The globalization of comic-con and the sacralization of popular culture
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Criminal Justice
Citation of Original PublicationElliott, Michael A. 2018. "The Globalization of Comic-Con and the Sacralization of Popular Culture." Pp. 221-242 in Global Leisure and the Struggle for a Better World, edited by Anju Beniwal, Rashmi Jain, and Karl Spracklen. Palgrave Macmillan.
Comic books, strips, etc.--Congresses
Fandom & culture
Durkheim, Émile, 1858-1917
In 1970, the Golden State Comic-Con was held in San Diego, California, with about 300 people in attendance. At the time, it was a relatively small convention of writers, artists and enthusiasts of comic books as well as science fiction and fantasy. Today, Comic-Con International: San Diego (as it is now called) is attended by over 130,000 people every July and is widely known as the premiere convention for fans celebrating comics and related popular arts. This chapter seeks to explore why Comic-Con has become such a popular event, particularly for fans, and why it has globalized in recent years. The chapter proposes a Durkheimian hypothesis: Comic-Con is a sacred ritual for devout fans, and it has globalized because key aspects of this event (e.g., the superhero) represent mythical archetypes that transcend national boundaries.