Comic book and movie heroes are coming to life this week at Comic-Con International.
The four-day long event is held once every year in San Diego, California.
Comic-Con celebrates popular culture and the world of show business. Guinness World Records, the record-keeping business, recognizes it as the largest convention of its kind in the world.
Before leaving for Comic-Con, many people change out of their normal clothes. They come looking like a superhero, such as Superman or Ant Man.
Santiago Gonzales went to the convention with a friend earlier this week. Gonzales explained why comic book lovers like Comic-Con so much.
“If you don’t feel like you belong, like, in your hometown, or you like this nerdy stuff and no one really gets you, here is where everyone understands you and everyone has the same passion. And we’re all united together with the same love of pop culture.”
He came to the event looking like a favorite food of many Americans: a colorful hamburger. Gonzales said he made his hamburger costume in honor of the television series Bob’s Burgers.
David Ancheta loves the Star Wars movie series. Ancheta belongs to the international Star Wars fan club. This year the group asked its members to look like their favorite villain. Ancheta attended Comic-Con as Star Wars character Jango Fett.
“This experience is amazing. I guess you could say I’m a geek and being surrounded by a ton of geeks is definitely an amazing experience.”
Attending Comic-Con is finally a reality for Soheil Behzad, an Iranian-American. After years of trying, he got a ticket to this year’s convention. Comic-con organizers normally limit the crowd’s size to just over 135,000 people.
“It’s always been, like, my life kind of dream to be here because I’m a huge movie buff, comic book, all of that stuff.
Behzad remembered the first comic book he read. It was a Spider-Man comic that appeared in an Iranian newspaper. The word were in Farsi, not English.
“It’s cool to see them on, like live action on, like a silver screen or like on TV. It’s the time to be alive, honestly.”
Making comic book superheroes into movie, TV show and video game characters is one reason Comic-Con has grown over the years. The first convention was held in 1970 and had only 300 attendees.
Comic-Con organizers said people from more than 80 countries and media from more than 30 countries were expected to attend the convention this year.
The convention is where creators can measure the interest of fans from around the world and get thoughts about future products.
David Glanzer is chief communications and strategy officer at Comic-Con. He says the convention is good business for publishers and producers of TV shows and movies.
“I think the United States has always had a wonderful ability to promote film and various forms of art, and that has a global audience.”
Comic-Con continues in San Diego through Sunday.
I’m Susan Shand.
VOA’s Elizabeth Lee reported this story for VOANews.com. Susan Shand adapted her report for Learning English. The editor was George Grow.
Words in This Story
comic book – n. a magazine containing a series of images or pictures that tell a story
convention - n. a large meeting of people
nerdy – adj. of or related to a person who behaves unusually around other people and who likes computers or make believe
passion – n. a strong feeling or emotion
fan – n. someone who follows a sport or other activity
character – n. a person in a movie or play
villain – n. a bad person
geek – n. an intelligent person who is disliked
ticket – n. a piece of paper that enables the holder to see a show
buff- n. someone who loves films