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Legal | Matthew Pocci Jr., the driver who injured a woman last year during the annual San Diego ZombieWalk held in conjunction with Comic-Con International, has been sentenced to 60 days of house arrest, with electronic monitoring, and three years’ probation. His license has also been suspended for a year. Pocci had stopped to let the ZombieWalk procession go by, but then drove through onlookers, hitting several people and injuring one. He was convicted last month of felony reckless driving resulting in great bodily injury. At the sentencing hearing Pocci, who is deaf, apologized to the victim in sign language. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
Legal | The trial began Monday in San Diego for Matthew Pocci, the driver who plowed through a crowd of pedestrians, injuring one, last year at the annual ZombieWalk, held during Comic-Con International. He;s charged with felony reckless driving. Pocci, who’s deaf, said he was frightened by the crowd, but prosecutors say he was angry and impatient. New video shows the car moving through the crowd and running over one woman. [NBC San Diego]
Political cartoons | J.J. Sedelmaier shows off some political cartoons by Winsor McCay on the topic of Prohibition, taken from a compilation, Temperance—or Prohibition?, that Sedelmaier picked up in a used bookstore. [Paste]
There’s no quiet before the storm: Even as attendees and exhibitors prepare for Preview Night, there’s already plenty of Comic-Con International-related news unfolding. Here’s just some of what we found this morning.
• With a trial looming following the car crash that marred last year’s ZombieWalk: San Diego, organizers have announced that the popular annual event has been canceled. “The event is on indefinite hiatus due to legal matters stemming from the vehicular incident following last year’s walk,” they posted on their Facebook page. A woman was injured last year when driver Matthew Pocci drove through the crowd of spectators; Pocci, who is deaf, claims his family was frightened by the walkers. A judge has ordered him to stand trial on charges of felony reckless driving. [NBC 7 San Diego]
Legal | Witnesses testified Wednesday in a preliminary hearing that driver Matthew Pocci honked his horn and drove through the crowd of spectators last year during the annual SDCC ZombieWalk: San Diego, despite attempts by spectators stop him. Pocci, who is deaf, has been charged with felony reckless driving causing serious injury. But Pocci’s fiancee, April Armstrong, said the crowd had mostly passed when he started the car, and that the people surrounding them were frightening: “People then started laughing at us. People were getting close to us. I started to freak out. I couldn’t understand what was going on. I was looking back at my son, he was scared. I told Matt, ‘please let’s go.'” Armstrong also testified, however, she had told a neighbor she felt she couldn’t tell the true story because of her relationship with Pocci. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
Legal | The San Diego Police Department is asking anyone with video of the July 26 car accident during the annual SDCC ZombieWalk: San Diego to come forward. Police already have several videos of the incident, in which a driver plowed into the crowd, injuring at least three people, but they are hoping to get additional information. [Fox 5 News]
Legal | A Tokyo District Court judge sentenced Hirofumi Watanabe to four years and six months in prison for sending more than 400 threatening letters to venues connected with the manga Kuroko’s Basketball. The 35-year-old man admitted during his first day in court that he had sent the threatening letters, but he also refused to apologize or pay restitution and says he does not feel guilty. [Anime News Network]
Yes, it’s that time of year again! Comic-Con International starts today with a special preview night, and then formally kicks off Thursday.
If you have a badge, consider yourself lucky: They sold out within an hour and a half months ago. While there were three chances to buy returned badges, they’re now all gone. There are no on-site passes available for walk-ups, and badges are assigned to specific names and require photo ID to enter, so scalping or cheating your way in isn’t easy. That means, as has been the case for years now, if you don’t have a badge at this point, you’re not going.
By now, most people who follow some level of entertainment news know about Comic-Con. Because of yearly buzz, plenty of Southern California locals want to go at least once, just to check it out. Like Coachella or Burning Man, Comic-Con has become a cultural curiosity to just experience.
Within this curiosity is a hotbed of potential new readers. But just as Coachella tickets now sell out a year in advance, before a line-up is even announced, so too is Comic-Con an impossible ticket for the casual fan.