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by Chris Conaton

10 Jul 2012

Hollywood invaded Comic-Con International (the official name of the San Diego Comic-Con) back around the turn of the 21st century, bringing in movie stars to promote upcoming genre films. But it wasn’t until the opening of the 6,500-seat Hall H in 2004 that the show truly arrived as the center of the pop culture universe. The convention was already in the middle of an attendance explosion, but Hall H and the major movie studios helped drive it to its current overstuffed situation, where 130,000-plus squeeze into the San Diego Convention Center every July.

Comic-Con’s status as the biggest pop culture gathering in North America brought with it a host of problems that it didn’t face when it was merely the biggest comic book show in North America. They’ve had to address things like how to deal with thousands of people trying to get hotel rooms at the same time, how to move tens of thousands of people through the registration process quickly, and where to situate the lines for the various panel rooms without blocking hallways or running into other lines. To the convention’s credit, they’ve worked hard to deal with these issues as they’ve arisen. Usually, they aren’t the sort of things that can be fixed on the fly, so longtime attendees eagerly look forward to the release of the Comic-Con schedule (around two weeks before the show) to see what’s changed for the upcoming convention. And yes, also to plan what awesome stuff we’re going to see at the show.

by Drew Fortune

31 Aug 2010

Actor and comedian Michael Showalter got his start on MTV’s cult favorite sketch show The State in the early ‘90s. A gifted writer, Showalter’s bizarre brand of humor and characters may seem like improv, but as I learned, almost everything he does is rigidly scripted. From the lovably off-the-wall skewering of 80s sex comedies in Wet Hot American Summer to the short-lived Comedy Central oddities Stella and Michael and Michael Have Issues, Showalter is always pushing the envelope: trying the patience of many and constantly questioning “What is funny?” His set at the Pitchfork Comedy Stage proved once again that Showalter might be the new incarnation of Andy Kaufman.

//Mixed media

Indie Horror Month 2016: 'Downfall' Explores Depression, Bulimia, and Suicide through Horror

// Moving Pixels

"Downfall finds horror in helpfulness.

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