A life-sized Iron Man toy and larger-than-life Transformer — in both car and robot form — welcomed fans to the 40th annual Comic-Con. The pop-culture convention opened Wednesday at the San Diego Convention Center. The festival began as a comic-book convention in 1970 and, over four decades, has evolved into an expansive pop-culture buffet that includes video games, TV shows, major movies and A-listers from the worlds of film, television and publishing. Here's a quick look at some of the highlights of this weekend's show.
MOVIE MADNESS: The Twilight sequel New Moon was set for sneak preview Thursday. Sci-fi fans will also get early looks this year at a Tron remake, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Iron Man 2.
QUIRKY DRESS CODE: Fans showing up in costume is a Comic-Con tradition. Star Wars is always a popular choice. Spotted early Thursday morning: a woman wearing a furry bunny suit and flip-flops. Luke Skywalker would not approve.
STARS GEEK OUT: Comic-Con always has its share of autograph opportunities with B-list actors from campy sci-fi classics. But more A-list stars are cashing in on the marketing opportunity. Expected this year are Megan Fox, Robert Downey Jr., Cameron Diaz, Kiefer Sutherland and Sigourney Weaver.
THE SWAG: So the stars, the movie sneak-peaks and the costumes don't do it for you? Try the freebies. Gift bags are the most coveted booty at Comic-Con. Bags from Warner Bros., imprinted with that summer's movie characters, were all gone within hours of doors opening. Other anticipated items include light saber bookends and a backpack with temporary tattoos from the folks at the aptly named graphic novel Bad Kids Go to Hell.
Information from the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and Monsters & Critics Web site was used in this report.