Comic-Con Facts

Comic-Con is the common name for the San Diego Comic-Con International, which takes place on an annual basis in San Diego, California. Comic-Con is an increasingly popular convention, aimed at fans of comic books, science fiction, horror and much more. Learn more about this incredible show with the following key facts.


The founders of Comic-Con were a group of friends and comic book fans named Sheldon Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger and Mike Towry. Their first full show, called Golden State Comic-Con was held over three days in August 1970 (following a one-day trial in March that year) and attracted 300 people. Each year thereafter, the show grew in size. By 2012, Comic-Con was able to draw over 130,000 attendees. The show has been held in a variety of locations in San Diego, including the El Cortez Hotel. Since 1991, the San Diego Convention Center has played host to the event.


The modern Comic-Con is somewhat different to the early shows, which focused on comic book collecting, science fiction and cult television shows. Now, the convention attracts fans of many other pop culture elements, including video games, collectible cards and Manga. It is now the largest convention in the United States, and the third largest in the world. The convention provides the opportunity for sellers, collectors and fans to come together to buy, sell and showcase their products. Many artists now produce Comic-Con exclusive products and variants for collectors, which quickly attract high prices on the secondary market.


The three-day convention hosts a large selection of vendors across a number of different halls in the convention center. The event now holds a preview night before the main event, where a number of items are showcased in advance of the main sales. The event is not, however, just about buying and selling. Major film distributors now regularly show advanced screenings of upcoming films, along with interviews and presentations from the cast and crew. Comic-Con is a great opportunity to showcase major forthcoming features. At the 2012 show, for example, there was a great deal of anticipation for the third Christopher Nolan Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. Many vendors and exhibitors released exclusive Batman toys, prints and posters to commemorate the film premiere.


Attendees must pay admission to the convention. Tickets are available in advance and are now sold online, with some tickets sold physically at the convention center and local hotels. Tickets can normally be purchased for individual days or for all four dates, including the preview night. The cost of admission varies on an annual basis, but tickets now sell out very quickly. For the 2012 show, tickets sold out in a record 90 minutes, down from 7 hours the year before.

The experience

Tickets for Comic-Con permit attendance to all the event and program rooms but do not guarantee admittance, where there is a limited capacity. As such, the convention regularly draws huge queues each morning, as guests try to gain entry to the most popular screenings and interviews. The event attracts many special guest stars, including film directors and actors, and is therefore a great opportunity for autographs and celebrity photos. Each year, the show is full of surprises, with new films announced, preview clips shown exclusively, and a number of competitions and exclusive sales. For fans of the genre, Comic-Con proves to be an unforgettable experience.

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