This year’s edition of the pop culture carnival known as the San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up for another year on Sunday. Although marred before it opened by the tragedy of an attending fan being struck and killed by a car while waiting for the Twilight panel, the show rebounded over the next five days to provide the kind of news barrage and spectacle that can be found nowhere else.
In comics news, it was very much the show for Robert Kirkman and The Walking Dead. The popular comic released its 100th issue during the Con. Sporting 13 variant covers and a shocking, gruesome death within its pages, it notched up more than 383,000 copies ordered by comics retailers, making it the best selling comic since 1997. Zombie-related festivities also included The Walking Dead Escape, a zombie infested obstacle course set up at Petco Park; and a lavish black carpet party to celebrate the issue on Friday attended by Image comics creators and cast members of the hit AMC show.
Elsewhere, Image Comics, publisher of The Walking Dead, continued a particularly hot year by announcing several new books with creators best known for their work at Marvel and DC, including a new book by Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin called Satellite Sam, Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios, Saviors by James Robinson and J. Bone and more new titles by Joe Casey, Brandon Graham, Joe Harris, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. It was an unusually strong line-up of creators, and marked a move to mix creator-owned titles with mainstream work for most.
Not to be outdone, DC announced a new Sandman book to be written by Neil Gaiman with art by JH Williams to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Gaiman’s version of the character. The mini series, which will come out next year, will be a prequel to the original series with a never before told story of what befell Sandman before the events of Sandman #1.
Marvel’s big news was movie related: A Guardians of the Galaxy movie has been confirmed for August 2014, as has a film about Ant-Man to be directed by Edgar Wright. Both films go in a more adventurous direction than Marvel’s movie slate has previously taken. The former is the story of a band of SF misfits; the later is an off-beat comedy.
Although final attendance numbers weren’t yet available, this year’s Comic-Con was another sell-out and the fantastic parade of celebrities, movie previews and even comics is sure to keep people coming back for future editions.