With Comic-Con San Diego just around the corner, it’s easy to forget that comic books, comic book movies and toys were originally targeted at kids.
Comic-Con’s origins hearken way back to 1970, when it was launched by Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, and Mike Towry as the San Diego Comic Book Convention. The show was subsequently held in a variety of locations before moving to the San Diego Convention Center in the early 90’s, including the El Cortez Hotel, the University of California San Diego and Golden Hall.
Things have grown infinitely bigger since the early days, prompting overcrowding concerns, as the Convention Center may no longer be big enough to house the hoards of geeks who come out every year.
Remember, back in the 70’s before Star Wars busted open the convention scene for the major studios, conventions were considered strictly nerd territory. Now the convention scene is a huge industry unto itself where the major studios bring their new movies, and over a hundred thousand fans make the annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con every July.
Yet, even as concerns mount over the lack of space, Comic-Con is attempting to be more family friendly than ever.
As a report in Variety tells us, Comic-Con this year will also be geared to appeal to a younger audience as well, and not just adults obsessed with all things geek. In fact, Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and The Hub are all bringing shows to the convention, especially Tron: Uprising, which will hopefully appeal to Tron fans of all ages.
Disney will also be showcasing new shows for kids like Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, Gravity Falls and Wander Over Yonder, along with series like Phineas and Ferb. And of course, our beloved heroes in a half-shell, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who just got delayed for the big screen, will also be there.
The Ninja Turtles show reboot will be on Nickelodeon. The Hub also has a Transformers Prime show, and it seems like there’s a definite attempt to get kids started on franchises like Transformers and Tron so they can get into the movies as they grow towards grade school.
Cartoon Network will also have the Star Wars Clone Wars show at Comic-Con, as will Spongebob Squarepants, which quite a few adults, myself included, also enjoy. In addition, there will be a Children’s Film Festival, as well as a panel called Kids Can Draw Cartoons. This is all definitely cool stuff as far as I’m concerned, because when you’re raising the future geeks of America, it’s always good to start ‘em off right at an early age.