Comic-Con by the numbers
The San Diego Convention Center on Tuesday, just prior to the start of Comic-Con.
July 11th, 2012
03:17 PM ET

Comic-Con by the numbers

Here's a quick look at some of the most important numbers in San Diego Comic-Con's 40-plus year history, according to the Con organizers:

300: The number of people who attended the first Comic-Con in 1970. That first Con took place in the basement of a hotel. Among those who remember some of those early days: "Star Wars'" Mark Hamill (who grew up in San Diego) and former "Walking Dead" executive producer, Frank Darabont.

130,000: A conservative estimate of the number of people (including exhibitors, panelists and others) who attended the convention in 2011.

600: The hours of programming officially offered at Comic-Con (there is no way to see everything unless you've perfected cloning, so don't try). That's not counting events near the convention center like Nerd HQ, w00tstock, the Nerdist podcast and more.

460,000: Square feet used by exhibitors in the San Diego Convention Center during the Con.

6,500: Number of seats in the hallowed Hall H, where many of the highest profile panels take place.

2008: The year that Comic-Con was first invaded by Twi-hards. That particular panel in Hall H was the first clue that this movie franchise was going to be huge. Also screened in Hall H: test footage of a sequel to "Tron," which built buzz around that movie over two years before release and "Iron Man" made its wowed the crowd in 2007.

180,000,000: The estimated economic impact, in dollars, of Comic-Con on the city of San Diego each year.

75,000,000: Direct spending, in dollars, by Comic-Con attendees within the convention center in 2011.

14,663; 10,311; 8,160: Hot dogs, bottled water and sandwiches or salads purchased at Comic-Con from food vendors within the convention center alone.

One: Number of eyes in the official Comic-Con logo.

Posted by
Filed under: Brainiac • Comic Longbox • Comic-Con 2012 • Fandom • Master User • Otaku
It's probably not wise to be a jerk to Felicia Day
Felicia Day at Spike TV's Video Game Awards show last December.
July 2nd, 2012
06:14 PM ET

It's probably not wise to be a jerk to Felicia Day

There's an old adage that says, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Not everyone takes that to heart.

Early this weekend, Ryan Perez –a blogger who was a contributor to gaming hub Destructoid - decided to pick a bone with geek culture icon Felicia Day via Twitter. He questioned whether or not Day made any contribution to the gaming industry other than cultivating a geeky persona. He suggested she was a glorified "booth babe."

That was a mistake.

Aside from being a successful web content producer, a Forbes-recognized entrepreneur (they called her a mogul in the making) and an actress with a resume steeped in Joss Whedon productions, Day has some pretty influential buddies. Gaming podcaster Veronica Belmont saw Perez's tweet and quickly came to her friend's defense. Nerd celebrity, Day's costar on "The Guild" and "Eureka" and Star Trek alum Wil Wheaton also weighed in. The Twitterverse got fairly heated in response to Perez's posts.

Within a few hours of his tweets, Destructoid publicly cut ties with Perez. Perez apologized to Day, who accepted.

But that's hardly settled anything. Clearly, this young journalist's callous online spouting hit some nerves, especially in a time when there is great gender inequity in gaming relations. The loudest outcry from those following the dramatic exchange regarded Perez's attitude toward women. As someone who had "I love the smell of busty women" in his twitter bio at one point - he's updated it since the Tweetsplosion - Perez's motive for the tirade against Day earned questions of misogyny.

Others wondered why Perez should be fired for expressing his views on his personal Twitter account and where the line should be drawn between a media company protecting its reputation and an individual's right to say whatever they want on their own time and in their own space.

By most accounts, Perez conducted his tweets in a less-than-gentlemanly manner. He defended his comments by explaining he was drunk at the time. His jabs were a rare attack on a woman who has earned accolades from the millions of people who watch "The Guild" and "Geek & Sundry."

What we're left wondering is this: do Perez's tweets indicate that today's male nerd can't treat women as people? Will the boy's club of the gaming landscape ever not grumble when a girl takes the controller?

And also, has Felicia Day become so powerful that no one should dare question her relevance? Destructoid certainly wasn't willing to take that risk. And yet, they gave their platform to Perez in the first place.

What do you think? Give us your take in the comments below.

Dinobots’ triumphant return!
Grimlock is back, "Transformer" fans!
June 21st, 2012
02:35 PM ET

Dinobots’ triumphant return!

“Me, Grimlock!”

That T-Rex shaped Transformer and his pals are back in a new video game and fans say it's about time.

The Transformers are reaching back into their “prehistoric” past and bringing the Dinobots – Autobots in dinosaur form – to their next video game. Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Snarl and Swoop are returning in the new “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron."

