Nerds, geeks, fan-boys and -girls, collectors, buffs and aficionados are headed south west to San Diego once again for Comic-Con International.
This year's mega-convention (which runs from July 18-21) is a far cry from the first gathering back in 1970 when only around one hundred comic book collectors gathered for a single day in the basement of San Diego's U.S. Grant Hotel. Flash forward and the event now attracts crowds of more than 130,000 to the San Diego Convention Center over a four day period and features some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
This year's fest - the 44th - is no exception with panels for "Doctor Who," "Grimm," "Divergent," "Teen Wolf," "Ender's Game," "Revolution," "Dexter," "The Blacklist," "Breaking Bad," "The Big Bang Theory," "Community," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD," "True Blood," "Game of Thrones" and "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" sure to have fans lined up for hours to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars.
Add to the above the chance to score limited-edition merchandise available only at the Con, the opportunity to dress as a beloved character from fantasy, science fiction or cartoons, and a plethora of hard to find comics up for grabs from vendors from around the country.
Remember to check back regularly over the convention for a daily list of what's hot, recaps from the biggest panels, in-depth features and all the news straight from San Diego.
Here, a few of the things at Comic-Con 2013 we're already geeking out over:
With the "Twilight" movies now only a fading fan shriek of the past, "Divergent" looks to fill the young adult novel adaptation gap. The post-apocalyptic tale follows a teen named Tris (Shailene Woodley) who lives in a society where everyone is divided based on factions. The film is based on the book of the same name by author Veronica Roth. (Thursday at 3.50 p.m., Hall H)
NBC's new fall drama features James Spader as ex-government agent Raymond "Red" Reddington, one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives. Suddenly he mysteriously surrenders to the FBI with an explosive offer: he will help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, but under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth "Liz" Keen (Megan Boone), an FBI proﬁler fresh out of Quantico. Catch an advance screening and panel session with Spader on Thursday at 3 p.m. in Room 6A.
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign the cult television series set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, and starring Kristen Bell as the title character, gets a big screen update. Cast and crew will be on hand for a special video presentation and and Q&A session of this much-hyped resurrection. (Friday at 11.15 a.m. in Hall H)
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and show creator Chris Carter will field questions and lead a celebration in honor of the show that had millions on the edge of their seats when it debuted in 1993. Anderson decided in honor of the anniversary she would do the convention circuit for a year, a decision she has come to relish. "What I'm finding is parents are coming with their teenagers having introduced them -- they're getting to watch it together," she told the Huffington Post of her experiences so far. "[It's] their parents' old favorite show [so] there's a whole new generation that's starting. Just the thought of that, the thought of a parent that used to watch the show on Friday nights live, religiously, date night in the '90s, gets to say, 'OK, son, you're old enough. I'm going to watch it and revisit it with you' -- it just makes me so happy." (Thursday at 3.30 p.m. in Ballroom 20)
Oh come on! You know you can't wait to learn how to craft Yoda out of a piece of parchment. Origami Master folder Chris Alexander (author of "Star Wars" Origami) demonstrates and teaches folding techniques to make origami figures from the beloved franchise. Attendees will fold an exclusive Comic-Con model along with other art from the Star Wars universe. Materials included! (Friday at 2 p.m. in Room 7AB)
Peanuts creative director Paige Braddock and special guests discuss Snoopy: astronaut, beagle scout, novelist, flying ace, and much-misunderstood pet of Charlie Brown ("If I only had a normal dog"). created by Charles M. Schulz, everyone's favorite beagle debuted in papers on October 4, 1950. With any luck we may uncover details about the Peanuts gang's return to the big screen in 2015 and the new Snoopy balloon that will be gliding through New York's concrete canyons during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Friday at 3 p.m. in Room 28DE)
Sony Pictures offers a sneak peek at two of their hot properties. The reimagined "RoboCop" is back in all his half-man, half-robot glory and stars Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish and Samuel L. Jackson along with director José Padilha will provide insight into this eagerly awaited movie.
Last year, actor Andrew Garfield swung into theaters and launched a new chapter in the Peter Parker story with "The Amazing Spider-Man." To herald the next installment in the franchise (due in 2014), Garfield will be joined by director Marc Webb and costar Jamie Foxx to discuss what's next for the web slinger. (Friday at 4.05 p.m. in Hall H)
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures preview their upcoming lineups, and let's be honest, it wouldn't be Comic-Con without at least one Godzilla. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston feature in this reboot of the classic lizard tale that's set wreak havoc in theaters come 2014.
Get set for a new chapter in the epic "300" saga, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel "Xerxes." Imagined in the same visual style as its blockbuster predecessor, there's sure to be copious amounts of blood, beards and washboard abs. (Saturday from 10.45 a.m. in Hall H)
The cast of the highly anticipated second installment of "The Hunger Games" trilogy comes to Hall H for the first time. The panel will be moderated by Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger and fans lucky enough to secure a spot will see never-before-seen footage of the next chapter in the saga of Katniss Everdeen. (Saturday from 1.35 p.m. in Hall H)
BBC America celebrates five decades of the Doctor everybody is always happy to make an appointment with - unless of course you are a Dalek, Cyberman or Krynoid. While fans will be eager to see series stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman, along with executive producer Steven Moffat, the festivities will be made all the more significant with the knowledge that this will be Smith's final season playing the beloved time traveler. Whovians should start lining up early for this one. (Sunday at 12.30 p.m. in Hall H)
It's seems only fitting that AMC's "Breaking Bad" will help close out the convention as the series will begin taking its final bow when it returns to air on August 11. Creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan is scheduled to appear with the cast of the hit series, including Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R. J. Mitte, and Bob Odenkirk. Whether any secrets about the fate of Walter White will be revealed is unknown, but those in attendance are sure to talk about what it was like to film those final episodes and the prospect of life after "Bad." (Sunday at 11.15 a.m. in Hall H)