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A Look Back At 50 Years Of Comic-Con

NOEL KING, HOST:

The San Diego Comic-Con started when a bunch of sci fi, comic book and movie fans got together in a hotel ballroom. That was 50 years ago. Now it's one of the biggest pop culture events in the world. NPR's Kenny Malone was there as the doors opened last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

KENNY MALONE, BYLINE: The line to get into the San Diego Convention Center goes on, and on and on.

This is a super long line. Can I wait in line with you?

MISTY BOURDON: Yeah. No, that's fine.

MALONE: Misty Bourdon is in full "Star Wars" garb - black cloak, blue light saber, terrifying contact lenses.

You have red eyes.

BOURDON: I do. (Laughter).

MALONE: Bourdon's been coming to Comic-Con for about a dozen years now.

BOURDON: I think it's just all the nerds come together, and they unite. There's some magic behind it.

MALONE: That magic will draw 130,000 people to this convention center each day, where fans not only get sneak peeks at new movies, books and TV shows, but access to the people starring in and creating that content. And the biggest media companies are here competing for these devoted fans.

MIKE BENSON: You're in a sea of content. You've got to figure out, what can you do to make yourself stand out?

MALONE: Mike Benson is head of marketing for Amazon Prime Video, which took over a massive parking lot across the street from the convention center where they built a pop-up escape room/amusement park with a 40-foot-tall video screen tower in the middle.

BENSON: And we hope that it acts as this beacon for people who come out of the convention center and say, I want to go over there and check out what's going on.

MALONE: Back in line with Misty Bourdon, we are finally at the Comic-Con doors. They scan our badges.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCANNER MACHINE BEEPING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: There you go.

MALONE: We're in.

BOURDON: We're in.

MALONE: Are you excited?

BOURDON: I am. Now I don't know where to go.

MALONE: So goes the Comic-Con experience.

BOURDON: Exactly.

MALONE: There you go. From San Diego Comic-Con, Kenny Malone, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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