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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 07/10/15

Friday, July 10, 2015

COMIC-CON FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA!








    San Diego Comic-Con International, also known as Comic-Con International: San Diego, and commonly known as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con, was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and later the San Diego Comic Book Convention in 1970 by Shel Dorf and a group of San Diegans. It is traditionally a four-day event (Thursday through Sunday — though a three-hour preview night on Wednesday is open to professionals, exhibitors, and some guests pre-registered for all four days) held during the summer in San DiegoCaliforniaUnited States, at the San Diego Convention Center. Comic-Con is both the name of the annual event and the common name of the organization.  This year it we be held from July 8th through the 12th, 2015.
    Comic-Con International also produces two other conventions, WonderCon and the Alternative Press Expo (APE), both held in San Francisco, California. Since 1974, Comic-Con has bestowed its annual Inkpot Award to guests and persons of interest in the industries of popular arts as well as to members of Comic-Con's Board of Directors and convention committee. It is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards.





The floor at Comic Con




    Originally showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television (as was evident by the three circled figures appearing in Comic-Con's original logo), and related popular arts, the convention has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop culture elements, such as horroranimemangaanimation, toys, collectible card gamesvideo gameswebcomics, and fantasy novels. The convention is the largest in the Americas, and fourth largest in the world after the Comiket in Japan, the AngoulĂȘme International Comics Festival in France, and the Lucca Comics and Games in Italy, filling to capacity the San Diego Convention Center with over 125,000 attendees in 2007.

History and Organization

    The convention was founded by DetroitMichigan-born comics fan Shel Dorf, who in the mid-1960s had mounted the Detroit Triple-Fan Fairs, one of the first commercial comics-fan conventions. When he moved to San DiegoCalifornia in 1970, he organized a one-day convention (Golden State Comic-Minicon) on March 21, 1970 "as a kind of "dry run" for the larger convention he hoped to stage. Dorf went on to be associated with the convention as president or manager, variously, for many years until becoming estranged from the organization.





Some of the characters you just might run into




    Following the initial gathering, Dorf's first three-day San Diego comics convention, the Golden State Comic-Con, drew 300 people and was held at the U. S. Grant Hotel from August 1–3, 1970.Other locations in the convention's early years included the El Cortez Hotel, the University of California, San Diego, and Golden Hall, before being moved to the San Diego Convention Center in 1991. Richard Alf, chairman in 1971, has noted an early factor in the Con's growth was an effort "to expand the Comic-Con [organizing] committee base by networking with other fandoms such as the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Mythopoeic Society, among others. (We found a lot of talent and strength through diversity)". By the late 1970's the show had grown to such an extent that Bob Schreck recalled visiting with his then-boss Gary Berman of Creation Conventions and reflecting, "While [Berman] kept repeating (attempting to convince himself) 'This show's not any bigger than ours!' I was quietly walking the floor stunned and in awe of just how much bigger it really was. I was blown away."









    The convention is organized by a panel of 13 board members, 16 to 20 full-time and part-time workers, and 80 volunteers who assist via committees. Comic Con International is a non-profit organization, and proceeds of the event go to funding it, as well as the Alternative Press Expo (APE) and WonderCon. In September 2010, the convention announced that it would stay in San Diego through 2015.

Events

    Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films, portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies, and such evening events as awards ceremonies and the Masquerade, a costume contest, as well as the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, which showcases shorts and feature length movies that do not have distribution or distribution deals.









    Traditional events include an eclectic film program, screening rooms devoted to Japanese animation, gaming, programs such as cartoonist Scott Shaw!'s "Oddball Comics" slide show and animation expert Jerry Beck's program featuring TV's "worst cartoons ever", as well as over 350 hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture.
    Like most comic-book conventions, Comic-Con features a large floorspace for exhibitors. These include media companies such as movie studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. Like most comics conventions, Comic-Con includes an autograph area, as well as the Artists' Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches. Despite the name, artists' alleys can include writers and even models.
    Academicians and comic industry professionals annually hold the Comics Arts Conference at Comic-Con, presenting scholarly studies on comics as a medium. Educational forums such as the Comics Arts Conference help Comic-Con maintain its non-profit status.





