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Calling All Geeks

A comical look at a leading sci-fi exhibition, which takes place in the US each year.
 
July & August  is that time of year when lovers of comics, films, science fiction, anime, Manga, horror and many others descend on the San Diego convention centre for the multi-genre convention Comic-Con. Since its debut in 1970 this non-profit convention boasts attendances in excess of 130,000 by the last count in 2010.

Great minds think alike
The show is a great opportunity for like-minded fans and enthusiasts to pick up rare collectables or perhaps catch exclusive previews of upcoming movies. Comic book artists and writers are in attendance as well as special effects teams, TV and film production companies, costume designers and a plethora of specialists from all of the varying genres. There are seminars, panels and workshops for visitors to attend.
 
Popular names of the silver screen
Its popularity extends beyond those with a direct interest in the subjects. In popular media it has been featured in the film “Paul” that starred Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. In fact it was integral in setting up the premise of that film. It has also had notable mentions on CBS and the cartoon “Futurama” which is created by Matt Groening, the man behind the “Simpsons”.
 
A victim of its own success?
With the advent of the Internet and dissemination of multi-genre content across many platforms the conventions popularity has grown to such proportions that it has become a victim of its own success. There have been fears of overcrowding in the last 6 years. In 2006 and 2007 registration had to be closed for fears of crowd safety. As each subsequent year passes the time taken for tickets to sell out has grown faster. Tickets are no longer sold on the door which leaves only advanced booking. Naturally this has resulted in ticket touts selling them on eBay for vastly inflated prices.
 
Is that an Oriolanis Striker Projectile Pistol or are you pleased to see me?
Such a convention requires great organisational planning and despite the event outgrowing the current location the organisers have made use of neighbouring hotels to host film screenings. Often these film previews can hold anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand people. Some of the more unconventional rules include a costume weapon policy. The weapons must go through a security check, anything that fires projectiles is a no-no and any swords must be securely tied down. Once the weapon has been deemed safe the attendee has it tagged and a wrist band is allocated to say that it is safe.
 
The event is billed to stay at its San Diego home until 2015. Other centres in San Francisco and Los Angeles are keen to bid on hosting the event in 4 years’ time. One thing is for sure that the popularity Comic-Con enjoys shows no sign of diminishing any time soon.
 
Hannah Walks writes on behalf of Finesse Group Ltd


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