By Mark Bell | July 29, 2014

Welcome to Going Bionic, #225. Today we’re discussing Comic-Con. Born on March 21, 1970 in San Diego, when about 100 people showed up for a one-day event, Comic-Con has grown into an eclectic, four-day marketing sensation that houses 130,000 people and produces over 600 events. Should you be pondering just how 130,000 attendees compare to other major film-related events, here’s a little perspective:

Sundance in 2013 had an attendance of 45,947 during their 10-day festival. Additionally, the 2014 Cannes Film Market reached a new high when 11,806 attended, and SXSW 2014 welcomed 72,000 to its film festival. The combined attendance at Sundance, SXSW and the Cannes Film Market total is 129,753, which is still short of 130,000. Comic-Con isn’t just for comic book and graphic novel enthusiasts anymore, nor is it the underground pop culture phenomenon that only the ultra-hip are privy to. For better or worse, Comic-Con has swelled into becoming one of the most relevant entertainment conventions on the planet.

 Comic-Con Mission Statement
Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.”

 Comic-Con has not swayed from the foundations stated in their mission statement above, even after growing into an influential corporate platform. Whether the Comic-Con founders envisioned having this kind of influence or not, we have to respect a place that grows while staying true to their roots. So, without further ado, here are three reasons why you should put Comic-Con up on your “must-attend” list for 2015.

Studios Are All-In On Comic Book-Turned-Film Franchises
The main-title card, heavyweight battle at Comic-Con this year was DC Comics Vs. Marvel Studios, with regards to the tent pole film franchises they are producing. DC-Comics got in a good punch when they unveiled Wonder Woman, while Marvel countered with announcing their releases through 2019. With budgets in the hundreds of millions per film, and worldwide box office expectations in the billions per picture, major film studios are deeply committed to making comic book and graphic novel based film franchise. Thus, you should be deeply committed to learning what the studios appetite is.

Side Note: By no means am I insinuating that everyone develop a comic book/graphic novel, only because that’s where the studios are planting their money for the next several years. All I’m saying is that you should be aware of the trends the powers-that-be (film studios) can influence, endorse or create.

Marvel TV
Disney, Marvel, and Netflix are bringing us Marvel TV, which in 2015, will bring us a several original series based on the live-action adventures of Marvel’s four most popular characters. Since DC Comics and the other major players in the world of comics books and graphic novels can’t just stand around and watch Marvel dominate the small screen, we should all expect to see an army of super-hero enriched TV series hit the airways in the coming weeks, months and years.

Comic-Con is still in its Honeymoon Phase with Hollywood
While Comic-Con is celebrating its 45th year of existence, it has only earned its “super-hero” status with Hollywood a few years ago. Comic-Con is still a new, fresh and hip event to attend for Hollywood’s elite. Thus, if you want to make some real connections with a titans, or soon-to-be-titans in Hollywood, you really should plan on making Comic-Con one of your “career tour stops” in 2015.

On that note, I’d like to thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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