Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Comic-Con moving to Los Angeles or Anaheim?

It's Comic-Con week. Every year, over 100,000 fans gather in San Diego to immerse themselves in pop culture, including the latest in film, television, comics and more. But will it be in San Diego for long?

Anaheim and Los Angeles are both making serious bids to woo Comic-Con - and the 130,000+ fans and $160+ million in revenue the event generates. It was expected that the announcement would be made before this week's big event, but the decision has been delayed.

The cities involved are trying to sweeten their deals, offering the convention more exhibit space, more hotel rooms and nicer facilities. Anaheim looks to hold the lead when it comes to convention space currently, with both San Diego and Anaheim looking to expand.

San Diego has 40 years of tradition on its side, while L.A. offers access to the L.A. Live complex with its various theaters, as well as the Staples Center. L.A. doesn't have the same level of hotel space near the Los Angeles Convention Center, but could that Hollywood allure bring Comic-Con to the L.A. area?


Auditions for 'American Idol' season 10 kick off, coming to San Francisco in August

Auditions just kicked off in Nashville for the 10th season of American Idol. I auditioned myself a few years back. It's my last year of Idol eligibility, but sadly I'll be out of the state during the nearest auditions to the L.A. area at San Francisco's AT&T Park on August 19th. However, if you want to make a go of it, you can read more about the San Francisco auditions here.

While you won't be seeing me singing (or wearing a wacky costume) on next season's show, it's still a fascinating time for the show. For the first time since the show began in 2002, Simon Cowell won't be there throwing cutting barbs at impressionable young people. Who will be the new Simon?

The show looks to be in need of a savior. Season 9 scored disappointing ratings, and the Idol live tour recently canceled eight shows and will be wrapping up the tour early due to low ticket sales.


'American Splendor' creator Harvey Pekar, 70, dies

The creator of famed indie comic "American Splendor," Harvey Pekar, has passed away. "American Splendor" was part of the underground comics scene of the 1960s and '70s and told stories from Pekar's life.

Legendary underground comic artist R. Crumb illustrated the series, looking at the cantankerous Pekar's Cleveland life. It dealt with topics like his love of records, the characters he met as a file clerk for a Veterans Administration hospital, dealing with cancer, and more.

Pekar became a cult pop culture phenom in the 1980s through a series of oddball appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman," and was ultimately banned from the show for several years. He was a bit like Larry David, but with harder edges.

Pekar had a moment in the spotlight in 2003 when Paul Giamatti starred in the film adaptation of "American Splendor." The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Screenplay - Adapted, and Giamatti received widespread praise for his performance.


San Diego Comic-Con Thursday schedule announced, geek brains overwhelmed

Hear that? That's the sound of a collective geekgasm. While some details have already been announced through various sources, this morning the official schedule for the first full day of Comic-Con was released.

Hall H is where the big action usually goes down, and this year is no different. The big films to grace Hall H on opening day include "Megamind" (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill), "Tron: Legacy" (Jeff Bridges), "Battle: Los Angeles," "Salt" (Angelina Jolie), "Red" (Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren), "The Expendables" (Sylvester Stallone), and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" (Michael Cera). Hall H is also going to play host to a panel with, as the schedule describes them, "geek gods" J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Lost, Fringe, Alias) and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse, Firefly).


Is celebrities using their Twitter accounts to advertise kosher?

Advertising has been around on Twitter in a variety of forms for a while, but it seems that it's maturing beyond being all porn webcams.

One part of this has been celebrities with large Twitter followings leveraging those followers to make cash. Sites like Ad.ly and SponsoredTweets.com are paying for tweeting out advertisements, with more money going to those with larger followings.

One recent convert to Twitter advertising is someone I follow on my own account, actor/comedian Michael Ian Black. He wrote a funny (though somewhat defensive) article about it on his blog titled "In Defense of Twittertising."

"I provide a valuable service (a constant stream of dick jokes) to Twitter for free," writes Black. "As of today, I’ve written 2,655 tweets. That’s a lot of free material, all of it contributing to the entertainment of the 1.5 million people who follow me, as well as the multi-billion dollar capitalization of Twitter itself. When presented with an opportunity to get some return on my investment of time and energy, why not take it?"