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Comic-Con Set To Kick Off Amid News It’s Staying In San Diego Until 2018

Pop culture convention begins Wednesday with preview night

Sideshow Toys always features detailed statues and figures at their Comic-Con...

Credit: Beth Accomando

Above: Sideshow Toys always features detailed statues and figures at their Comic-Con booth. Here is one from last year of Pinhead from Clive Barker's "Hellraiser."

GUESTS:
David Glanzer, spokesman, Comic-Con

Beth Accomando, arts reporter, KPBS

Transcript

Comic-Con is the largest pop culture convention in North America, and until at least 2018 it will remain in San Diego.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Comic-Con held a news conference Thursday to announce that the pop culture convention had just signed a two-year contract to stay in San Diego through 2018.

Comic-Con's current contract was scheduled to end in 2016. It's typical for the nonprofit organization to sign one- to three-year contracts because there are too many variables for longer contracts to be practical. The two main issues that have been in contention for the past few contract negotiations have involved hotel room rates and the fact that Comic-Con has maxed out space at the San Diego Convention Center.

David Glanzer, Comic-Con's spokesman, said "there are no real bad guys" in this.

To address the lack of convention space, Comic-Con has added yet another satellite venue to its ever expanding campus: the San Diego Central Library. The library recently opened "The Art of Comic-Con" exhibit and will open two auditorium spaces during the convention for panels.

The library joins The Horton Grand Theatre (which was added last year) as well as ballroom space at the Hilton Bayfront as panel and event venues beyond the convention center.

Photo caption: A collection of 1,000 Stormtroopers on display at the 2014 Comic-Con.

Photo credit: Beth Accomando

A collection of 1,000 Stormtroopers on display at the 2014 Comic-Con.

Glanzer also revealed that Comic-Con will be partnering with Lionsgate to create a video on demand channel scheduled to launch early next year.

The channel would showcase films that fit the pop culture convention's themes and hopefully will showcase some archived panels, Glanzer said.

Lionsgate will be shooting at the convention this week.

Other off-site events that people can get into with a Comic-Con badge are "The Conan O'Brien Show" (emails went out to badge holders to request tickets) and the Her Universe Fashion Show back for its second year (highlighting fan-created geek fashion).

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

Comic-Con runs opens with a preview Wednesday night and continues through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center and various satellite venues.

Disclosure: Beth Accomando will be working with Lionsgate at Comic-Con to gather footage for its upcoming Video on Demand channel.

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