It's a well-known fact that in the span of about thirty years, the San Diego Comic Con has grown from basically a swap-meet in the basement of a hotel drawing around 500 to one of the biggest pop culture events of the calendar year, with crowds estimated at around 140 000. Comic Con has always been a great avenue for fans to meet creators, to get a photo or autograph from someone whose work you've always admired from afar. Hollywood has of course realised the potential of marketing to this crowd and it is a great that these days, movies based on comic books are doing gangbusters. It certainly wasn't always like this. The more cynical might say that it's become overly-commercialised and that the "comic" aspect of "Comic Con" isn't the focus any longer. However, there's no denying the thrill in being among the first to see exclusive footage, or to get a glimpse of a mega star in the flesh. And there's of course the infamous long, long line for Hall H, which some queue up for overnight to enter. Here are some of the celebrities who turned out this year.
Comic book artist/writer and creator of Hellboy, Mike Mignola.
Lou Ferrigno, TV's Incredible Hulk .
From left: composers John Debney, Christopher Lennertz, music supervisor Dave Jordan and composer Marco Beltrami. They were discussing writing music for comic book films.
Composer Bear McCreary, who is writing the music for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. You've heard his work on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.
Jeff Wadlow, writer-director of Kick-Ass 2.
Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith, the voices behind the Joker and Batman respectively in the upcoming video game Batman: Arkham Origins.
The Arkham Origins panel.
Alfonso Cuaron, director of Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men.
Edgar Wright, director of The World's End, Shuan of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Marc Webb, director of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man and (500) Days of Summer.
THE DIVERGENT PANEL
Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series.
Theo James and Shailene Woodley, stars of Divergent.
The Divergent panel.
Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Ben Lamb.
Amy Newbold and Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley again
Director Neil Burger and actress Zoe Kravitz
THE ENDER'S GAME PANEL
Writer/director Gavin Hood cannot believe he's actually at Comic Con. "South Africa is so far away, I've never seen anything like this, guys!" he enthused.
Ender himself, Asa Butterfield.
The man, the legend, the Ford.
Producer Roberto Orci
The Ender's Game Panel, with moderator Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist
"What the heck, you can stay on my plane."
Get to the choppa, let off some steam, kick some ice and all that: it's Schwarzenegger!
And John Rambo/Rocky Balboa himself. Yo Adrian!
Christopher Lee was not at the con, but he did have a video message that preceded the preview of the documentary Necessary Evil: Super-villains of DC Comics.
Andrea Romano, voice and casting director of the DC Animated Universe.
Geoff Johns, comic book writer and Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics.
The Necessary Evil panel.
Comic book artist Greg Capullo.
Comic book writer Scott Snyder, who recently worked on Batman with Capullo.
Comics writer Gail Simone
The "My Secret Origin: How I Broke Into Comics" panel
DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio.
CONVERSATIONS FOR A CAUSE: I, FRANKENSTEIN
Zachary Levi holding court at Nerd HQ over at Petco Park.
The I, Frankenstein Conversations for a Cause panel.
Aaron Eckhart, who is playing Frankenstein's Monster Adam.
Writer Kevin Grievioux
Director Stuart Beattie
CONVERSATIONS FOR A CAUSE: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE
Guest moderator Alan Tudyk, of Serenity fame.
Heartthrob Sullivan Stapleton
Also a heatthrob, Rodrigo Santoro.
The absolutely gorgeous Eva Green.
The 300: Rise of an Empire panel.
Sullivan Stapleton talked a lot about his balls.
Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak on Arrow)Reigning king of all geeks, Joss Whedon.
The Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox panel.
Cary Elwes, voice of Aquaman in the film.
Justin Chambers, voice of the flash, and James Tucker, producer.
Screenwriter Jim Krieg and character designer Phil Bourassa
THE HALL H MARVEL STUDIOS PANEL
(Which I waited ten hours in line to see, missing the Warner Bros./Legendary, Lionsgate and Fox panels along the way.)
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
This guy appeared out of a ball of lightning.
The awe-inspiring Hiddles.
Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chris Evans (Captain America)
Emily Van Camp (Sharon Carter)
Anthony Mackie (The Falcon)
Frank Grillo (Crossbones)
Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill)
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow)
Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)
The cast and directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Karen Gillan (Nebula)
James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy
Dave Bautista (Drax)
Chris Pratt (Star Lord)
Zoe Saldana (Gamora)
Benicio del Toro (The Collector)
The cast and director of Guardians of the Galaxy
Writer/director/actor/podcaster/author Kevin Smith
Anthony Ruivivar and J.B. Blanc - the voices of Batman and Alfred respectively from Beware the Batman.
Scott Menville, Greg Cipes and Khary Payton - voices of Robin, Beast Boy and Cyborg respectively in Teen Titans and Teen Titans GO!
Cipes, Payton and Tara Strong. She's voice acted in everything.
The master at work: Jim Lee drawing live.