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Arts and Entertainment

Comic-Con To Get Its Own Museum In San Diego

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Comic-Con International: San Diego, which had its humble beginnings over 40 years ago, has expanded to become a cultural and entertainment phenomenon in Southern California. The event went from being a niche gathering of comics and sci-fi enthusiasts, to becoming an all-encompassing event that has both the film and television industries plugging in. Remember when Oliver Stone popped up at Comic-Con last year and said that Pokemon would usher in the uprising of the machines?

Event organizers say that the conference has drawn as many as 130,000 attendees in recent years (this, of course, doesn't account for the exposure that the panels also get through media outlets). And now we're hearing news that fans will soon be able to get their fix year-round. As reported at the San Diego Union Tribune, Comic-Con has signed off on an agreement paving way for a museum in Balboa Park.

Details are scant at the moment, but we do know that it'll be called the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture, and that it'll move into the space that's currently occupied by the San Diego Hall of Champions, a museum reflecting the city's rich history in athletics (how ironic that the geeks are moving in). The Hall of Champions has nine months to move out, so we know that the Comic-Con space won't open earlier than 2018.

More details: the Comic-Con museum won't be a collection museum. Rather, it'll have exhibits that cull items from other collectors. "This center will provide a year-round interactive celebration of the innumerable aspects of popular art," Comic-Con said in a statement, according to Times of San Diego.

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The announcement is very timely, as there are questions about whether or not Comic-Con will actually stay in San Diego. As noted at the Tribune, Comic-Con's contract with the San Diego Convention Center runs out after next year's event. One variable at play is the size of the venue, which hasn't kept up with the expanding popularity of the event. Other cities such as Anaheim and Los Angeles have been reported as possible destinations for the event.

The announcement of the museum, then, is poignant in that it shows interest on the owners' part to keep the convention in San Diego. This is big for the city; in 2014, the convention pumped $177.8 million into the local economy, according to the L.A. Times.

Outside of business matters, the convention is also a great excuse for fans to dress up as Deadpool, or Ellen Ripley, or Mary Worth (just an idea). Which is to say it brings a fun sense of irreverence to the sun-dappled spread of San Diego along the shore. Check out the gallery above to see the antics of last year's con.

The next Comic-Con arrives in San Diego on July 20.