120,000 fanboys, buffs, walking encyclopedias, and know-it-alls are expected to descend on San Diego this week for Comic-Con 2011. The pop culture smorgasbord doesn't start until Thursday, but the entertainment industry's efforts to woo conventioneers is already underway. What appeals to the average attendee of an event where Francis Ford Coppola (on hand to promote his new horror film Twixt, described by the director in a press release as "one part Gothic romance, one part personal film, and one part the kind of horror film that began my career"), The Amazing Spider-Man and the cast of Community each command their own panels? One word: freebies. We'll be tracking the best of the giveaways from The Atlantic Wire's East Coast goodie bag nerve center over the course of the four-day convention. To get you ready, here's a look at what savvy conventioneers should already be targeting...
Totes, totes, totes!
- Entertainment Weekly referred to free oversized canvas bags as Comic-Con's "ubiquitous accessory" back in 2007. Last year, Warner Bros. struck a deal to make their totes the "official" bag of the convention. This year, according to a joint press release, the studio has produced "over 130,000" of the "signature, oversized (24”x28”) bags" and branded them with the logos of ten different Warner Bros. properties. Some of the titles deemed bag-worth are expected, liked Fringe, Green Lantern, Vampire Diaries, and Batman: Arkham City. Some, like The Big Bang Theory (pictured below) and The Looney Tunes Show, seem like more of a reach. Every attendee is going to get one, so somebody's going to be stuck lugging stuff around in the LEGO Harry Potter tote. If it's you, just be excited you have the first Warner Bros. bag that also converts into a backpack.
- There are other, unofficial free bags for attendees to target. Our favorite is this clutch for Pan Am, ABC's upcoming airborne Mad Men. It looks just like the one the airline's pilots and stewardesses used to carry in the 1960s, and, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, is also "nearly identical" to the replica bags selling for 89 dollars on the Pan Am Brands site. That's good bang for your freebie buck.
- Also from The Hollywood Reporter: the Discovery Channel will be giving away "tens of thousands" of bags promoting Shark Week. As if Shark Week needed to advertise!
- The Ultimate South Park Fan Experience sounds like engaging, if familiar, Comic-Con fare, with full-size replicas of South Park's main drag and the school's cafeteria. Things change inside the model cafeteria, where you'll be able to snack on very real bags of the show's fictional cheese doodle brand, Cheesy Poofs. The Onion A.V. Club's Sean O'Neal notes there's also a deal in place to sell the treat at Wal-Mart, where it will presumably not be free.
- Our favorite item being given away at the Marvel booth is The Avengers eyepatch ("See the world--and Comic Con International--as Nick Fury sees it!"), but a photo wasn't included in the press release. This Captain America iPhone case, though, is both fetching and practical.
Lieutenant Gordon's glasses
- Another freebie without an image, this time from Warner Bros.--a replica of the spectacles Gary Oldman (pictured below, in glasses) wore in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. If you remain unsold on patterning your personal style on a fictional bookish detective, we should add that the Warner Bros. booth also has Supernatural salt shakers and Fringe luggage tags.