From Pokemon onesies to Disney frocks, comic and film fans from across the world will don costumes this week and descend on California to spend four days geeking out.
Every July, San Diego transforms into Nerd Town USA, as tens of thousands of monsters, aliens, manga characters and caped crusaders throng the streets for Comic-Con International.
Since its humble beginnings in 1970 as a convention of a few dozen geeks who swapped superhero magazines, it has exploded into America's largest and most spectacular pop culture event.
The convention is expected to welcome 130,000 cosplayers, movie executives, sci-fi fans and bloggers from Thursday to feast on all manner of panels, screenings and other fan events and attractions.
The center of the Comic-Con galaxy is the 6,500-seat Hall H, where big name stars drop by to promote their films and TV shows, and fans have been known to wait in line for more than 10 hours to get in.
For Americans, the price of attending Comic-Con is estimated at around $1,850, including entry badges, air fare to San Diego, hotels, costumes and food -- and costs rise significantly for those flying in from abroad.