Comic-Con wrap-up

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Every year Comic-Con International in San Diego seems to grow larger and larger. This year's event, held July 26-29, again proved itself as the premiere convention for fans of sci-fi and fantasy entertainment, spanning everything from film to TV to video games to, oh yeah, comics.

There are loads of panel discussions featuring directors, producers, writers and stars hyping the most geek-tastic movies in the pipeline, often showing exclusive clips, trailers and/or behind-the-scenes footage to really whip the crowd into a frenzy. This year's hottest titles included Marvel's "Iron Man" and fresh installments of "Indiana Jones" and "Star Trek" (click here for a photo gallery roundup).

Comedy flicks were also well represented after the success of panels for "Borat" and "Reno 911!: Miami" last year. Movies like "Superbad" (written by "Knocked Up's" Seth Rogen), "Drillbit Taylor" (with Owen Wilson), "Good Luck Chuck" (Dane Cook and Jessica Alba) and "Balls of Fury" (a ping-pong comedy from the "Reno 911!" guys featuring Christopher Walken) didn't feel so out of place among the genre fare, especially on a weekend when "The Simpsons Movie" (which also held a celebratory panel) dominated the box office.

In terms of hot titles, this year couldn't quite compare to last year's standouts: the perfect fanboy storm of "300," "Spider-Man 3" (when details of Venom were revealed), "Grindhouse," "Snakes on a Plane" (at the height of its buzz), "Pan's Labyrinth," "Children of Men" (unveiling some of its spectacularly shot sequences), "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and slacker favorite Kevin Smith's "Clerks II." And yet attendance for Comic-Con 2007 broke records.

TV was especially big this year, with obsessives lining up for panels with the cast and crew of "Lost" and "Heroes." (Comic-Con should seriously consider moving those events to their largest hall next year.) "24" also held its first-ever Comic-Con panel, with producers promising a strong season ahead (what else would they say?). Stars and producers of "Jericho" returned to thank the fans who saved them from cancellation and there were the expected panels for genre faves like "Supernatural," "The 4400" and the ever-popular "Battlestar Galactica" (which is heading into its final season).

A parade of new TV series also arrived to screen their pilots, no doubt hoping to follow in the footsteps of "Heroes" and return next year as superstars. (Click here for the TV scoop!)

Of course most of the fun of Comic-Con comes from the attendees themselves. In addition to the ironic T-shirts (one fave: a picture of "Saved By the Bell"-era Mario Lopez next to the phrase "It's hot, turn up the AC"), collectible comics, vintage toys, nerd-friendly artwork and anime porn that stock the massive main floor, it's impossible to avoid fans dressed as storm troopers, Nintendo characters, Lara Croft, pirates and even "300" Spartans. There's literally no-end to the costumed...enthusiasts. (Check out our sights of Comic-Con photo gallery here.)

There's no question that Comic-Con is a geek paradise, but, alas, all good things must come to an end. Fortunately, this year's edition will live forever in the hearts, minds, message boards and YouTube videos of all who attended.

Until next year, 'nuff said.

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