When San Diego's Comic-Con first began back in 1970, only 300 people attended. Now, the annual convention for comics, collectibles and all things genre has gone decidedly mainstream, drawing crowds in excess of 120,000 to preview the latest movies, TV shows, games and merchandise in an annual four-day festival of geekery.
Actor Zachary Levi
has attended the convention from both sides, as a fan and as the star of NBC's cult hit "Chuck
," which ended its tenacious five-season run last year. But far from forsaking his fanbase once his show left the air, Levi and his business partner, Dave Coleman
, have been working to keep their loyal army of self-proclaimed "nerds" active, engaged and inspired, in large part through their Nerd Machine merchandise site and related social media.
In 2011, the duo debuted Nerd HQ, a smaller, more informal annex to the Comic-Con experience held a few blocks away from the convention center. Last year,