Comic Con Now Almost Entirely Bereft of Comic Books

SAN DIEGO — Fans from across the world swarmed this California city in order to celebrate and portray their favorite characters from movies, TV shows, Netflix series, and video games.

Lending diversity to the crowd, a few people who read comic books were there, too.

“I think it’s great that people who read comic books feel comfortable here,” said Comic Con co-organizer Jeffrey Troy, wearing a storm trooper outfit that is a near perfect replica of the ones used in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. “It just shows you what an open and accepting community we are.”

[jump] In fact, comic books have a lot in common with many of the things that bring fans to Comic Con. Some of the most popular panels involved the creators of upcoming movies including Superman and Batman, the Joker and Harley Quinn, and the Avengers — characters who fans might not be aware also appear in comic books.

“I think it’s awesome that comic books would want to take a team like the X-Men and run with them,” said Comic Con attendee Bryan Fitz. “But after five movies and two animated series, I have to wonder: What stories are there left to tell?”

“Maybe,” he added, “books should try creating some original characters.”

Merchandizing at Comic Con is big business, and sales of action figures, cosplay accessories, and animated shorts are closely tracked by executives looking to see what the next hot trends will be.

“It’s important for us to know what kind of superheroes people want to watch,” said Disney Executive Martin Rudolph. “And the first people we go to are the superfans — the ones who have been with us since 2002, when Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movie debuted. Can you imagine? The bond that fans have with some of these characters go back that far.”

In the future, Rudolph said, fans will be able to engage with their favorite heroes in so many more ways, from virtual reality games to even more advanced MMORPGs to blockbuster movies as part of an expanded cinematic universe supported by television properties. Almost everything you can imagine.

“We were thinking of experimenting with novelizations,” Rudolph added, “but honestly, we don’t really think these characters will work in print.”

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