Some of the folks from Gotham City and friends

Exclusive Collectibles

    In the 21st century, the convention has drawn toy and collectibles designers who sell "Comic Con Exclusive" products. Such companies have included HasbroMattel, and Sideshow Collectibles. Most such exclusives are licensed properties of movie, comic book, and animation characters.

In The Media

    Comic-Con International has served as the setting for Mark Hamill's Comic Book: The Movie, and for an episode of the HBO television series Entourage, the latter of which, while set at the event, was not filmed there. Comic-Con also served as an excuse for the fictional characters Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood's trip to Tijuana, Mexico in the first season of TV series The O.C. The convention also featured prominently as a setting for the Numb3rs episode "Graphic". In Season 4 of Beauty and the Geek, an episode was featured where the contestants traveled to Comic-Con 07 and were given a challenge to create their own superheroes. In an episode of Punk'd, Hilary Swank gets Punk'd after an "attack from talking robot." In season five episode six of the Showtime show Weeds, attendees from Comic Con 2009 are seen in Silas and Doug's medicinal marijuana club. It has been reported that a mock up of the external area near Hall D of the Convention Center depicting Comic-Con will be shown in the movie Paul which will be starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Issue #72 of The Invincible Iron Man (published by Marvel Comics in the fall of 1974) was set at the July–August, 1974 Comic-Con at the El Cortez Hotel. The issue features cameos by a few of the special guests.








Quotations

Mark Evanier on the first Comic-Con venue:
"I never stayed in the old U.S. Grant [hotel] but it was the scene of the first San Diego Con, which I attended way back in 1970, back when we thought it was mobbed to have 500 comic fans in the same place at the same time. The hotel was undergoing a massive renovation then as well, but was merely upgrading from Extremely Shabby to merely Somewhat Shabby. The place I still miss is the El Cortez Hotel, where the con was held for several years in the seventies. I'd say the place was a dump but that would be demeaning to dumps. Still, it was a fun dump, run by a management that didn't seem to care all that much what we did to it".




Some of the Stars that have appeared over the years


"In the seventies, when we all started going to San Diego Comic Book Conventions, back when they called them that, the Hotel San Diego was a frequent venue for con events. Some years, before it outgrew any available hotel ballroom, the Inkpot Awards presentation was held there. There were many memorable parties and gatherings, such as in 1982, when a group of Jack Kirby's friends staged a memorable surprise birthday party for him in one of its halls. Perhaps some year, you were either so hard up for money or so desperate for an available room (or both) that you even booked into its sadly deteriorating accommodations. It was one of the cheaper places to sleep and con-goers took advantage of that up until June 2001 when the building was declared structurally unsafe and was closed down".

 


Will the real Princess Lea please stand up!


Crowding

    Capacity attendance at Comic-Con in 2006 and 2007 has caused crowding issues. Concerns have been raised that the event is possibly too massive for the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con's home through at least 2015. In 2006, Comic-Con for the first time, had to close registration for a few hours on Saturday to accommodate crowds. In response, for 2007, Comic-Con introduced a new three-day membership that did not include Saturday. Nevertheless, the 2007 show went on to sell out Saturday, as well as Friday and Sunday for the first time. Additionally, both the four-day and three-day memberships sold out for the first time. For 2008, the three-day memberships were abandoned and the convention decided to sell memberships only in advance, with no on-site registration.




People waiting to get inside Comic Con



    In 2008, all memberships were sold out before the convention for the first time ever. This sellout has given rise to the new phenomenon of Comic-Con memberships being scalped for exorbitant prices on websites such as eBay.
    In April 2008, David Glanzer, Comic-Con's director of marketing and public relations, commented on the organization's desire to remain in San Diego:
"We've been approached by other cities, [but] I don't think anybody wants to leave San Diego. I certainly don't. It's a perfect fit for us. It's expensive, whether it be paying for the street signs that tell you what streets are closed, or for any police or the hall or any of the myriad things, it's expensive. But it's a great city. There's been some talk of expansion of the center, which we would certainly welcome. Hopefully if everything lines up, we will be here for many more years."



So big that even Darth Vader need a ride to get around




    Heidi McDonald reported on her blog The Beat as of October 7, 2009 Preview Night for the 2010 show has already sold out. Glazner explained the early sell-out:
   For 2010 the decision was made to offer an option (of whether they wanted to attend Preview Night) to those who pre-registered for four-day badges. We limited the number of badges for Preview Night to the number of those who attended in 2008.




