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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Batman, angry and large

Yes, you can draw on the rabbit

Own a piece of Star Wars

Spider-Parker

Leggo my Lego

Iron Man and Thor

Marvel's movies

Mad, mad figures

Dark Horse designs its own

Munky King or demon controller?

From curtains to clothes

PC Cast goes to Dark Horse

ABC revives Pan Am

Prime in the Matrix

Five for five bucks, even on Preview Night

Spartacus!

Star Wars graffmobile

Graffmobile up close

Digital drawing with Sketchbook

Walking Dead re-enactment set

Watch us, we're nearly naked

North America's largest comic book convention starts in San Diego, and CNET editor Seth Rosenblatt showed up yesterday to provide a glimpse into Preview Night--originally for people working in the comics industry but now expanded to include some fans as well.

Here, an enormous screenprint of Batman from the upcoming Arkham City game hangs above the DC Comics booth.

Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
One booth let visitors express themselves with chalk on a slate bunny.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Although expensive, Sideshow Collectibles Star Wars replicas are always a big hit with attendees. Shown is the life size version. The 25.5" high model, which weighs 12 lbs., costs $299.99.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
One of several exclusive San Diego Comic-Con toys is Dark Horse's model that's half Spider-Man and half his alter ego, Peter Parker.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Lego provided a big pile of yellow bricks for kids to play with at their booth.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Nine-year-old Mason Scott dePedro, costumed as Thor, stands in awe in front of the Marvel Comics booth, which has been designed to resemble Shield. His brother, six-year-old Lucas Walker dePedro, is dressed as Iron Man carrying Captain America's shield.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
The organization known as Shield plays a pivotal role in next year's Avengers movie, and the set has been turned into the focal point of Marvel Comics' Comic-Con booth this year.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
The goofy mascot of Mad Magazine, Alfred E. Neuman, comes dressed as several DC Comics superheroes in these limited-edition toys.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Mark Bernardi, director of special programs at Dark Horse Comics, shows off its iOS app for buying and reading comics.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
The Munky King toys booth features a demonic character controlling a robotic bear with big claws--because the world lacks demons with robotic bears.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Diana Rennie of Anaheim, Calif., spent about 10 hours making 1980s "Empire Strikes Back" curtains into a dress.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Author P.C. Cast, known for her "House of Night" vampire novels, announced at Preview Night that she will collaborate with Dark Horse to adapt them into comics.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
A new ABC series in the vein of "Mad Men" features the stewardesses of Pan Am Airlines, who were in full costume at Comic-Con.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
A limited-edition Optimus Prime toy from Hasbro features the Transformer in wearable packaging designed to look like the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Hannli Young shows off Radical Studios' special Comic-Con book, a paperback that collects five of its titles' first issues. The collection retails for $5.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Pop culture that's not actually a comic has been a growing part of Comic-Con, and Spartacus is just another example of Hollywood studios attempting to capture some of the comics geek's passion. Along with Hollywood studios comes Hollywood money, and elaborate booth sets like this one to prove it.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Popular comics artist Ken Lashley has been hired by Lucasfilm and BMW to illustrate key Star Wars scenes and characters on a car. Although there was no official confirmation, it's likely that the car will be given away during the convention.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Here's another look at Lashley's Star Wars art.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
A charity promotion with Viz Media and Autodesk has them recruiting artists with a digital hook to raise money for Japanese tsunami relief. Here, Kyle Runciman of Autodesk shows how the desktop version of the program works with a Wacom Cintiq.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Fans of the Walking Dead show and comic can re-create the gory scene where one character has to cut off his own hand to escape the zombies. In this photo, brothers Brandon Munoz, 14, and Michael Munoz, 13, pretend to struggle with the handcuffs and hacksaw. While Brandon is a comics fan and into manga, Michael told me that he doesn't read comics, showing that there's a lot to be said for well-made adaptations from any medium.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
One industry media outlet with a booth at Comic-Con had a barker-style promoter wearing a Speedo. It got attention, that's for sure.
Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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