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Brand of the Day: Comic-Con International

Welcome to Brand of the Day, where we pick the brand making headlines and explain what you need to know about why it's in the news.

A cosplay fan at Comic-Con International 2015

Comic-Con International been in the headlines today after leaked footage of forthcoming blockbuster Suicide Squad made its way online following an exclusive presentation which was shown to fans.

This weekend 130,000 delegates flocked to the San Diego Convention Centre for the four-day event, which is now in its 45th year.

Highlights included a sneak peek at the latest Batman v Superman trailer, a Q&A with Game of Thrones cast members and a special Star Wars session with Rebel Alliance veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill who offered a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Force Awakens.

The annual festival began in 1970 when artist and letterer Shel Dorf, comic book storeowner Richard Alf and publisher Ken Krueger banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California.

Initially a one-day 'minicon', the first gathering drew 100 attendees with the aim of raising funds to generate interest for a larger convention.

Hosted at the Cortez Hotel in downtown San Diego for almost a decade, the get-together moved to the Convention and Performing Arts Center (CPAC) in 1979 and stayed there until 1991, when the new San Diego Convention Center opened. Comic-Con has been at home there ever since.

Costume play – or cosplay – has become has an important part of Comic-Con. Each year thousands of fans, and celebrities, dress up as their favourite characters from comic books, movies, games and anime. The event plays host to a cosplay Masquerade Ball each year, and there are prizes for the best outfits and make-up.

However, the conference is so much more than just a pop culture fan convention. There are smaller events, such as the Comic Book Expo (the official trade show for the comic book industry) and ProCon, (an event for industry creative professionals).

Director Morgan Spurlock brought the Comic-Con to the big screen in his 2011 documentary, Comic Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, which looks at the history of the convention.

The gathering may have to move to another city to accommodate its growing size. Las Vegas, and Los Angeles are making a bid to host in the future, but the organizers have a lease with the city of San Diego until 2015.

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