The first signs of next month’s San Diego Comic-Con International are in the air: really, just look up when you’re walking around downtown San Diego.
The large-scale pop culture expo – which runs from July 17 to July 21 at the San Diego Convention Center – has rolled out banners promoting the event. As usual, the banners hang on light poles that line the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter in the heart of downtown San Diego.
This year, the banners are black with hues of purple and blue and feature the cast of Marvel’s 2019 superhero blockbuster, “Avengers: Endgame.” The signs include images of superhero icons Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
The other side of the sign reads: “Celebrating 50 Years of Popular Art,” along with the yellow and black Comic-Con logo.
The beloved, quirky convention was born in 1970 in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel in the heart of San Diego, California. Over the decades, the “little event that could” has grown into a behemoth, taking over the San Diego Convention Center, neighboring hotels and the streets of downtown San Diego for a long summer weekend every year.
Comic-Con’s fervent fans typically attend the convention in elaborate costumes, transforming the city into a metropolis straight out of the pages of fantasy and science fiction.
For many, those costumes are a labor of love and their personal sign of loyalty to the characters that fill their favorite worlds of make-believe.
The fate of the pop culture event -- and whether it'll move out of San Diego and into another city -- has been murky for years. In 2015, Comic-Con organizers agreed to stay in San Diego through 2018. Then, in 2017, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Comic-Con would continue to operate out of the convention center through at least 2021.
As we get into this year's event, NBC 7 will share coverage of 2019 San Diego Comic-Con on our special Comic-Con section here.