If you haven’t heard the news, a large anniversary has just happened. Comic-Con has just turned fifty years old and it’s glistening history is all to see in this infographic:
As the sheer length of the infographic shows, it’s completely full of history. To provide a succinct breakdown on some of the biggest headlines at Comic Con, we have broken things down into the five decades.
The first decade
In some ways, the first decade is the most interesting. After all, if we cast our mind back to March 21 1970, this was the very first Comic Con and attracted no more than 145 people. In terms of ticket prices, the event cost just $3.50 – and even with inflation this is something of a drop in the ocean.
As we all know, things quickly started to gather pace. For example, by 1971 the attendance had already grown to 800. Then, by the end of the decade, the total had risen to 5,000.
The second decade
In some ways, growth in the second decade wasn’t quite as fast-paced. After all, in 1980 it was 5,000, and by 1990 the event was attracting 13,000 people.
However, a whole host of huge events happened during this time. For example, in 1981, a featurette of Blade Runner was shown. Then, in 1986, a sister convention going by the name of The Wonderful World of Comics Convention was launched in San Francisco. Clearly, this showed that Comic Con was expanding – and expanding rapidly.
The third decade
The rapid expansion we’ve just mentioned was even more clear to see in the next decade. If we tune into the numbers, 13,000 attended in 1990, but this increased to a huge 48,500 in 2000.
Again, there was a lot more than facts and figures, though. For example, in 1991 this was the period in which the event moved into the San Diego Convention Center. Not only that, but in 1998, Hollywood started to take over proceedings. This occurred with advents of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Blade and The Matrix Trilogy.
The fourth decade
Well, the growth kept on going. 2005 was the first year in which more than 100,000 turned up to the event, with this increasing to 130,000 by 2010.
This was the period in which some huge titles also came to Comic Con. For example, in 2008 the Twilight cast made their way to San Diego, while one year prior to that Batman took over the whole city with a famous viral campaign.
The fifth decade
Well, we’ve just come to the end of the fifth decade, and more records have been broken. For example, in 2015 167,000 tickets were sold, while the following year it took just one hour for all tickets to sell out.
We’ve perhaps seen a shift in how the conference is approached as well. For example, big names are starting to shun Comic Con, with Marvel and Star Wars not making an appearance in 2018. It means that there is a greater emphasis on smaller creators.
So, what’s next? Well, a Comic-Con Museum is planned for San Diego, with the opening date planned for 2021. We’re pretty sure that this won’t be the only milestone for the next decade of Comic Con, though.