SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Comic-Con madness is in full swing in San Diego and will continue through Sunday. Attendance at this year's convention, which opened Thursday, is expected to top 130,000 people, but in decades past the crowds were a tad bit smaller.
Comic-Con started as a one-day event called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. These days the convention is anything but "mini," and celebrates a variety of pop culture and entertainment genres.
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Take a trip down San Diego Comic-Con memory lane with us as we look back at the convention in the 1970s, '80s and '90s with videos from the CBS 8 archives.
San Diego Comic Convention in 1972
On August 18, 1972, San Diego’s West Coast Comic Convention, El Cortez Hotel Comic Con may have been a small gathering in the early days, but in 1972 a big name was guest speaker—native San Diegan Bob Clampett, the creator of Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and Beany and Cecil. He told TV 8’s Maurice Luque how Elmer Fudd’s voice came to be—mentioning animator Tex Avery and actor Arthur Q. Bryan. Tweety was designed after an embarrassing baby picture of Clampett. The inspiration for Cecil was from a prehistoric monster movie. His mother helped him make the first sock puppet version. Other noted cartoonists took part in lectures and discussions. Cartoon and science fiction movies were shown during the three-day event.
San Diego Comic-Con in 1975
On July 31, 1975 our News 8 reporter showcased mostly comic books including an original Donald Duck comic that was selling for $850.
San Diego Comic-Con in 1981
At the 1981 convention on July 23, one Comic-Con attendee described the event as "a little bit [of a] science fiction-fantasy-horror art festival":
San Diego Comic-Con in 1992
In August 1992, News 8's photo essay focused on the expansion of Comic-Con beyond comic books with an abundance of costumed attendees enjoying anime, music videos, collectibles and more:
San Diego Comic Con in 1996
On July 5, 1996, Carol Hasson and photojournalist Ron Johnson reported from the 26th Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center. Digital and video comics were in the mix with traditional comic books. Definitely not suitable for children—Verotika comic books along with traditional Donald Duck and Mystic books.
San Diego Comic-Con in 2000
On July 23, 2000, Steve Price with photojournalist Scott Hall reported from the 31st annual San Diego Comic-Con Convention. Superheroes, comic books galore including an Action Comics book selling for $40,000.