Comic-Con is far from the only convention of its kind these days but it hasn’t lost its swagger.
San Diego’s version remains the premier comics and pop culture convention in the nation though even as copycat conventions thrive.
There were fewer comics conventions like the one Comic-Con organizers had in mind when they launched in 1970. By the mid-2000s, San Diego’s Comic-Con was drawing 130,000 attendees and folks elsewhere saw an opening for conventions in other regions.
Now there are dozens of others. They include New York Comic Con and Salt Lake Comic Con, which go by similar names and more closely rival San Diego’s size and firepower. New York organizers, who put on a less Hollywood-focused conference, actually claim they’re now drawing more attendees than San Diego. San Diego Comic-Con hasn’t publicly disputed that but some fans have suggested the New York estimates are inflated.
Regardless, longtime devotees and experts alike say San Diego Comic-Con hasn’t lost its luster.
“Every year they deliver the goods,” said Rob Salkowitz, a Seattle-based digital media consultant and University of Washington lecturer who wrote a book about San Diego Comic-Con. “They don’t give anybody a reason to say, ‘Let’s check out New York next year.’”