By Nolan P. Smith

Photos by Nolan Smith and Jason Smith

Comic Con International: San Diego is easily the biggest and most known of the comic conventions. Known as SDCC, the annual convention took over the San Diego Convention Center once again, with events taking place across the surrounding historic Gaslamp District.

Fans of comic books, video games, collectibles, movies, television shows, and more gather every year to celebrate the popular arts- and celebrate they did. This was year 17 for me, and I must say, in comparison, this convention was far more packed than I am used to seeing. Fans, artists, writers, cosplayers, and companies from across the globe make the journey to sunny Southern California every year, and it shows. From Marvel making waves with their announcements of the new phase of films slated to hit in the next few years, to a celebration of the groundbreaking 300th issue of Image Comics Spawn created by Todd McFarlane, there was plenty across the realm of pop culture for all.

For me, some of the standouts were the outstanding Storm Collectibles Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat action figures on display and for sale at Bluefin, same with their amazing Flame Toys Transformers model kits. NECA wowed with reveals that expand their line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collectibles, and Mezco Toyz revealed a companion piece to their hit Popeye figure: the burly Bluto. Mondo shocked the convention with a look at Hordak and Man at Arms from their amazingly detailed line of Masters of the Universe figures. Beasts of the Mesozoic showed their fantastic dinosaur collectibles, leading up to their next Kickstarter project that hits this fall.

Love it or hate it, SDCC is a staple in the pop culture universe. I love visiting the convention every year, finding projects I never knew about, and meeting people passionate about their art form or fandom. For more information on SDCC as well as their sister convention, WonderCon, visit www.comic-con.org.

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