For five days each July, San Diego, CA, becomes a mecca for fans of all things related to popular culture, be it comics, films, novels, toys, art, video games, and every medium in between. Just a short walk down the street at The New Children's Museum, NerdHQ was in full swing Sunday afternoon, July 24th. Established by actor Zachary Levi in July 2011, the NerdHQ panels raise funds for Operation Smile, a non-profit organization that raises money to pay for cleft lip and palate surgery for children around the world.
As dusk waned, creators and publishers from the comics industry gathered for the “Oscars” of the industry, the 28th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards on Friday, July 22, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Administrator of the awards, editor, and publisher Jackie Estrada opened the ceremonies by explaining the voting and nomination process, followed by thanking sponsors and organizers of the event. Then, she introduced the special host of the evening, actor John Barrowman, known for his roles on Arrow and Torchwood, but who has also co-written with his sister Carole for Arrow: The Dark Archer (DC) and Torchwood (Titan). He was the perfect choice: representing both comics and Hollywood.