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[email protected], University of Pennsylvania's online business journal, calls San Diego Comic-Con the “Super Bowl of pop culture”. The convention is the required pilgrimage for artists, actors, filmmakers, producers or screenwriters. Each year 130,000 fans gather, and where they go Hollywood follows. News coverage weighs heavily to celebrities, even though they are outnumbered thousands to one.
The real stars aren’t the big-screen actors and showrunners but the small, bit-players roaming the halls; the attendees, whether they dress up in costumes or simply participate in any of the hundreds of panel sessions. From its early comic-book beginnings in the 1970s until today, the Con is all about superheroes and whom fans aspire to be: Better versions of themselves.
One attendee calls Comic-Con “nerd paradise”, where for a few days oddball dreamers, crazy lovers of fantastic stories and ardent superhero fans can be free; the social rules constraining them everyday no longer apply.
Everyone here has a story to tell, and “Comic-Con Heroes” tells them. Writer Joe Wilcox culminates five years of Cons by choosing a dozen attendees from the 2013 convention to profile. None is a celebrity you know, but each is a hero in the making.
You will meet an archaeologist of toys, 14-Century knight and student of artificial intelligence. You will walk The Dark Knight’s sentimental journey, ride 19th-Century bicycles and time travel with Dr. Who.
And you will learn that the best stories aren’t the ones we read or watch but those we live each day that seek to unleash the hidden hero within.
This book entered the public domain on July 8, 2015.