50 Years of San Diego Comic-Con

A Retrospective of the History of Fandom

Comic-Con is kind of a big deal in San Diego. As the hometown of the most important convention in nerd culture, San Diego celebrates its weirdness, and in the next few years, it will do so in the form of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. Even if you don't consider yourself a geek or are too nervous to attend the big convention, you can still soak in a little bit of the experience at this year-round attraction when it officially opens in 2021. The museum will explore Comic-Con's history and culture, but for now, here's a little bit of a history of San Diego Comic-Con.

Recently celebrating its 50th anniversary, San Diego Comic-Con's history is rich with nerd culture, growing so much that it's bled out into pop culture, the film industry, and, indeed, the city of San Diego itself. We've created a short retrospective to explore the history of Comic-Con, with a useful timeline going all the way to the very beginning.

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50 Years of San Diego Comic Con

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When Did Comic-Con Begin?

The first San Diego comic-con was the "Golden State Comic-Minicon" which began on March 21, 1970. About 100 people attended.

Where Was the First Comic Con?

The first comic-con was at the U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970. It moved to Muir College in 1971, and then it bounced around to several hotels, including most famously the El Cortez Hotel, until the current San Diego Convention Center was built and opened in 1995.

What's Happened Since?

Today, more than 130,000 fans consistently show up to SDCC (officially named Comic-Con International: San Diego) every year, bringing in about $149 million to the city.

What's Comic-Con's future?

Comic-Con isn't going anywhere. While Los Angeles and Las Vegas have both made bids to bring the con to them, it's going to stay local, at least until 2024. Plans are in the works for San Diego Comic-Con 2020!

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