The San Diego Comic-Con is celebrating its 40th birthday this year.
Totalfilm.com will once again be attending to bring you all the news, happenings and reactions to what we see (Avatar scenes, anyone?), so we thought we'd kick a week's coverage off with a brief history of the event itself...
1. Humble beginnings
While it actually launched in 1970, the first year featured two events, neither of which were actually labelled San Diego Comic-Con.
Dreamt up by comics fanatic Shelton Dorf, what was known as a minicon (or as the event team like to call it in true comics lexicon, "Comic-Con zero") landed at the US Grant hotel on March 21st in San Diego.
As opposed to the thousands that throng the event these days, just 145 die hard comics fans turned up to hear the likes of legendary mag publisher and monster movie expert Forrest J Ackerman talk.
The tiny event was actually organised to raise money for the first official Con, known as the Golden State Comic Con, which was held at the same venue between August 1st and 3rd that year.
The guests this time were sci-fi based, including Ray "Fahrenheit 451" Bradbury and writer AE Van Vogt, though comics craftsman Jack Kirby was also among the big speakers.
300 people turned up for the event, which comics and TV writer Mark Evanier remembers as "mobbed" and squeezed into locale he describes thus: "The hotel was undergoing a massive renovation then as well, but was merely upgrading from Extremely Shabby to merely Somewhat Shabby."
How things change...
Next: The 1970s