san diego downtown news, july , 2010
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Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year,San Diego Comic-Con International, takingplace July 21-25 at the San Diego Conven-tion Center, has come a long way from itshumble beginnings. Attendance at the firstmini-con, held at the U.S. Grant in 1970 asa fundraiser for a slightly bigger event thesame year, was 145, a far cry from the soldout crowd of 126,000 people who jammedthe aisles in 2009. This years event is alsoa complete sell out.
Although originally centered on comicbooks, Comic-Con has always had a pop cul-ture component, taking in horror films, toysand animation. However, over the past twodecades, there has been a slight shift to includemajor film and television. In the process, theevent has become known as a major place forHollywood to debut product. With films such
as Jonah Hex and Iron Man or TV showThe Human Target, the crossover with comicbooks is obvious, but from the Twilightmovie series to CBS sitcom The Big Bang The-ory, San Diego is now the place to promotestudio projects directly to the fans, with castand crew in attendance.
As fun as Comic-Con is for attendees, it hasalso become a crucial spot to conduct busi-ness, with all manner of media converging onone spot, from artists to publishers, writers todirectors.
The San Diego area is home to numerouscomics creators, all of whom consider Comic-Con the years highlight.
Its very important if you have a new bookout, said artist Mary Fleener. I think peopleenjoy meeting the person who draws it. Ivemet a lot of retailers and after a chat or two,they are usually more interested in orderingyour book. You never know, someone who youtalk to will buy a pricey painting from youmonths later, so there is a ripple effect that isgreat.
Batton Lash, creator of Wolff & Byrd,Counselors of the Macabre, concurs on theevents importance to creators.
From it I can gauge what the year was likeand what next year might hold for the indus-try, he said.
Meanwhile, comic publisher BloodFireStudios gets up to 70 percent of its annualbusiness through Comic Con, said co-founder Lee Kohse.
Not in direct sales at the show, though
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www.SDNEWS.com Volume 11, Number 7San Diego Community Newspaper GroupSan Diego Community Newspaper GroupSan Diego Community Newspaper Group JULY 2010
DOWNTOWNS COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
The Fourth of July weekend is upon usand downtown San Diego has no shortageof activities to choose from. Take your pick:
1.The Padres will host the HoustonAstros at PETCO Park at 1:05 p.m.The first 10,000 children, age 14and under, will receive a Padres T-shirt. Fortickets visit www.padres.com.
2.Apple Pie Fourth of July on the USSMidway will begin at 6 p.m. Themuseum will remain open throughthe fireworks display on the bay. There willbe live music and kid-friendly activities suchas bobbing for apples, face painting, a jumphouse and more. For more information andto purchase tickets visit www.midway.org.
3.Reenactments of the first salute,the first international recognitionof the American flag, will takeplace at the Maritime Museum at the begin-ning and end of the fireworks show. Themuseum will also offer a barbecue, sailingon the Californian and cannon firings. Forcost information and tickets visitwww.sdmaritime.org.
4.Summer Pops at the EmbarcaderoMarina Park South will featureMarvin Hamlisch conducting apatriotic performance of Broadway hits,marches and a salute to the military. Theperformance begins at 7:30 p.m. For ticketscall (619) 235-0804 or visitwww.sandieogsymphony.org.
5.The 10th annual Port of San DiegoBig Bay Boom Fireworks Show willbegin at 9 p.m. and consists of foursimultaneous shows around the bay. Sea-port Village, the Embarcadero, HarborIsland and Shelter Island offer spectacularviews of the annual favorite. For more infor-mation visit www.portofsandiego.org.
6.San Diego Harbor Excursions willoffer special Fourth of July holidaydinner and spectator cruises on thebay. Watch the Big Bay Boom from the deckof one of the Harbor Excursions vessels. Formore information visit www.sdhe.com.
BY BART MENDOZA | DOWNTOWN NEWS
SEE COMIC, Page 4
C O M I C - C O N
Convention is place for both business and fun
ideas for the
BY DEBBIE HATCH | DOWNTOWN NEWS
SEE FOURTH, Page 4
Exclusive: Owners of the Cohn restaurant group share
the story of their success. Page 12
S P E C I A L S E C T I O N
SEE PAGE 15
photos by PAUL HANSEN
PAGE 2 | JULY 2010 | SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN NEWS
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Downtown quiet zone wins approval
Downtown residents and membersof the business community celebrateda long-awaited victory June 22 whenthe City Council voted to approve plansfor the creation of a downtown QuietZone.
More than 100 community mem-bers packed the council room at CityHall to express their support for theplan, saying that the frequent blaringof train horns on the coastal corridorhas lead to too many sleepless nightsfor locals and tourists alike.
The 6-2 vote, which capped off 10years of debate and discussion, autho-rized Centre City Development Corpo-ration (CCDC) to spend