There are conventions, and then there's Comic-Con. Some 125,000 people descended upon San Diego last week for what is officially billed as an event "celebrating the popular arts," but what is really the flash creation of a small City of the Geeks. Attendees lapped up exclusive previews of huge upcoming films, first looks at new and returning TV shows, demonstrations of the latest in gaming and virtual reality technology, opportunities to meet artists and stars and much more. Every year the Con takes over downtown San Diego, spilling over into the Gaslamp Quarter and filling hotels, bars, restaurants and even the local baseball stadium with fans, industry professionals and artists from all walks of pop culture, including thousands of nerds filling the convention center and city like self-replicating robots.
Rolling Stone was on the ground covering everything from the hard-to-get-into Hall H, where the studios roll out premiere footage from movies like The Avengers: Age of Ultron, to the far end of the exhibition hall where comic book dealers still keep the show's original spirit alive. Yes, Comic-Con has changed a lot since it launched more than 40 years ago in the basement of a hotel, and it's safe to say that it's now more a giant marketing and promotional emporium than an organic fan gathering.
But there are still amazing, wonderful things to see and do, and here's a list of 20 that we pegged as event highlights. By Don Kaye and Dave Maass