Some may stereotype the Comic-Con International event as a geek fest, but the true fans know that it's four days of fun when they can meet industry stars and play in a fantasy land, all in downtown San Diego .

Despite the event's recent surge in popularity, Comic-Con International has roots that go back longer than you may think. The convention began in 1970 as a mini convention held for one day, when a group of comics, movie and science fiction fans plus about 100 attendees and travelers formed the first comic book convention in Southern California. Back in those days, the show's home was the El Cortez Hotel, but it later moved to accommodate the growing crowds. It's been held at the San Diego Convention Center since 1991.

Over the years, Comic-Con has become the main event for all comic book conventions, including comic book creators, science fiction authors and actors, film and TV directors, producers, writers and fans of all these popular arts genres. Many fans show their love by dressing in costume to heighten the experience and is definitely welcomed at Comic-Con.

The convention's massive programming schedule tops 600 separate events, featuring hands-on workshops, educational and academic programming, anime and film screenings, video games, an autograph arena, portfolio reviews, an art show, a costume competition and the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. All happening in four days.

Most access to events in Comic-Con come free with your badge. Though seemingly, there can be far more than you can do in the allotted time, still, it will all feel like Disneyland for adults when you get to let fantasy take over, even if only a little bit.

Comic-Con is the largest of any comics or pop culture convention in the country. It includes 22 separate rooms in the Convention Center and branches out to more than four other major venues, not excluding the outside of the Convention Center, which has events scattered around and feels like a comic-book campus.