29 Jul Geek Culture Explodes Into Pop Culture at San Diego Comic-Con 2013
For comic nerds, the apex of their addiction and subscriptions would annually (and sometimes semi-annually or quarterly) come in the form of a comic-con. Over time, as the geek and comic culture slowly infiltrated Hollywood to the point of near saturation, the comic-con became something much larger than just a collection of comic and toy geeks engaging in comic related commerce. The comic-con, whether it be Megacon in Orlando, or the NY International Comic-Con became a pop culture phenomenon, a megladon shark attacking Godzilla attacking Mothra attacking Tokyo. The biggest of these monsters is of course the annual San Diego Comic-Con, where film, television, toys, video games and of course — comics — explode into the pop culture consciousness on an annual basis.
San Diego Comic-Con has become the annual event for Hollywood and the AAA video game studios to announce and preview their new projects to the largest audience possible. This is the time for celebrities to sit on panels and answer cliche questions about the movies they are promoting. This is where the film and television industry meet the comic industry which is all melded together in some sort of watered down pop-culture baby. Regardless, between the endless panels that fill up before the doors even open and the hundreds of cosplayers, technologists and random geeks, Comic-Con (as it is referred to within the chronological context of the event) converge together for common purpose — money.
Everyone at Comic-Con, except for the consumer of course, is selling something. Hell, even the consumer is selling their brand loyalty to the highest bidder, but that is a more precise conversation for another time. Yet, through all the thick air of consumerism and millions of advertising dollars, there is still something exciting about being there when all the “new stuff” is announced. Most of this is related to upcoming movies (thankfully sticking to mostly the comic related genre and not yet announcing rom-coms at comic-com) and comic related television shows like The Walking Dead. Though this year, let’s be honest, most of it was about the next Avengers movie. Comic-Con is still one big tease.
Really, there is too much so-called news coming out of Comic-Con to report in one blog post. While it was not all shocking, it was a lot to take in. There are hundreds of sources for all your Comic-Con news. Here are some of the stories that rose to the top of the pack, generating enough buzz and interest to at least hold over into the fall season.
First off, Tom Hiddleston appeared in his full Loki costume to mess with crowds at the “Here come the Avengers” panel. Maybe that panel name is made up, but you get the point. Then Joss Whedon announced the name of the next movie in the series will be Avengers: Age of Ultron. For those of you in the know, this is not based on the storyline of the same name (oddly enough) and does not include Hank Pym. Then Sony topped that with their promo video for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starring Jamie Foxx as Electro. To top off this delicious comic book pastry, Fox revealed the plot for X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Of course, no Comic-Con would be complete without some sort of vague teaser as to a future film that may or may not be in pre-production. This year it was Superman/Batman, said to be in the works from director Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer. They revealed a mash-up logo for the film, set to start filming next year. Of course, they have no actor to play Batman, but that’s just a small detail right? Word on the street is that it will be based on the Public Enemies comic series. They better get busy on finding a new Batman. Maybe it’ll be Ryan Gosling.
Then there is the cosplay, the costumes. The best cosplay of the entire con had to be actor Bryan Cranston who wore a mask of his character Walter White from Breaking Bad. Cranston revealed the prank during his panel, and then proceeded to make out with the mask along with actor Aaron Paul. Which was really, really weird. This year, as every year, fans stepped their cosplay game up and came out with some amazing costumes. Check out this cosplay video put together by The Sneaky Zebra.
Thankfully, as Hollywood as Comic-Con has become, there is still the presence of its namesake — comics. Not only will you find hundreds of vendors on the floor selling their wares, but the comic related news is nothing short of amazing for those who enjoy it. To start off, Marvel will be bringing back the Marvel UK imprint and characters with the launch of Revolutionary War in 2014 written by Andy Lanning and Alan Cowsill. A sequel to Wolverine: Origin is also on the horizon. Noted writer Gail Simone will be writing a new Tomb Raider comic for Dark Horse. This will be a video game tie-in, in anticipation for the video game sequel. For this writer though, the biggest and best news is the upcoming graphic novel from IDW based on Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
In the end, Comic-Con is about the melding of pop-culture entertainment and its new favorite source material — geek culture. While some have lamented the loss of the unique cultural aspects of being segregated in geek culture, many have instead praised the eventual combination of the two. It’s pretty awesome seeing your favorite comics come to life on the big screen. That’s what its all about in the end, imagination coming to life, whether on the big screen or in the aisles of a crowded expo hall.