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Costume-Clad Comic-Con Fans Descend On San Diego


Some 130,000 fans are converging on the convention center in San Diego for this year's Comic-Con, the world's largest pop culture convention. One big draw will be the appearance of fantasy writer Neil Gaiman who, after a long hiatus, is bringing back his best-selling comic Sandman. Here to tell us what she's seeing so far is Gina McIntyre. She's the editor of Hero Complex, the pop culture blog at the Los Angeles Times. Good morning.

GINA MCINTYRE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Now, movies are always a big draw at Comic-Con. The studios serve up samples of their upcoming films. So what's the big movie news this year out of the convention?

MCINTYRE: Well, as you might expect, many of the biggest movies at Comic-Con this year center on superheroes. We're going to be seeing some new footage from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" which is due out next year. Saturday there's going to be presentations devoted to some Marvel comic book movies - the sequels to "Thor" and "Captain America." But also in the mix there's a reboot of Godzilla that's getting some air time.

And in among all of those movies there are some smaller films as well. One of the most anticipated I'd say is "The World's End" from the same team from the film "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" which are, you know, beloved.

MONTAGNE: Which makes me laugh just thinking about it, "Shaun of the Dead."

MCINTYRE: Exactly. Exactly.

MONTAGNE: It's one of the funniest zombie movies of all times.

MCINTYRE: Exactly.

MONTAGNE: So, OK. Well, of course there's also TV which looks like it will be well represented this year at Comic-Con. Tell us about the television presence.

MCINTYRE: Yeah. Television has just become bigger and bigger at Comic-Con every year and I think this year in a lot of ways it's kind of superseding film in terms of importance on the schedule. I mean, there is just any number of shows - I could rattle off a very, very long list - but a lot of the marquee shows. And some of them have even received Emmy nominations this week will be here with cast and crew members to kind of talk to fans and show new footage.

And really try to reach these viewers with new material to kind of keep them excited and invested in the shows. "Game of Thrones" and "Walking Dead" I think are two of probably the biggest titles in terms of the Comic-Con world.

MONTAGNE: And this being Comic-Con, it's not just what's in the convention center. In fact, over the years there's been some pretty interesting events going on outside. What about this year?

MCINTYRE: Yeah. It's absolutely true once again. I mean, there is this carnival sort of atmosphere that takes over downtown San Diego when you're here. And, you know, this year there's no shortage of fun things to do even if you're not walking the floor. There are boat rides themed to the History Channel show "Vikings" complete with shield maidens to take you on voyages.

And there's an obstacle course inspired by the "Walking Dead" in which you can actually pay $75 to be chased through Petco Park by zombies.

MONTAGNE: Well, all right. And sounds like it's a good year for costumes, as it usually is.

MCINTYRE: Yes. Absolutely. Video games have really inspired a number of costumes that I've noticed and there have been some really just elaborate robots, but then also some classics like Mario and Luigi from the Mario Brothers games. I saw a pretty great Wolverine today and a father and son - the dad was dressed as a member of Star Fleet from "Star Trek" and his son was dressed as Freddy Krueger.

MONTAGNE: Well, we will leave it at that. Thank you very much. Joining us to talk about this year's Comic-Con is Gina McIntyre. She's the editor of Hero Complex with the Los Angeles Times. And of course she joined us from San Diego. Thanks very much.

MCINTYRE: Thank you.


MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.