Talk to the cosplayers who walk the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, people line up days in advance to enter the San Diego Convention Center, and you’ll hear a similar sentiment about why they love Comic-Con. .
“I feel more at home when I’m at Comic-Con,” says a cosplayer dressed as Amazing Spider-Man.
Fans said they felt they could be themselves at Comic-Con. Some say their anxieties lessen when they are around. For most, it’s a time to get together with like-minded fans and be truly understood.
Fans have been waiting a very long time for The Con’s return, reports NBC 7’s Joe Little.
For the more than 100,000 people who return for SDCC 2022, and for the thousands more who come to the Gaslamp to experience the experience without a ticket to the main event, it’s been three long years of waiting for the return of their beloved pop culture event.
PHOTOS: San Diego Comic-Con is back, and so is cosplay. Looked
“Three whole years we’ve been waiting for. One thousand and ninety-five days,” Eddie Carpenter said from the front of the Hall H line, where he was seated more than 48 hours before the convention officially began.
He was not alone. Although Comic-Con officially begins Thursday, the Gaslamp Quarter was already bustling Wednesday with cosplayers — people who dress up as characters from their favorite movies, books, or video games — and others who wanted to witness the return of Comic-Con. Con. .
Comic-Con returned to full capacity for the first time in years, much to the delight of its fans. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford is live from the convention center, where the party is taking place.
So what’s the appeal?
“130,000 people come here just for one thing: pop culture. We’re all here, we’re all in,” Carpenter said. “You find people from your different fandoms. You have your mates from anime, movies, TV shows, everything is here. The simple fact that all these people come together is magical.
San Diego Comic-Con communications director David Glanzer said he’s grateful the convention can be a space for people to express themselves.
“I think one of the best questions I’ve heard asked years ago, a reporter asked a young woman from Phoenix, they said, ‘So you gotta like Comic-Con, that’s your chance to be kind of, you know, your alter ego.’ and without a beat, the young woman said, “You know what actually, that’s where I can be myself when I’m in the real world, that’s my alter ego. That’s where I can be me.” And to me, that pretty much sums up Comic-Con.”
The event came from humble origins, just a few hundred fans in 1970. Since then, it has attracted millions of comic book and pop culture fans from around the world; In 2019 alone, Comic-Con hosted over 135,000 attendees and generated $3.2 million in hotel and sales tax revenue for San Diego.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the world’s largest comics and popular arts convention has been held virtually – except for a much smaller, three-day in-person event that was held last November. Despite the surge in virus counts, it returns Thursday with an exhibit hall of more than 460,000 square feet of floor space and more than 1,000 exhibitors.