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Tens Of Thousands Of Fans Expected To Attend Comic-Con In San Diego


Mothers of Dragons, dimension-jumping scientists, intergalactic rebels - they have all gathered for the annual San Diego Comic-Con. This convention draws more than 130,000 people who come to shop and attend panels with writers and directors and actors from screens big and small. And many, as we know, come in elaborate costumes. NPR's Nina Gregory is there. She is dressed up as an NPR Arts editor.

Nina, that's disappointing.

NINA GREGORY, BYLINE: Well, good morning to you, too, David.


GREGORY: You know, I couldn't get my headphones on over my Yoda ears. So...


GREGORY: ...Jeans and a T-shirt for me. That said, there were some really amazing costumes this year at Comic-Con that I've seen so far, quite a few elaborate, handmade Wonder Woman costumes from the recent movie, not the '70s TV show, which has been a staple at this convention. There are also the evergreens like Batmen (ph), Wolverines and Hobbitses (ph) of various shapes and sizes. And there were also a lot of characters from premium television, "Stranger Things" kids and Jon Snows.

GREENE: "Game Of Thrones"?

GREGORY: (Laughter) "Game Of Thrones."

GREENE: So why do you go to this thing every year? What - does it - is it just fun, or it really has developed a real purpose?

GREGORY: You know, at Comic-Con, the fans who are really serious have kind of gained a lot of power and influence in entertainment. And their buzz can sometimes make or break a property. You know, but I don't know what exactly is that buzzworthy thing yet, as the con just started yesterday. But the schedule offers a few clues. Hall H is the big, temporary theater-like space that seats a few thousand fans who sometimes wait in line for days to get in.

And Saturday is movie days with panels from Warner Brothers and Marvel. Fans hope the entire Justice League will show up and maybe they'll get to see some footage from the new Blade Runner movie. And Marvel fans hope to see a sneak peek maybe of "Black Panther," which doesn't come out till February of 2018.

There's also a lot of interest in a little movie called "Avengers: Infinity War." And the question is, David, will the supervillain Thanos show himself in Hall H?

GREENE: I hope so.

GREGORY: (Laughter) Yeah, I know. But before we find out, a lot of TV shows will parade through the hall. Today, there are two "Walking Dead" panels. "Twin Peaks" has a panel and, of course, "Game Of Thrones." And I wouldn't be surprised if the fans ask the "Game Of Thrones" showrunners, if they're at their panel, about their next HBO show, which is a Civil War drama called "Confederate." It was announced to much Internet hand-wringing this week. And one of the hallmarks of Hall H is the open mic, which is an opportunity for fans to ask creators really anything.

GREENE: Well, very cool. It's really an open forum. Well, what about the streaming companies, like Amazon, Netflix? I mean, they're becoming bigger and bigger. Are they newcomers here?

GREGORY: Yeah. I mean, you have no idea. Every time I turn around, I see Barb from "Stranger Things," and Netflix has set up an altar to her. They have a huge presence on the floor of the convention center. And Amazon is also around. They're heavily promoting their new - or a reboot superhero comedy, "The Tick." And this is all happening in the midst of the Emmy Award season. And you can really see these two companies competing along with the networks and cable companies really on every front.

GREENE: Well, aside from telling me you wish that you had dressed up as Yoda, you didn't mention "Star Wars," which - I mean, that's my favorite part of hearing about this...


GREENE: ...Convention. Where are they?

GREGORY: Well, David, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

GREENE: You didn't do that. OK.


There was a princess who became a general.

The first thing I saw when I walked into the convention center was a display promoting an upcoming auction of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher's belongings. And, you know, David, even Carrie Fisher's things are funny. You know, in addition to her annotated script from "Empire Strikes Back," there were photos, fan-made memorabilia and ephemera, including a funny little framed note that said, to whom it may concern, please excuse Carrie Fisher from most things, with love, Sidney Poitier.

It's on this...

GREENE: Oh, that's lovely.

GREGORY: Yeah. On this 40th anniversary of the movie, it was especially poignant.

GREENE: I bet. NPR Arts editor Nina Gregory at Comic-Con. Thanks, Nina.

GREGORY: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Nina Gregory is a senior editor for NPR's Arts Desk, where she oversees coverage of film across the network and edits and and assigns stories on television, art, design, fashion, food, and culture.
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