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Comic-Con International: San Diego's Celebration Of Comics In Art & Culture

Comic-Con International in San Diego CaliforniaFans of comic books, graphic novels, science fiction, and fantasy take note (not that you need any reminder): Comic-Con International 2013 is approaching rapidly! The Sofia Hotel is just a 15-minute walk from the San Diego Convention Center where the world-renowned celebration of creative pop-art expression is being held for the 44th time.

The fun commences July 18 and runs until the 21st–each day as packed as you could wish for.

Comic-Con was first conceived in 1970, when a small, daylong fundraiser in March–San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon–resulted in a larger, longer version later in the summer: the Golden State Comic-Con, prototype for all celebrations to follow. Growing ever bigger and more chock-full of events, showcases, special guests, contests, and presentations, Comic-Con International has resided at the San Diego Convention Center for 22 years.

The amount of energy and activity at the modern Comic-Con is mindboggling. The grand Exhibit Hall, centerpiece of the festival, accounts for better than 460,000 square feet of comic-y goodness. There are loads of interactive workshops, panel discussions, art exhibitions, and, notably, the Masquerade costume show and contest–your chance to evoke (or at least appreciate from a reserved distance) your favorite superhero, supervillain, antihero, or cult icon.

Special guests–cartoonists, filmmakers, actors, and more–have spiced up the proceedings since the very first Comic-Con. This year, everyone from Sergio Aragonés, a veteran member of the MAD magazine crew, to Bruce Timm, co-creator of Batman: The Animated Series as well as many other television shows and films, will be on hand. Getting the opportunity to rub shoulders with legendary luminaries is one of the defining aspects of Comic-Con–but so is celebrating the talents of amateur artists and directors, as well as the beauty and joy of fandom in its own right.

There will also be plenty of anime and movie screenings not to mention the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. Artists will also have the opportunity to have their portfolio perused and reviewed by industry representatives.

The Sofia is the perfect place to stay while you’re in town for the world’s greatest comic-book festival. Come join the fun!

Photo credit: Pat Loika