The group of dinosaur-shaped robots hasn’t been around for many years, only making small appearances in comic books after being prominent in the Transformer cartoon series in the mid-1980s. They were the first mini-team in the Transformers universe, and their shape and rugged attitude made them enjoyable for kids.

Ryan Yzquierdo, a self-proclaimed Transformers guru, has been a fan of the “Robots in Disguise” since the cartoon. He runs a website featuring galleries of Transformer toys, most of which (nearly 4,000) he currently owns. He says it was hard not to be a fan of the Dinobots.

“If you were a fan in the '80s, you knew who Grimlock was,” he said. “He is every bit of a character as some of the frontrunners like Optimus, Megatron, Starscream or Bumblebee. He’s right there at the top of one of the best Transformers of all time. FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Fandom • Master User
Nate Simpson on 'Nonplayer' and the art of creative perseverance
Nate Simpson's "Nonplayer" comic book won immediate praise for his artwork. He's also a video game concept artist.
June 20th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Nate Simpson on 'Nonplayer' and the art of creative perseverance

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor and the co-creator of the comics blog

In spring 2011, “Nonplayer #1” (Image Comics) generated the kind of excitement that independent comics creators dream of.

Written and illustrated by video game concept artist Nate Simpson, the series introduced readers to Dana Stevens, a tamale delivery girl who escapes her mundane reality through the full-immersion online game “Warriors of  Jarvath.” The praise for Simpson’s story and lush illustrations was immediate and plentiful, making it one of the most critically lauded comics of the year.

By that summer, Warner Bros. acquired the film rights. Simpson, a newcomer to comics, had a huge hit on his hands and a highly anticipated second issue to finish.

Then, that fall, Simpson crashed his bicycle, an incident that could have been fatal if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet. As the right-handed artist wrote on his Project Waldo blog, “Every bone connecting my right arm to my torso was broken.” His arm in a sling, he was physically sidelined. But Simpson began to write candidly about the other obstacles he had to confront, namely, the enormous pressure he felt after “Nonplayer #1” hit the shelves, and the moments of frustration and outright panic while writing the second issue.

Those blog entries were a window into the reality of making an independent comic and the weighty expectations that accompany success, but they were also highly personal essays about creative perseverance. Fittingly, Simpson compared his craft to riding in the Tour de France.

“(No) matter how much the world begins to feel like a demense-covered treadmill, you remind yourself that the finish line is up there somewhere. It may be far away, but every turn of the pedals brings you a little bit closer. It took Lance exactly the same number of foot-pumps to get there as it'll take you," he wrote.

“The only way to fail is to stop.”

“Nonplayer” fans will be happy to know that Simpson hasn’t stopped. He has healed sufficiently to spend many hours a day working on the comic, even with a day job at online game company PopCap, and the second issue is in progress. Simpson talked to Geek Out! about being a professional comics and gaming geek, how immersive gaming inspired “Nonplayer,” coping with sudden success and having an honest dialogue with his readers about the challenges behind the curtain. FULL POST

The 'Diablo' blues: When the games don't change, but we do
June 4th, 2012
05:51 PM ET

The 'Diablo' blues: When the games don't change, but we do

The word "Diablo" is magical to me. Before 2000, it just represented a Spanish word that I was largely unfamiliar with other than seeing it on bottles of hot sauce.

Then I discovered "Diablo II," and hit me so hard, I couldn't go a day without playing. The recent release of "Diablo III" had me panting for more.

I stayed up until 2 am the night of the release of "Diablo III," watching the game slowly download onto my computer and feeling a nervous, celebratory brand of glee. The first week of play was just like what I remembered, except with more social connectivity than ever before. Within seconds, I could be in a full party, enjoying all the blissful memories of the past, and finding it all fit so well - like a pair of jeans you've had since college and furtively sleep in from time to time because they're so comfortable.

It knows you, because it's been with you for so long. And you know just what to expect from it.

I wasn't much of an MMO gamer before "Diablo II." (Thankfully, the black death known as "Everquest," kindly passed me over - which kept my sanity intact while my friends quit college to make a living hoarding platinum.)

When I looked at these games, I saw gamers as rats in a wheel, running an endless race. I was the type of gamer motivated by stories with a beginning, middle and an end. It made no sense to me to pour so much time and effort into something that essentially had no real finale.

Why did "Diablo II," break my habit? I'm not sure. Truthfully, at first it was fun to play with friends - that held some novelty for a primarily solo gamer. Soon enough, the game became a familiar face. It always felt good to run through those memorized levels or kill that miniboss yet again (Hello, Rakanishu!). No matter how many times I played through the acts of "Diablo II," I never lost my appetite for it.

But after that first week of jumping back into the world of "Diablo III," I realized something was different. FULL POST

« older posts
newer posts »