July of this year in San Diego, the annual Comic-Con International hosted over 160,000 (167,000 in 2015) attendees during the four days of the event. Formerly called the “San Diego Comic Book Convention”, which began in 1970, now is overcrowded and sells out every year. The organizers’ mission statement reads, “Comic-Con International San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.” After 47 years, it has grown to be the largest comic and pop culture event in the world.
This year Pyramid Logistics arranged studio transportation and delivery of equipment, displays, and needed technology, from some of the most famous movie studios producing popular culture movies and television shows today; Disney, Sony, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Columbia. Comic-Con is the largest convention held in San Diego. It fills the San Diego Convention Center to capacity and spills over into the use of nearby hotels for event space. Providing movie studio logistics for exhibitors can be complex and requires the expertise of an experienced company. Pyramid Logistics is the leader in their field. Companies that use their skills can tell you, they always meet your deadlines, no matter how complicated the task. According to Forbes, the convention is the “largest convention of its kind in the world”.
Originally, comic books and science fiction/fantasy related films, television programs, and other popular culture arts were featured. The Convention now includes a much larger range of popular arts. Elements from all genres of entertainment: horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectibles, video games, webcomics and fantasy novels are featured. Every year the Convention sells out and is overcrowded. An attendance “cap” has been in place since 2007, but is always exceeded. In 2011 the Convention brought $180 million to the area economy. San Diego has a large interest in seeing that Comic-Con stays in San Diego. In 2008, David Glanzer, the Director of marketing and public relations, made comments on the Comic-Con staying in San Diego, “We’ve been approached by other cities, 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 of 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.” In fact, at the end of this year’s Convention, it was announced that Comic-Con had extended its commitment to stay in San Diego until 2021.
Comic-Con International provides attendees with the latest news on all the biggest films, TV shows and comics that are coming attractions. The event is packed with screenings, panels, interviews and showcases. Attendees can even attend seminars and workshops with comic book professionals. There are screening rooms devoted to Japanese animation films, feature films, new video game concepts, and comic books. During the evenings, there are award ceremonies and an annual Masquerade costume contest is held. An Independent Film Festival is also held which features short and feature length films that do not have distribution deals.
In 2013 there were over a thousand vendors exhibiting on the main floor space. Among these were toy manufacturers, comic book dealers, artists, movie studios, TV networks, and collectibles dealers. The exhibitor’s floor also has a space known as Artists’ Alley where comic book artists sell and do sketches, writers can be interviewed and models move through the crowd.
In recent years, the number of promoted television shows outnumber the films. Both TV and film productions have screenings and discussion panels with actors, writers, and others from their projects. This year Steven Spielberg was there promoting his new, “Ready Player One” and a trailer was shown. Ben Affleck attended and was interviewed about Batman departure rumors. Stan Lee was an honored attendee as co-creator of Fantastic Four, Spider-man, Avengers, and X-Men for Marvel Comics, the leader of the comic book industry. He has also developed Thor and the Black Panther. “Goosebumps” author, R. L. Stine also attended. Every year Conan O’Brien has a week of live television shows right from the Conic-Con San Diego event. In fact, Comic-Con has gotten so big, it is hard to keep track of all the events taking place during the entire convention on a daily basis. The international press covers the many events for a worldwide audience.
DC Films announced a “Wonder Woman 2” film in development, and a Flash storyline for the movie, “Flashpoint”. New “Aquaman” footage was premiered, and a Justice League trailer was shown. Marvel Studios showed the “Thor Ragnarok” trailer, new “Black Panther” footage was presented, Captain Marvel information was released, and the “Avengers: Infinity War” trailer was premiered. DC TV promoted upcoming TV shows, trailers, storylines and casting for programs such as Gotham, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Lucifer. The casts of the new shows, Black Lightning and Krypton, gave interviews. Krypton will feature actors in the roles of Brainiac, Doomsday, and Hawkwoman. Warner Brothers Animation and DC Entertainment premiered their new animated feature, “Batman and Harley Quinn”. The storyline finds Batman and Nightwing trying to save humanity. They enlist the aid of Harley Quinn to catch the deadly and destructive Poison Ivy. Discussion panels were held after the premiere with the actors and producers.
Comic-Con draws toy and collectible manufacturers from around the world. These manufacturers produce “Comic-Con Exclusive” merchandise. Most of this merchandise is licensed properties of movies, comic book, and animation characters. Among others, companies such as Lego, Hasbro, Mattel, Gentle Giant, ThinkGeek, and Toynami are producers included in the convention exclusive merchandise sales. Comic-Con has either been featured in or provided background in many TV shows, among them are; The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, Castle, Entourage, The O.C., Numb3rs, Beauty and the Geek, Punk’d and others. It was the setting of, “Mark Hamill’s Comic Book: The Movie”, and “Comic-Con IV: A Fan’s Hope”.
Comic-Con is entrenched in our popular culture. It provides a place for fans of comic books to see their favorite characters featured in film, comic books, TV shows, and merchandise. Fans can interact with the creators, cartoonists, artists, authors and illustrators of these characters and storylines. Pyramid Logistics delivers the merchandise, structures and equipment needed to bring the Convention to life. You can count on Pyramid Logistics to provide the studio transportation for you.