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Comic-Con a nexus of all things cool

Pop culture confab's growth tied to film involvement

Where can you go to find Klingons, stormtroopers, Angelina Jolie, mutants, manga, Halle Berry and maybe a Hulk or two?

Probably on the wall of a teenage boy’s room, but definitely at the 2003 Comic-Con Intl. San Diego.

Event, which is held in the San Diego Convention Center and runs from July 17-20, began 34 years ago in the basement of a hotel as a meeting between friends who enjoyed movies and comic books.

But it has exploded into a phenom that draws more than 60,000 attendees, including thousands of comic book, film and television professionals and celebrities.

“One of the things that has contributed to our growth is our relationship with the film community, and specifically, the independent film community though our film festival,” says Comic-Con director of publicity David Glanzer.

Comic-Con’s Independent Film Festival, which plans to screen 35 films, is one of many activities that surround the pop culture gathering. Here are some of the higher profile businesses, people, parties and projects to look out for.

  • Comicbook companies/publications

    Majors like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, CrossGen, Image, Wizard Entertainment and hundreds of independent publishers ranging from Angel Gate to Way Out Comics will display wares on the showroom floor.

  • Film projects (Comic con participants)

    Artisan — “The Punisher”; “House of the Dead”

    Sony — “Hellboy” (Comicbook creator Mike Mignola); “Underworld” (director Len Wiseman, actors Scott Speedman and Kate Beckinsale); “Spider-Man 2” (director Sam Raimi)

    Universal — “Van Helsing” (director Stephen Sommers, Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale)

    Warner Bros. — “Gothika” (Halle Berry)

    Paramount — “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider — Cradle of Life” (Angelina Jolie)

    New Line — “Freddy Vs. Jason” (actor Robert Englund)

    Miramax — “Kill Bill” (director Quentin Tarantino)

    Creative Light Entertainment — “Comic Book: The Movie” (director Mark Hamill)

    HBO Films — “American Splendor”

  • TV projects & animated offerings

    The WB — “Smallville” (Al Gough, Miles Millar, exec producers; Jeph Loeb, Mark Verheiden, writers)

    Sony – “Jackie Chan Adventures”; “Astro Boy”

    Cartoon Network – “Teen Titans” (Glen Murakami – producer; David Slack – story editor); “Duck Dodgers” (Tony Cervone and Spike Brandt – supervising producers; Paul Dini and Tom Minton – producers and writers)

    Sci Fi Network – “Battlestar Galactica” miniseries and “Stargate SG-1”

    Panels (and panelists)

    Pitching your animation concept for intellectual property to the studios (WB Animation exec Michael Diaz amongst panelist)

    Comic books in the movies (Stan Lee, Creative Light Ent.’s Scott Zakarin)

    The Indie Filmmakers’ How-to Guide to DVD (Moderated by FilmThreat.com’s Chris Gore, includes filmmaker Augusta)

    20 Questions with Toy Industry Insiders

  • Parties/awards

    Star Wars Fan Film Awards

    Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards

    The Masquerade (costume party)

    For more information on the San Diego Comic-Con, go to http://www.comic-con.org/.

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