SDCC Preview Night Recap

Thousands await the opening of the exhibit hall and ballrooms for San Diego Comic Con 2014.

Thousands await the opening of the exhibit hall and ballrooms for San Diego Comic Con 2014.

By Wes Smith

Thousands of comic and pop culture enthusiasts swarmed San Diego tonight for Preview Night at Comic Con International’s flagship convention.

Though the official kickoff of the country’s largest fan convention is tomorrow, lines wrapped around the San Diego Convention Center for attendees with access to the Wednesday events. While there were no official panels schedules, the exhibit hall was already packed as buyers grabbed up exclusives toys and merchandise.

Upstairs, Ballroom 20 held its annual screenings for Warner Bros. pilot series with The Flash, Constantine, and a new episode of Teen Titans Go! A screening of iZombie had been cancelled due to extensive recasting of the pilot episode. At the start of the screenings, Ballroom 20 reached about half its capacity, a number sure to grow in the upcoming days.

Badgeholders are able to take a complimentary "swag bag" showcasing popular Warner Bros. series.

Badgeholders are able to take a complimentary “swag bag” showcasing popular Warner Bros. series.

Outside the convention center, the atmosphere of the Gaslamp Quarter was in full SDCC mode. Several bars and shops were decked with signs, special events, and complete overalls. Perhaps the most prominent was the Ascension bar hosted by SyFy.

Offsite events this year include a parkour course directly across from the convention center, created for the Assassin’s Creed gaming franchise, and a zip line for Fox’s Gotham. Most buildings were completed as Preview Night kicked off, but a few still remained off-limits, such as a dome promoting NBC’s Constantine.

Several Gaslamp Quarter buildings, like SyfY's 'Ascension,' are overhauled for the convention each year.

Several Gaslamp Quarter buildings, like SyfY’s ‘Ascension,’ are overhauled for the convention each year.

As the convention gets underway, over 130,000 people are expected to attend this year’s convention. Panels will offer a wide selection of interests, with comics still taking the top spot, according to SDCCBlog.com

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