games as well as featuring toys and exclusives with many selling for hundreds or even thousands on the secondary markets outside the convention. Some notable recurring companies include Lego, Hasbro, Funko, Hallmark Cards, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, The Walt Disney Company, and Blizzard Entertainment.

Off site

The other type of exhibitors include offsite exhibitors, booths and events which are located outside the convention center. These locations are usually within walking distance of the convention center but have been moving into nearby parks in recent years. Some notable examples include Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, Petco Park, and Children's Park (San Diego). In recent years, these offsite events have no connection to SDCC. In the past, most sites have not required a Comic-Con badge. In 2017, one example was a virtual reality and immersive set based on the movie Blade Runner 2049. In 2018, these examples included a Taco Bell Demolition Man themed pop-up restaurant in the Gaslamp; and a Shake Shack Bob's Burgers themed pop-up restaurant in Mission Valley. However, there are some official offsite events that require a badge. In 2018, it was estimated that nearly 200,000 people will be in Downtown San Diego due to Comic-Con related exhibits and events.


Comic Con crowds in 2011 as seen from a helicopter
Comic-Con crowd inside the second floor of the convention center in 2011 waiting for the exhibition hall to open

Capacity attendance at Comic-Con in 2006 and 2007 has caused crowding issues. Concerns have been raised that the event is possibly too large for the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con's home through at least 2022. In 2006, Comic-Con, for the first time, had to close registration for a few hours on Saturday to accommodate crowds. In response, for 2007, Comic-Con introduced a new three-day membership that did not include Saturday. Nevertheless, the 2007 show went on to sell out Saturday, as well as Friday and Sunday for the first time. Additionally, both the four-day and three-day memberships sold out for the first time. For 2008, the three-day memberships were abandoned and the convention decided to sell memberships only in advance, with no on-site registration. In 2008, all memberships were sold out before the convention for the first time. This sellout has given rise to the new phenomenon of Comic-Con memberships being scalped for exorbitant prices on websites such as eBay and Craigslist.

In April 2008, David Glanzer, Comic-Con's director of marketing and public relations, commented on the organization's desire to remain in San Diego:

We've been approached by other cities, [but] I don't think anybody wants to leave San Diego. I certainly don't. It's a perfect fit for us. It's expensive, whether it be paying for the street signs that tell you what streets are closed, or for any police or the hall or any of the myriad things, it's expensive. But it's a great city. There's been some talk of expansion of the center, which we would certainly welcome. Hopefully if everything lines up, we will be here for many more years.

Heidi McDonald reported on her blog The Beat as of October 7, 2009, Preview Night for the 2010 show had already sold out. Glazner explained the early sell-out:

For 2010 the decision was made to offer an option (of whether they wanted to attend Preview Night) to those who pre-registered for four-day badges. We limited the number of badges for Preview Night to the number of those who attended in 2008.

Mark Evanier on his blog News from ME noted as of November 9, 2009, that all 4-day passes for the 2010 show had already been sold out. On February 23, 2010, The Orange County Register reported that the larger Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim would be making a bid to become the new home of Comic-Con starting in 2013. On September 30, 2010, Comic Con announced that they had extended their stay up to 2015. The North County Times reported on July 26, 2010, that 4-day passes with access to Preview night for the 2011 Convention had sold out two hours before the 2010 convention closed. Comic-Con International announced that 4-day passes for the 2014 convention (July 24–27) would no longer be available and only single days would be sold. Due to overcrowding, organizers of the event capped attendance; this cap has been in place since 2007.

As of October 2013, a $520 million proposed expansion to the San Diego Convention Center received approval from the California Coastal Commission. The proposed expansion would increase the available space within the convention center and had a target completion date of early 2016. The expansion would add approximately 225,000 square feet of exhibit space, an additional 35%; and a brand-new 80,000 square foot ballroom, 20% larger than Hall H. The plan would also add a second tower to the Hilton Bayfront hotel, adding 500 rooms adjacent to the Convention Center. Due to the proposed expansion of the convention center, Comic Con extended its contract for San Diego to 2016. In 2014, convention center expansion was halted due to a lawsuit. As of July 2015, convention center expansion is effectively frozen, partly because the city no longer has financing lined up for it (any financing plan would involve taxpayer money and would have to be approved by a public vote), and partly because the city lost the rights to the only contiguous parcel of land where expansion could occur. Other cities, including Los Angeles, began to seek to have Comic-Con move out of San Diego; In 2015, Comic-Con entered into negotiations with San Diego. As a result of these negotiations, Comic-Con entered into a contract to stay in San Diego through 2018. In 2017 the commitment to San Diego was extended to 2021.

Accidents and incidents

In 2013, a young woman attempted to jump off the balcony of a local high-rise, but nearby stuntmen prevented it.

In 2014, multiple pedestrians marching in an off-site ZombieWalk were struck by a car forcing its way through an intersection. A 64-year-old woman sustained serious injuries to her arm; two others had minor injuries.

The same year, a teenage cosplayer was initially thought to have been sexually assaulted early Sunday morning, and a suspect was arrested on Sunday at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina. Police later stated that the teenage girl was injured in a fall; the arrested individual was released without any charges.


In 2014, San Diego Comic-Con sent a cease and desist order to the organizers Salt Lake Comic Con, asserting that "Comic-Con" and "Comic-Con International" were registered trademarks of the convention, and that use of the term "comic con" in any form was trademark infringement as it implies an unauthorized association with San Diego Comic-Con. A U.S. court ruled in favor of San Diego Comic-Con and awarded $20,000 in damages (albeit not considering the infringement to be willful). Phoenix Comiccon changed its name to Phoenix Comic Fest as a proactive move to avoid possible legal issues in the wake of this ruling. They then filed a motion in an Arizona Federal Court to strike down San Diego Comic Convention's trademark In 2017, the Salt Lake Comic Con changed its name to FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention (or just FanX). On January 16, 2018, Salt Lake Comic Con filed a motion for a new trial.

See also

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