By Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)—This past week, San Diego was once again taken over by the largest pop culture convention in North America, Comic-Con International, also known as the San Diego Comic Con. Over 100,000 people attend the event every year, and this year included two Apple Valley residents exhibiting their book for the first time at the convention.
The convention brought together fans of every type of pop culture sub group you can think of: from sci-fi fans, avid comic book readers, cosplayers who go all out to make the perfect costume, professional wrestlers, film buffs, collectors, movie stars, authors, artists, you name it, they were there.
Many of the major companies had huge reveals that drew in the crowds. Dark Horse Comics had celebrated director Guillermo del Toro on hand for his newest TV series, The Strain, based off of his comic book series. Legendary comic book creator Stan Sakai was there as well, signing autographs for fans of his beloved creation, Usagi Yojimbo. Marvel and DC Comics both had cinematic revelations; DC showed off the big screen version of Wonder Woman from the forthcoming Superman Vs Batman film, while Marvel displayed footage and concept art for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and Marvel’s latest cinematic feat, Guardians of the Galaxy.
For Apple Valley residents Chris and Amy Hernandez, this was their first year as exhibitors at Comic Con, and the experience was overwhelming to say the least. When asked about how the convention went for them, Chris Hernandez gave us some insight into the event, “Super overwhelming and exhilarating! It was such a pleasure to share our story with new friends in a huge territory. It’s as if we threw ourselves in the deep end with the sink or swim mentality! We did really well and more than anything made a ton of new connections in the industry and community. We’ll be back with two books next con and a third in the works!”
Myself and photographer Jason T. Smith were even able to meet and hang out with WWE superstar, Big E. Big E can be seen every week on Monday Night Raw on the USA Network, Friday Night Smackdown on SyFy, and is a past Intercontinental Champion. The massive wrestler was cool as can be, not once looking down at “common” con-goers. He was the way we hope all celebrities are when met in real life: down to Earth and an overall great guy.
Another Apple Valley resident visited the con for the first time, as Jesse Forbes got to experience the madness of con firsthand. “At first it was overwhelming but as I got more comfortable it got more and more awesome all the people were so kind. My favorite parts were the Viking set up outside and The Hobbit set up and of course getting to meet 2 amazing guitar players, Kirk Hammett and Kerry King.”
For more information on Comic-Con International, visit them online at www.comic-con.org.