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Batman, Zombies And Whovians To Descend On Comic-Con

Pop Culture Conventions Turns 45 This Week

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with fans and exhibitors at last year's Comic-Con to get an insider's view.

Preview night for Comic-Con is Wednesday, but vendors are already arriving with the bigger, more elaborate booths beginning to be unloaded Monday at the San Diego Convention Center. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer.


Preview night for Comic-Con is Wednesday, but vendors are already arriving with the bigger, more elaborate booths beginning to be unloaded on Monday at the San Diego Convention Center. (Check out my video from 2012 with some insider information.)

It’s no secret that Comic-Con has run out of Convention Center space, so in recent years it’s had to be creative. This year it added Horton Grand Theatre as a venue. Spokesman David Glanzer says the event has expanded into a kind of Comic-Con campus.

"There are activations that occur right outside the Convention Center. So really some of the park space outside the Convention Center, I think as far away as Petco Park, MTV has a party one night," he said. "And these are events that are sanctioned. They are basically open to people with Comic-Con badges, and that really goes a long way toward helping alleviate the crowd and congestion not only within the Convention Center but around it as well."

Four years ago the Convention Center released a report that estimated the economic impact of the annual four-day convention at $163 million. Glanzer thinks that’s a conservative estimate.

"There are restaurant buyouts. There are building wraps. There is a tremendous amount of money that’s poured into the San Diego economy during Comic-Con for that one week, and a majority of it I think was not reflected in that survey," he said.

But the survey has helped show that what was dismissed initially as a geek gathering is recognized now as something that benefits the community and brings people from around the globe to San Diego.

You can hear more of David Glanzer’s interview on KPBS's Midday Edition this Wednesday.


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