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San Diego companies represent wares amid Comic-Con's international presence

This weekend, some local companies will revel in one of the country's biggest celebrations of popular culture. (video)

IDW Publishing, a San Diego-based comic book publisher, has released books in conjunction with one of year's most popular films: "Transformers." The company released a prequel to the movie, and is working on an adaptation of the film.

The company is also looking forward to the release of the "30 Days of Night" movie, based on a comic published by IDW.

The movie will be directed by Sam Raimi, of "Evil Dead" and "Spiderman" fame, and stars actor Josh Hartnett.

A movie adaptation of IDW's "Beowulf" comic is also due in October.

"It does feel a bit like a home court advantage," said IDW publisher Chris Ryall about being a local company at the convention that attracts visitors from around the world to San Diego. "(It's convenient) if you need to be back in the office."

Ryall has noticed that some of the smaller comic publishers have been overshadowed by some of the bigger Hollywood film companies.

"This thing is called Comic-Con, but it's almost more of a movie showcase," he said.

"You should hope that the original reason isn't being forgotten."

Ryall, who moved from Los Angeles to work at IDW, considers San Diego to be a "very welcoming place for comic books."

Upper Deck has been present at Comic-Con for the past seven years, as a trading card maker and vinyl toy manufacturer.

"You'd be surprised at what a presence we have at this show," said Claudine Ricanor, company spokesperson. "It's a great way to touch base and reach out to customers."

The company will co-host the Yu-Gi-Oh world championship tournament, along with video game maker Konami (NYSE: KNM).

Yu-Gi-Oh, a card game with roots in Japanese manga animation, can be played with both cards and in an online computer setting. The tournament, to take place Saturday and Sunday, will include both card and computer competitions.

"It's just moved into a huge pop culture event," said Ricanor, of the spread of the event to non-comic genres like gaming and toys, Upper Deck's niche. She also said that the presence of big companies helped out the visibility of smaller representatives.

"I think that any company, whether big or small, when you're next to each other, you end up helping each other out."

Other local companies making a presence include video-game producer Mad Catz (AMEX: MCZ) and graphic novel publishers Murphy Design.

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