Now in full swing: Comic-Con International, San Diego’s annual showcase of all things sci-fi-, fantasy-, superhero- and comics-related. Taking place over four packed days (it ends Sunday), it’s a chance for fans to get a first look at new movies, TV shows, video games and knick-knacks — and the chance for marketers to make everything seem essential.

Comic-Con’s grown tremendously since its early days in the ’70s, as have the marketing budgets movie studios allot for the convention. But a recent New York Times article contends that some studios are now re-examining the value of Comic-Con promotions.

According to the article, “studios come seeking buzz.” But if fans aren’t impressed or “hard-core enthusiasm doesn’t spill into the mainstream,” the impact of Comic-Con “can be more negative than positive.”

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