Fans start lining up as Comic-Con floor opens

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Fans start lining up as Comic-Con floor opens
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the atmosphere as San Diego prepares for Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A costumed fan attends Comic-Con International's preview night at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A costumed fan attends Comic-Con International's preview night at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: Actress Lee Meriwether attends Comic-Con International's preview night at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the Nickelodeon booth at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 1 on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the Nickelodeon booth at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 1 on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the Nickelodeon booth at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 1 on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the Nickelodeon booth at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 1 on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: A general view of the Nickelodeon booth at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 1 on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 23: Sophie Turner arrives at Comic Con on July 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: Actors Clare Grant and Seth Green attend Hitfix and Lucasfilm's Comic-Con Kick off party during Comic-Con International 2014 at Hotel Solamar on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: (L-R) Actors Kyle Davis, Jon Reep, Max Deacon, Sarah Wayne Callies, director Steven Quale and Hitflix's Gregory Ellwood attend Hitfix and Lucasfilm's Comic-Con Kick off party during Comic-Con International 2014 at Hotel Solamar on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: Stylist Ralph Cirella attends Hitfix and Lucasfilm's Comic-Con Kick off party during Comic-Con International 2014 at Hotel Solamar on July 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Bersain Gutierrez, dressed as Superman, carries an American flag during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
A fan high-fives another fan dressed as Star Wars' Darth Vader during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Fans take photos of life sized Hot Wheels Darth Vader Mobile during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
April Del Rosario and Lester Del Rosario pose with their son during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
April Del Rosario and Lester Del Rosario pose with their son during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Fans take photos of life sized Hot Wheels Darth Vader Mobile during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
A Comic-Con fan wears goggles as he sits in the X-Men Cerebral Experience during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
A fan takes a selife with a Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Racoon figurine during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
A Comic-Con fan wears goggles as he sits in the X-Men Cerebral Experience during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
The Comic-Con logo sits above the convention center during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
A costumed character waits in front of the convention center during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Dressed as Wonder Woman, Lindsay Stanley, walks in front of the convention center before waiting in line for credentials on preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
John Masuzumi waits in line to get into the exhibit hall on preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Fans wait in line to get into the exhibit hall on preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Dressed in Hello Kitty costumes, Thalia, left, and Kammie wait in line for credentials on preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Fans walk past a Smaug the Dragon display during preview night at the 2014 Comic-Con International Convention held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
Nick Friedland of San Francisco waits for the departure of the Wikia Fan Express train to Comic-Con International: San Diego 2014 on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at Union Station in Los Angeles. A lucky fellowship of “Lord of the Rings” fans are forgoing the preferred method of Middle-earth transportation - that’d be horseback - to journey to Comic-Con in a private train car that’s been transformed into the Wikia Fan Express. The fan-centric social networking site and “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” publisher Warner Bros. Interactive have picked 40 fans to ride the one-of-a-kind carriage from La La Land to San Diego for the four-day pop-culture celebration, which kicks off Thursday, July 24, 2014, at the San Diego Convention Center. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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Comic-Con is all about bringing fans close to the artists and properties they love - after navigating crowds and waiting in line.

The lineups began as soon as the San Diego Convention Center opened its doors. Fans with four-day passes to the sold-out pop-culture spectacular gained early admission to the showroom floor Wednesday night, where they were the first to see a 10-foot-tall Transformer, a Lego Spider-Man and a life-sized, road-ready Hot Wheels car inspired by Darth Vader.

Some planned to wait in line overnight for a chance to attend the most popular film and TV presentations, which begin Thursday. But first, they queued up inside the convention center to buy limited-edition toys released just for the festival.

"You buy it here, you sell it on eBay and it pays for your whole trip," said Chris Schultz, a 26-year-old from Edmonton, Canada. After shopping at the Marvel booth, where he bought "Guardians of the Galaxy" merchandise in multiples, he was set to "give up all night in line" to earn a spot inside the 6,500-seat exhibition hall where movie and TV studios present exclusive previews of anticipated properties.

"For Hall H, it's worth it," he said.

"Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" are expected to be major draws, as are panels from Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios.

Ten-year conventioneer Sandra Licea, 22, began waiting in line at 7 a.m. Wednesday for a DreamWorks Animation panel Thursday featuring Benedict Cumberbatch.

But even those who don't make it into Hall H can get a taste of their favorite programs on the showroom floor. "The Walking Dead" offered a recreation of its Terminus set, inviting fans to creep through a dark tunnel and have their photo taken in the jail-like setting. The A&E show "Bates Motel" also had a photo booth, where fans could pose with taxidermy animals.

After more than four decades of Comic-Con, the festival has outgrown the San Diego Convention Center and spills out onto neighboring streets and hotels. A giant Parkour course occupies the normally vacant grassy area just across from the convention center, while the nearby baseball stadium, Petco Park, boasts a Fun House built by Adult Swim.

Wonder Women, Batmen and other costumed characters fill the downtown streets, where businesses have been transformed into temporary showcases for video games, toys and movies.

"You can't get this stuff anywhere else," said Lionel Torres, 47, who traveled from North Carolina to buy collectible toys and indulge in community fandom. "People are fighting for a place in line, but there's camaraderie out there."

Comic-Con, which attendee Sara Brushaber described as "the nerd hub of the world," continues through Sunday.

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