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The last casting "event" for your chance to appear on the next season of ABC's The Bachelor is tomorrow in San Diego. I don't suppose it's any coincidence that tomorrow also happens to be the second day of the San Diego Comic-Con International, the world's largest entertainment expo. Is ABC really searching through America's biggest comic book geeks to find their next contestants? I admit it: if they get a Slave Leia Bachlorette or an Optimus Prime Bachelor, I just might have to tune in.

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There was a time, not so long ago, that I wanted to go to Comic-Con in San Diego. Once upon a time, it was a great place to revel in comic book fandom with the artists and publishers themselves. That time has past. Goodbye, Superman in Action Comics, hello Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man, the Movie. Now the event is just another hype factory for Hollywood. If months and months of incessant, repetitive commercials for toys and bedspreads at Wal-Mart, fast-food tie-in "premiums," and soft news stories covering the actors' personal lives isn't enough to sate America's desire for overblown marketing, well, now there's Comic-Con, where the price of admission is just $65 and your soul.

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To be continued...


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