More characters at Comic Con


    Mark Evanier on his blog News from ME noted as of November 9, 2009 all 4-day passes for the 2010 show had already been sold out.
    On February 23, 2010, The Orange County Register reported that the larger Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim would be making a bid to become the new home of Comic-Con starting in 2013.On September 30, 2010 Comic Con announced that they have extended their stay up to 2015.
    The North County Times reported on July 26, 2010 that 4-day passes with access to Preview night for the 2011 Convention sold out two hours before the 2010 convention closed.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!








   Christmas in July is an event which is unofficially celebrated as a holiday by people. It is especially popular among the young people. A Christmas in July dinner usually includes Christmas Decorations Christmas Candles, colorful streamers, bonbons, Christmas hats and whistles.
   During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave for the atmosphere of cooler temperatures, gift giving, and holiday spirit. To satisfy this craving, some people throw parties during the month of July that mimic the holiday of Christmas.

History of Christmas In July










    It's hot, you're sweaty and longing for some relief from the heat. Aren't you? And while thinking about winter, you're probably also dreaming of all those snowy nights of Christmas celebrations? Well well, you can't actually change the season now, but the closest you can get to doing so is reduce the time left for Christmas and celebrate it now, in July. That's what many are doing year after year. An unofficial holiday, Christmas in July imitates the festivities of the actual Christmas and signifies our yearning for the coolness of winter amid the scorching summer months. Do you have any idea when Christmas in July celebrations started popping up? No?










    Come July, and there is an air of festivity all over. Everywhere we find people making a mad rush to nearby stores, shops and malls to buy gift items, apparels and all other articles traditionally linked to festal occasions. Those out of the loop may wonder at the reason for this sudden shopping though such people are a rarity. It is hard to come by anyone who has not heard about or celebrated the much talked about occasion - "Christmas In July".






Even Santa needs a little amusement with his buds




But how did this festival originate? 

   The precise beginnings of the Christmas in July tradition is not very clear, although it is commonly believed that it actually started in Europe, as a way to celebrate Christmas in summer. During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave the coolness of winter. Amid the scorching summer months, people miss the gift giving, and holiday spirit of the Christmastime. Though it is not known when it started exactly, it is probably from the 80s that the festival began to be celebrated. The earliest Christmas celebrations in July saw people throwing parties that imitate the actual Christmas festivities in December. The celebrations also included other Christmas traditions like Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts. It was held that celebrating in the warm season would ensure a strong, happy winter Christmas season.








    This untimely Christmas festival is also often ascribed to a group of Irish tourists who went for a vacation in Sydney's Blue Mountains in the summer months of July in 1980. Away from the summer temperatures in their country, they were overjoyed at the sight of snow there. It is believed that they convinced the proprietor of a local hotel in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to hold a party called "Yulefest". The idea was an instant hit and caught on the imagination of everyone presentthere. The proprietor saw a golden opportunity in this and henceforth held a Christmas Party each year in July.




Keeping it real with some of his "little" peeps




    The local businessmen too jumped in to cash in on this unique festival and it continues to this day. Today, the tradition is so well entrenched in Australia that most restaurants, clubs and dining halls, have an official advertised annual catered menu for Christmas in July, and are often booked in advance. Most hotels, restaurants, bars, apparel stores, gift shops offer special discounts for the occasion. During this time, you can find the local gift shops brimming with figurines of Santa and Snowmen. Resorts have special events connected with their Christmas in July celebrations. The whole occasion has come to be utilized as amarketing gimmick as much elsewhere in Australia as in its snowfields where the month of July coincides with the high season in the Australian skiing resorts.










    But the market opportunity is, undoubtedly, the most plausible reason behind "Christmas in July" celebrations. it is commonly said that the occasion was dreamed up by retail merchants in the western countries who wanted to benefit from a holiday in July, which is otherwise a dull season for business and has few marketing opportunities. That makes a lot of sense, specially when we see how so many “holidays” are emerging these days ranging from Boss’ Day to Grandparent’s Day. Many people embrace these special days as they emerge which surely spells a fortune for retail merchants as well as greeting card companies.










