San Diego Comic-Con has experienced explosive growth since the inaugural event in 1970. What drives people’s appetite for the event?
Since our inception, we believed that certain types of entertainment can and do have artistic merit. We also knew that if we could get people through the door to experience what we have to offer, they would return and tell friends. That certainly seems to be the case and we now welcome over 135,000 people annually from all over the world. Art and entertainment can go hand-in-hand, as can education and entertainment. Many of our programs and panels have educational elements to them. There’s no reason why people can’t have fun while they learn. To do it in a welcoming and supportive environment makes it a win for everyone.
What inspired the idea behind a Comic-Con Museum?
For some time, Comic-Con had considered a gallery or something like it to maintain the mission of Comic-Con all year long. When presented with the opportunity to have a museum in San Diego’s Balboa Park, we took it very seriously and ultimately decided to embark on the endeavor. The Comic-Con Museum allows us to highlight a variety of artistic and educational endeavors throughout the year. We’re very excited about this new initiative and are working hard on fundraising to meet our deadline and officially open the doors in 2021.
What does the recent appointment of Gary Sassaman as Chief Curator mean for the museum?
Gary has a rich history with and love for comics. He has been a long term member of the Comic-Con team and has served in several capacities during his time with our organization. His appointment as Curatorial Director is exciting because he has an intimate knowledge the organization in terms of what makes it work and how best to serve our mission. His experience, expertise, and enthusiasm are well suited to ensure the museum is at the cutting edge of experiences similar to those of the Comic-Con event. We expect this will result in the museum becoming a great visitor destination.
What can visitors look forward to experiencing when the museum opens in 2021?
We are still in the process of finalizing the specific experiences; however, we’ve already held some pop-up exhibits and hosted visiting artists and other events featuring elements from a variety of popular arts disciplines. Education will be a focal point and we expect the museum to have cutting-edge elements that will make it a unique destination.
How can people get involved in supporting the museum now?
People can register for the Museum Insider Newsletter, which offers up-to-date information on presentations and events happening at the museum, and gives information on how best to get involved.
Stay up-to-date on the development of Comic-Con Museum through its website and newsletter.
Five questions, one fascinating person (or team!) – look into the minds of movers and shakers in the nostalgia, game, play, or toy industry.