Some of the wildest and wackiest costumes from San Diego Comic-Con are on display in these fantastic images from CNN iReporter montebubbles. She said she chose these people as they stood out from the rest of the crowds at the convention.
Joyce Chow (montebubbles) adds, "I am certain that if you are attending you will have your own favorites so please comment."
Share your videos and photos highlighting the sights and sounds of the annual Comic-Con at iReport assignment: San Diego Comic-Con 2012
Despite what can be an overwhelming movie and TV slate at Comic-Con, many attend the convention due to a lifelong love of comic books.
"I've been a fanboy since I was four or five. Everyone is here in one giant house," said freelance writer Daniel Kohler of Riverside, California, who brought along his young nephew to share in the experience.
"It's easy to talk to people. There are no strangers here."
And what diehard comics fans are talking about as the Con ramps up is Marvel Comics' restructuring. On the heels of DC Comics' (a Time Warner company, like CNN) successful though controversial New 52, Marvel is relaunching many titles - and ending a few as well - in October. The initiative is called "Marvel Now."
Ah, the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive toy.
Some are so specifically targeted to the hardcore toy collector's taste that they are available only once – at Comic-Con.
Bernard Ang is a collector who lives for Comic-Con exclusives.
"I've been a He-Man fan for 30 years," he told CNN Geek Out – exactly as long as the character has been around. The toys aimed at adult collectors are often wish fulfillments, the kind of toys they couldn't, or weren't allowed to, get as a kid.
So Wednesday night, during Comic-Con's Preview Night, Ang has his eye on the new Vikor figurine (He-Man of the North), but "I couldn't even get into the queue," he said. So he will try again when the Con officially starts on Thursday.
This is Ang's third Comic-Con. Each year he makes the long flight from Singapore. The huge bags he carried with him suggest he's not going home empty handed. In fact, the one toy he really wants is the "Avengers" helicarrier, which is larger than most children.
Companies like Mattel, Hasbro and Lego specially create toys for the Con, often based on nostalgic characters like He-Man or superheroes that adult toy collectors drool over (like the much sought-after DC and Marvel minifigures being given away by Lego).
Smaller companies, like Entertainment Earth, have long lines all through Preview Night. We found Andrea Westaway queuing up there for the top toy on her list.
"I want the 'Doctor Who' TARDIS Tin Tote Set, that comes with a TARDIS and a mug," said Westaway, a Whovian (or Dr. Who superfan) who has traveled to San Diego from Vancouver many times for treasured items like these.
The good Doctor rivaled perennial favorite "Dexter" in the toy department this year, with a remote control sonic screwdriver hyped by ThinkGeek.com on Preview Night. (Yes, one can now watch "Doctor Who" while adjusting the television volume with a sonic screwdriver.)
These longtime fan franchises can often fly off Con floor shelves, with "Star Wars" the granddaddy of them all. As the sonic screwdriver shows, fans do seem to appreciate a bit of cleverness with toys. A figure of the much-maligned Jar Jar Binks frozen in carbonite fits that bill nicely.
Cuteness doesn't hurt either, as Disney has noticed with its stylized Vinylmation toys. Disney Store director of toys John Balen can identify with people like Ang and Westaway. He is a Comic-Con veteran and toy collector going back to childhood.
"When I was a kid looking at these booths, I definitely wanted to be here, and now I am running one of these booths, so dreams come true."
As some of the earliest attendees arrived and checked into their hotels, the areas surrounding the San Diego Convention Center were full of workers, tirelessly finishing displays, exhibits, banners and other preparations needed to kick off San Diego Comic-Con.
The annual event, which draws hundreds of thousands to downtown San Diego, has overtaken the area. Local businesses, movie studios, TV networks and video game companies are competing to take their piece of the Comic-Con pie.
CNN Geek Out's cameras were there to capture the scene and the finishing touches, as denizens of the business community did anything they could to welcome many new potential customers.
Are you at San Diego Comic-Con? Share your photos and video of the sights and sounds.
During San Diego Comic-Con - the largest annual gathering of the comic book faithful in North or South America - the convention, with its banners, murals, and shrink-wrapped vehicles, spills out into the streets of the city's Gaslamp district like lava from a brightly-colored volcano.
Promotional art for upcoming films, TV shows and video games is plastered everywhere you look. Even some of the hotel keys and elevators in the city become the equivalent of movie posters.
“It’s overwhelming how big everything is and certainly buildings all over San Diego are ‘wrapped,’” said Jon Barrett, Los Angeles bureau chief for Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s not just the people at the convention, everybody in San Diego is enveloped by this promotion. So much of the circus is on the streets.” FULL POST