The 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International runs July 23-27. // Comic-Con International
Once again, the world’s greatest pop-culture convention is happening. San Diego Comic-Con International 2014 officially starts Thursday, July 24, and runs through Sunday the 27th, with a preview night Wednesday, July 23, for professionals, exhibitors, and press. And for the second time, I’ll be attending as press to blog about what I see.
Comic-Con started in 1970 as a three-day gathering called the Golden State Comic-Con. The event drew 300 people. Last year, the attendance swelled to an amazing 160,000.
Here, then, are 10 reasons I’m looking forward to attending this iteration of Comic-Con.
Nope, no “fiction” attached. You’ll find a surprising amount of science at conventions like Comic-Con. Example: In 2013, Neil deGrasse Tyson and the writers and producers of Cosmos presented a panel about the series.
2. Press benefits
Two years ago, I got to interview actor and author William Shatner and legendary director Roger Corman. I’ve got a few interviews lined up this year, too. Watch for them here.
3. The youth movement
I’ll be talking to hundreds of people during my five-day stay. Questions will fly like TIE Fighters over a Death Star: Are you into astronomy? Do you read magazines (print or digital)? How do you interact with the news? What kind of apps appeal to you? And lots more.
4. Getting social
There’s no place like a big pop culture convention to discover what’s hot and what’s not regarding social media. What are the big entertainment companies doing to attract folks? I hope to bring back some applicable ideas.
5. Authors abound
Hearing how writers incorporate science into their fiction writing is one of my favorite things to do at conventions like this. I’m always looking for creative ways to present our favorite subjects, albeit in factual settings. There’s lots I can learn.
6. The unexpected
Activities at and around Comic-Con are so popular that I never know beforehand what I’ll be able to get into. Will the NASA panel be full? So, I’ve selected plenty of options, and I keep an open mind to new ideas.
7. Checking out options
Starting in 2015, I’m going to be speaking at several conventions like Comic-Con. I’m not tired of talking to astronomy clubs or at astronomy meetings. I just want to move out of the box, so to speak, to reach a whole new audience.
8. The main floor
Just seeing which companies choose to attend (beyond the “regulars” like Marvel, Paramount, Disney, etc.) clues me into what kind of products (and, therefore, subjects) are currently popular. And that helps me suggest future stories.
9. The Science Channel
This popular network always has a presence at Comic-Con. And, judging by a recent meeting we had with some of their reps, Astronomy will be working with them soon. More as it happens.
10. This is who I am
When all is said and done, I am an unrepentant nerd. I may look and talk like the most dangerous man on the planet — heck, I may even be the most dangerous man on the planet — but deep down my loves are sci-fi, video games, pop culture, comics, and Godzilla.
So, I’ll hit the ground running as soon as I land in San Diego on Wednesday. And I’ll take my next breath when I head back to the airport Monday.