    These days, Christmas in July seems to be mainly a time for retail sales. In the United States, like all other festivals, this event too has become highly commercialized. is more often used as a marketing tool than as an actual holiday celebrated by ordinary people. But these days, many American families have started celebrating Christmas in July. An unofficial holiday, the event is especially popular among the young people. Restaurants offer special discounts on this time. Many nightclubs host on this time Christmas parties open to the public. Drinks are guzzled and food items eaten up like crazy. Television stations show the recent blockbuster flicks on this occasion or re-run Christmas specials, and many stores throw special "Christmas in July" sales. Many however, choose to spend the time all by themselves or with their families.




Santa and his "Old Lady", on Holiday



    Some families love the concept of Christmas in July, especially if their family members are scattered across the states, because it is easier for them to have a get-together in July, which is a summer month and when the weather is favourable for a vacation, rather than in the freezing winter months when long distance journeys are really hard.
    And then there are others who does not celebrate during this time. They are reluctant to acknowledge the event in July are opposed to having such an occasion. They argue that this untimely celebration of Christmas makes a mockery of the actual festival that is held on December 25th and commemorates Lord Jesus Christ's birth.
However, the precise date of Christ’s birth is subject to a lot of date. No one really knows when the messiah was really born. Hence, celebrating Christmas in July shouldn’t be a huge issue so long as the holiday doesn’t lose its meaning.
    Despite it's rampant commercialization, Christmas in July remains primarily an occasion to remember the nothern hemisphere's snow blanketed Christmas nights. It is a fun way to satisfy the craving for cooler weather and holiday cheer that many people experience during the hottest month of the year.








    Christmas in July is an event which is unofficially celebrated as a holiday by people. It is especially popular among the young people. The event is greatly exploited as a marketing opportunity in the middle of the year to uplift the slack in the market situation. It is celebrated sometime during the month of July. There are many people who does not celebrate during this time and are reluctant to  acknowledge the event in July. Even among those who mark this time, it is far less important than The Christmas in December. A Christmas in July dinner usually includes Christmas Decorations Christmas candles, colorful streamers, bonbons, Christmas hats and whistles.
During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave for the atmosphere of cooler temperatures, gift giving, and holiday spirit. To satisfy this craving, some people throw parties during the month of July that mimic the holiday of Christmas.






Watch out for Seagulls!



Celebration of Christmas in July (the whole month)...

    Did you know that most people have a love hate relationship with Christmas? Read on to know more... They love giving presents but hate the crowds; Love the true meaning but hate the commercialism that seems to engulf it; Love the music, but hate having six weeks of it. They love the food but hate the weight gain. Is it not funny that, despite all of that, we still hope Christmas comes more than once a year?! And the best part is we have a way to do exactly that - Celebrate it in July and leave the rest behind.. Its not about asking you to give up the late December festivities but adding an extra zing to your holidays and celebrations in the Summer heat. So soak up the sun and celebrate Christmas in July. Surprise your friends, family or mates you really care for with a one night of bonus Christmas celebration in the middle of Summer. Drag out the artificial tree while your love is away for the day or weekend and decorate it. Go to a nursery and find a small potted evergreen to light up, if you get a real one. Bake a couple of your favorite holiday goodies. Put a few presents under the tree. Turn the air conditioner on high and light a crackling fire in the fireplace while listening to your favorite Christmas tunes. And Folks! Its Christmas in July. Ho! Ho! Ho!




Singing a little "Take Me Out To The Ballgame".



    Often nightclubs host parties open to the public. Although its sometimes attributed to an Irish group who enjoyed the winter snow in Sydney's Blue Mountains and decided to party, the precise beginnings of the Christmas in July tradition is not totally clear as it is taken as a simple idea that has been enjoyed by many who remember the northern hemisphere's snow blanketed Christmas nights and wants to just have a jolly good time associated with gift-giving and loads of holiday cheer. Features of Christmas in July include: Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts.


IKARI BRIDGE DIVING FROM BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!








