Comic-Con wraps after 4 days of pop-art indulgence
COMMERCIAL IMAGE - A fan is seen with SpongeBob SquarePants during Comic-Con on Sunday, July 15, 2012, in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Joe Kohen/Invision for Nickelodeon/AP Images)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — This year's 43rd annual Comic-Con festival may be over but die-hard fans of the pop-culture celebration already have their minds on next year's show.
"There's no more pre-registration," lamented Chris Herrera, 26, of Los Angeles, who was attending his sixth consecutive Comic-Con. "Now you have to register online, and that website always crashes."
Fans used to be able to register onsite for the following year's convention, but organizers eliminated that option this year for the 2013 convention, set for July 18-21.
Comic-Con attendees Katie Mitchell, left, and Jonathan Graves, from Los Angeles, strike a pose in front of the Tumbler Batmobile "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" during Comic-Con, Saturday, July 14, 2012, in San Diego. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
The event has become so popular that organizers have capped attendance at around 130,000 and implemented the digital-registration system to reduce long lines onsite (there are enough of those already) and to prevent ticket brokers from buying blocks of admission badges for resale.
"It seems more and more crowded every year," Herrera said of the festival, which has become as much a marketing mecca for movie studios and TV networks as a celebration of comic books, which is how it all began.
Anna Paquin speaks as actor Stephen Moyer looks on at the True Blood panel on the third day of Comic-Con convention held at the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, July 14, 2012, in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Lines stretched around the San Diego Convention Center this year as fans camped out overnight to attend the most popular panels, including an appearance Saturday by the cast of the HBO vampire drama, "True Blood."