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A comic book convention or comic con is an event with a primary focus on comic books and comic book culture, in which comic book fans gather to meet creators, experts, and each other. Commonly, comic conventions are multi-day events hosted at convention centers, hotels, or college campuses. They feature a wide variety of activities and panels, with a larger number of attendees participating in cosplay than most other types of fan conventions. Comic book conventions are also used as a vehicle for industry, in which publishers, distributors, and retailers represent their comic-related releases. Comic book conventions may be considered derivatives of science-fiction conventions , which began in the late s. Comic-cons were traditionally organized by fans on a not-for-profit basis, 1 though nowadays most events catering to fans are run by commercial interests for profit. Many conventions have award presentations relating to comics such as the Eisner Awards , which have been presented at San Diego Comic-Con International since or the Harvey Awards , which have been presented at a variety of venues also since At commercial events, comic book creators often give out autographs to the fans, sometimes in exchange for a flat appearance fee, and sometimes may draw illustrations for a per-item fee. Commercial conventions are usually quite expensive and are hosted in hotels. This represents a change in comic book conventions, which traditionally were more oriented toward comic books as a mode of literature, and maintained a less caste-like differentiation between professional and fan. The first recurring conventions were the Detroit Triple Fan Fair , which ran from , and Academy Con , which ran from Many recurring conventions begin as single-day events in small venues, which as they grow more popular expand to two days, or even three or more every year. Many comic-cons which had their start in church basements or union halls now fill convention centers in major cities. Nowadays, comic conventions are big business, with recurring shows in every major American city. Comic book conventions in name only, the biggest shows include a large range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, including horror, animation, anime , manga , toys, collectible card games , video games , webcomics , and fantasy novels. San Diego Comic-Con International , a multigenre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego since , is the standard bearer for U. According to Forbes , the convention is the largest convention of its kind in the world 5 and is also the largest convention held in San Diego. Internationally, the worlds largest comic book convention, in terms of attendees, is Japans Comiket first held in , which boasts annual attendance of over half a million people. The ACBFC brought fans of the medium together, administered the first industry awards, and assisted in the establishment of the first comic book conventions. The Academys first order of business was to administer the Alley Awards , which traced their origin to a letter to Jerry dated October 25, , by fellow enthusiast and future comics professional Roy Thomas , in which he suggested to Bails that his fanzine Alter-Ego create its own awards to reward fandoms favorite comic books in a number of categories in a manner similar to the Oscars. The first recorded official comic book convention took place in in New York City. Featured events included a keynote speech by Kirby, a discussion about censorship between Don Thompson and Comics Code Authority acting administrator Leonard Darvin, a panel about the Golden Age of Comics , and one on the so-called Forgotten 50s, particularly EC Comics. Bhob Stewart, on a panel with Archie Goodwin and Ted White, predicted that there would soon be underground comics just as there were already underground films. Organized by Larry Herndon, the official guest was Dave Kaler 31 about 70 attendees took part. In , new conventions were inaugurated in St. Louis and Houston. The Houstoncon ran biennially and then annually until In , two important conventions had their start. The guests of honor were Stan Lee and Burne Hogarth. Comic book conventions increased dramatically in the s, with many of the largest conventions of the modern era being established during the decade. In the early s, conventions sprang up in almost every major American city and some minor ones , as well as in London, with Comic Mart , a bimonthly trade show which ran regularly until the mids. Comic book creators, editors, and publishers began to make it part of their routine to attend conventions as official guests. Major comics-related news events were often broken at annual conventions examples include the news that Jack Kirby was defecting from Marvel to DC, and DCs announcement that it was reviving Captain Marvel. Grant Hotel , in San Diego. Official guests were Forrest J.