Comic-Con kicks off with fans, flicks, costumes

By SANDY COHEN | July 20, 2011 | 8:14 AM EDT

FILE - In this July 23, 2010 file photo, Comic-Con attendees dressed in Star Wars costumes cross the street in downtown San Diego outside of Comic-Con International in San Diego. The 2011 Comic Con International opens Thursday, July 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Calling all superheroes, zombies, space aliens, comic-book lovers and kids of all ages: Comic-Con is here.

The pop-culture convention, which annually draws thousands of costumed fans to San Diego, begins with a sneak preview Wednesday night before its official start Thursday.

The sold-out festival is expected to welcome some 130,000 people over its four-day run. Besides offering comic books and video games, the convention boasts a big Hollywood element. "Captain America" will play at the convention before its nationwide opening Friday, and "Cowboys & Aliens" will hold its world premiere at Comic-Con.

In addition, stars from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson to the "Twilight" trio of Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson will be on hand to present their latest projects to the Comic-Con crowd.

Comic-Con continues through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center.