Welcome back to part two of our series, 50 Facts For 50 Years of San Diego Comic-Con, celebrating our favorite convention. Comic-Con is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 and while the name, location, and size have changed over the years — the excitement, the passion, and the dedication of all those involved have not. We hope you enjoyed the first part and maybe even learned something new and maybe even have a greater appreciation for the event itself.
For those interested in a real blast from the past, we highly recommend heading over to The TV Megasite, which has scans of programs from every year of the convention, as well as old convention photos, and more.
Now let’s dive into the facts:
26. Starting in 1992, Dark Horse published a series of San Diego Comic-Con Comics to promote the event. They featured artwork and stories from a myriad of creators, including Arthur Adams, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Quesada, Darrick Robertson, Scott Shaw, and many others. The Toucan mascot was also featured in them.
27. Issue #2 of Dark Horse’s San Diego Comic-Con Comics features the first appearance of Mike Mignola’s most famous character, Hellboy.
28. Originally, the Convention Center was just Hall A – C. An expansion of the convention center added Halls D through H, and obviously everything on the second floor above them, and was done in stages. In 2001, SDCC used Hall D for the first time. By 2002 the expansion was completed.
29. The expansion of Halls D – H took over an area that was once used for parking.
30. 2007 was the last year they provided on-site badge sales, where you could walk up, buy a ticket, and walk right in.
31. 2008 was the first year that San Diego Comic-Con sold out all 4 days prior to the convention starting.
32. For a short while, San Diego Comic-Con did an on-site pre-registration, where one could purchase their badges for the following year while physically at the event. 2011 was the final year for on-site pre-registration for the following year, with the service discontinued since.
33. 2013 was the final year for a badge re-sale — since then, once badges are sold out, there is not another public sale.
34. The exhibit floor (Hall A – G) alone is 615,000 square feet — though the actual size of the entire convention center is 2.6 million square feet.
35. Over 700 individual panels and events were featured on the programming schedule in 2018.
36. In 2018, there were over 1,000 vendors and exhibitors.
37. The first time SDCC broke the 100,000 attendees mark was 2005.
38. The largest panel room is Hall H, which holds just over 6,100 attendees. 2004 was the first year that San Diego Comic-Con utilized Hall H, therefore taking over 100% of the convention center. It would be 3 more years before Marvel made their first Hall H appearance.
39. 2010 was the first year tents brought blissful shade to the Hall H line.
40. The second largest panel room, Ballroom 20, holds around 4,900 attendees. It is also the location of the Masquerade.
41. Preview Night started in 2001, and was free at the time for those who had purchased 4-day badges. Before it was Preview Night, Wednesday was the Comic-Con Expo, which only exhibitors and retailers could attend.
42. Warner Bros. started distributing bags to attendees at their booth in 2006. 2010 was the first year that bags were distributed to all attendees with the Events Guide and Souvenir Book. (Source: Warner Bros.)
43. The first wrap graphic that appeared on the Hilton Bayfront Hotel was for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in 2009.
44. The Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge opened in the Spring of 2011.
45. The first year that Comic-Con utilized RFID badges was 2016.
46. In 2017, the badges were mailed with a collectible box and enamel pin for the first time.
47. Comic-Con announced their intentions to open a year-round Comic-Con Museum in 2017. The first Hall of Fame inductee to the Museum will be Batman, in 2019.
48. According to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, SDCC attendees account for 280,000 extra passenger trips during the event. (Source: SDMTS)
49. The economic impact of San Diego Comic-Con is estimated to be over $147 million. (Source: VisitSanDiego)
50. In addition to being San Diego Comic-Con’s 50th Anniversary, there are also some other notable anniversaries, including:
- The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog (10 years) — That’s us!
- The San Diego Convention Center (30 years)
- The San Diego Padres (50 years)
- The Old Spaghetti Factory (50 years)
- The founding of San Diego/Mission San Diego de Alcala (250 years)
Thank you so much for joining us on this little trip though Comic-Con history by way of 50 Facts For 50 Years, we hope it was educational and fun!