LOS ANGELES -- Calling all superheroes, zombies, space aliens, comic-book lovers and kids of all ages: Comic-Con is here.
The pop-culture convention, which annually draws thousands of costumed fans to San Diego, begins Thursday, but some die-hards got a peek at the colorful convention floor Wednesday night.
Hundreds of exhibitors and more than 130,000 guests are expected to pack the San Diego Convention Center for the sold out, four-day event.
"The people who go through those doors, most of them are film fans and fans of pop culture, be it video games or movies or television shows, T-shirts, or comic books, it's all part of this big cultural stew," says filmmaker Jon Favreau, who will premiere his latest flick, Cowboys & Aliens, at Comic-Con.
The blogosphere is already abuzz about some of the offerings at this year's Comic-Con, where Hollywood continues to command a headlining presence.
Captain America will play in San Diego for a full day before its nationwide opening Friday, and star Chris Evans is set to introduce the earliest screening. Cowboys & Aliens will hold its world premiere at Comic-Con on Saturday -- a festival first. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are coming to the convention to talk about The Adventures of Tin-Tin.
"Comic-Con is this incredible celebration of the arts, and the arts spans movies, television, video games -- which are incredibly artistic now. It's toys, it's collectibles, it is straight comics and graphic novels," says documentarian Morgan Spurlock, who made a movie about Comic-Con.
"It is this cornerstone of pop culture that has so much influence now."