Anina Collins Biography & Facts
San Diego Comic-Con International is a comic book convention and nonprofit multi-genre entertainment held annually in San Diego, California, United States 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, 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.SDCC had been cancelled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 marked the first time that SDCC had missed a year since its establishment.
History and organization
The convention was founded in 1970 by Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, Mike Lowry, Barry Alfonso, Bob Sourk, and Greg Bear. 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.
Following the initial gathering, Dorf's first three-day San Diego comics convention, the Golden State Comic-Con, drew 300 people and was held at the U.S. Grant Hotel 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.
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