Heard of Comic-Con? Itís one of the largest conventions of its kind that is held once a year in San Diego, Calif., featuring a large range of media elements including comics, animation, toys, video games, and film productions.

Over 140,000 people from all over the planet attend this event. Itís where Hollywood hangs out with the fans and the fans get to preview the latest in films, games, software and other popular arts that wonít premiere to the mainstream media until a year or two later. It is also a place to discover new artists, purchase collectibles, and for exhibitors to promote their new products such as Hasbro Toys, Mattel, Lego, Fox, Lionsgate films, Warner Brothers, and many others which give away free items throughout the event. This is the event to catch a preview of upcoming TV shows, movies, toys and books.

Hollywood always makes a big appearance at this event. This year in attendance were Megan Fox, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., Cameron Diaz, the cast of Twilight, the cast of Heroes, Leonard Nimoy, Wesley Snipes, Gene Simmons, Eliza Dushku, Rebecca Romijn, Danny Devito, Kristen Bell, Jeff Bridges, Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Stan Lee, Sigourney Weaver and director Tim Burton among many others. Many of these actors do actually walk through the exhibit hall and you are able to meet them in person, which I did have the honor of meeting some during my stay in San Diego.

Whatís interesting about this event is that among the crowds you see the loyal fans dressing up in costume to support their favorite film, actor or comic. The local San Diego news reported that the streets were a lot safer that weekend due to the many people walking the city dressed up as Superman and Batman. It is reported that this eventpumps in over $4 million into the local economy during that weekend.

So what did I see this year at Comic Con that you might be interested in? There are too many items to share but here are a few. Stay tuned for the upcoming movies such as Iron Man 2, The Green Hornet, a Smurf movie in 2010, Tim Burtonís Alice in Wonderland, Red Sonya starring Rose McGowan, Astro Boy, a remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet, a remake of ďVĒ, Tron: Legacy, Sherlock Holmes, Twilight: New Moon, Avatar the movie, and a comeback from a Ď70s toy known as Stretch Armstrong which will be brought back as a movie and remake of the toy in 2011.

For more information on this annual event visit www.comic-con.org and for a preview of my upcoming work as a cartoonist please visit www.teachertoons.com where new fans are always welcome.

Ramon Ramirez is a local art teacher at Edinburg High School and a professional cartoonist. Ramirez has had the honor of representing South Texas at Comic Con for the last four years where he networks with other creative forces and professionals from around the planet.