As if enjoying San Diego's pleasant summer weather wouldn't be great enough, here are 10 more reasons why some 140,000 people are expected to attend the annual Comic-Con 2012 confab for comic book, graphic novel, anime, video game, action figure and TV/movie enthusiasts that kicks off Wednesday night. This is one of those events whose fans are so passionate about it that it gets away with running through the weekend.
1. Who's who in comics/comic-theme entertainment. Old school artists such as Stan Goldberg (shown on right) of Archie Comics fame mix with new blood like Rob Guillory of Chew. There's even an academic angle, with the likes of comics scholar and English professor Ben Saunders from the University of Oregon on the speaking docket.
2. Autographs. If you're into getting celebrities, or what pass for celebrities at this event, to sign your comic books and other items, then you're in luck at Comic-Con. The event has an extensive schedule featuring the likes of Milla Jovovich of Resident Evil fame and Kit Harington from Game of Thrones.
3. Awards. The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - the Oscars of the comic book industry - will be doled out to this year's deserving honorees. Presenters include Debi Derryberry from Jimmy Neutron and Michael Trucco from Battlestar Galactica.
4. Sneak previews. Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Television continue their annual Preview Night tradition, with exclusive world premiere screenings of the pilot episodes of five anticipated TV series pilots of the 2012-13 television season: 666 Park Avenue, Arrow, The Following, Revolution and Cult.
5. Cool costumes. Attendees love dusting off (or maybe they wear them so often they don't need dusting) their superhero costumes and strolling the aisles of Comic-Con. Photographers can't get enough of this action, and Comic-Con rewards the best dressers with fabulous prizes, including passes to next year's show.
6. Sessions. You can't ask for a wider variety of sessions than you get at Comic-Con. They range from the Witty Women of Steampunk to Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way to Nickelodeon: Butt Biting & Magical Mischief! Speakers from DreamWorks Animation, DC Comics, Mattel, WWE (pro wrestling) also are on tap, as is an appearance by the original Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill, himself (not to mention a session on Star Wars origami). Comics legend Stan Lee introduces his new YouTube channel, too. And Comic-Con attendees will get to ponder the question of whether Batman is Broken and take a look Inside the Batmobile in anticipation of the latest Dark Knight movie debuting this summer.
7. T-Shirts. When not donning superhero outfits, attendees love showing their friends back home where they went on vacation. Comic-Con obliges with a series of T-shirts that sell for between $19 and $25.
8. Films. An independent film festival at the show will highlight new productions such as GoldenBox (Using their training from GoldenEye 007 for the N64, two best friends must break into a shipping facility to steal back a mysterious package and hope their friendship can survive the adventure) and Don't Be Nervous (an obese Edwardian boy attempts to play fetch with his dog).
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This story, "Comic-Con 2012: 8 Reasons You Wish You Were There" was originally published by Network World.