    Each July, tens of thousands of spectators line the banks adjacent to the Stari Most, the Old Bridge that crosses Bosnia-Herzegovina’s beautiful Neretva River in the city of Mostar. Undeterred by the Balkan sun, onlookers keep their eyes locked on the apex of the single-arch bridge where, one by one, divers enter the water in a spectacle of machismo and local tradition as they vie for title in the world’s longest-running high diving competition: the Ikari.
   As one of the oldest venues for extreme sporting events, the Stari Most has been the place to go for male rites of passage since it was first built back in 1566. Set in the Ottoman Empire’s regional capital, the Old Bridge connected the Neretva River’s two banks at its narrowest point, a strategic location that marked the centre of the city’s earliest development. The name Mostar comes from the “mostari,” or bridge-keepers who held watch over the structure from the Halebinovka Tower on the west bank, and the Tara on the east. In a city dotted by minarets and spires, and inhabited by Croat and Bosnian ethnic communities, Stari Most grew to symbolize the peace and unity of cosmopolitan Mostar—a physical structure that also bridged cultural divides.








   Much of the Old Bridge’s charm also lies in its tradition of bridge jumping. Crossing the Neretva gorge at a height of 21 metres, over twice that of a high board diving competition, the Stari Most has long offered men the chance to prove their pluck by diving from its highest point into the teal-blue waters below. In Mostar, so the saying goes, as soon as you learn how to walk, you learn how to dive.  It’s a rite of passage that makes heroes of men, and many take their first leaps during the annual Ikari competition in which up to seventy-odd participants can choose to make their descents either feet or head first. It’s no surprise then, that many of the world’s high diving champions got their start at Stari Most. Zvezdan Grozdic, the international cliff-diver










who has proved his mettle on the elite World Cup circuit, took his first plummets in Mostar back in the late 1990s. Although Grozdic now jumps from staggering heights off cliffs worldwide, it’s not easy to out-jump local legend Emir Balic, an Ikari veteran who by the age of seventy (in 2004) had taken the plunge over 1,000 times—the first when he was the boyishly tender age of fifteen.
   For someone like Balic, and the countless others devastated by the Bosnian War (1992-1995), the intentional destruction of the Stari Most on 9 November 1993 by heavy shelling, embodied the worst of the civil war for most Bosnians. As the stones of Stari Most tumbled into the Neretva River, the country witnessed the decimation of a globally-recognized symbol of multiculturalism and unity. With resounding









condemnation of what has since been called a war crime, the international community coalesced to support the reconstruction of Stari Most; and on 23 July 2004, the Old Bridge reopened in a celebration of renewed peace and partnership. After a decade of rebuilding, the ceremony was perhaps most touching when nine Mostar divers leapt into the Neretva River with torches in hand.
   Returning after a 438-year-old run, the reinstitution of the Mostar Bridge Jump and Ikari is a sure sign that the Stari Most retains a strong significance for Mostar as a symbol of reconciliation and courage.








When to Go to Mostar Bridge Dive


   If your aim is to take in the Ikari bridge jump, plan on being in Mostar the last week of July. The exact dates change each year, but the local diving club, the Mostarski Ikari, announce the final dates ahead of time. A call to the Mostar tourism board or a visit to their website in the month previous will provide you with the specific dates and times.
   Even if you can’t make it to Mostar in July, bridge jumpers continue to dive on a seasonal basis throughout the warmer months. Enjoy an ice cream atop the Old Bridge and wait for the divers to make their appearance. A good time to stake your dive-viewing location is usually in the afternoon to early evening.









   Now is a great time to visit Mostar. With reconstruction and the rebuilding of BiH’s infrastructure, tourists are returning to Mostar in greater numbers. Although Bosnia-Herzegovina is not mine-free, the country is not considered dangerous, and Mostar is safe for all travellers. Mostar’s Old Bridge area is also a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site as a symbol of solidarity and peaceful coexistence. Preserved in the Old Town are Mostar’s unique Turkish houses and the Old Bridge.








Odds n' Ends

   These days, the annual Ikari competition has reasserted its prominence as a tradition within Mostar.  Presided over by the local diving club, Mostarski Ikari, Speedo-clad bridge jumpers continue to enthral onlookers with their feats of bravado. They jump, not only during July’s Ikari, but throughout the warmer months, entertaining tourists and residents alike. If you happen to be in Mostar, take a walk along the Old Bridge at Stari Most. You might luck out and catch a young boy take his first leap to manhood in Mostar’s Neretva River.