Comic-Con, Inside and Out

Comic-Con runs July 12-15 and even though File 770 doesn’t cover it systematically the con is such a big event something always catches my eye.

Bradbury’s traditional Comic-Con appearance will be memorialized by panel discussion about the late writer on Saturday, July 14

6:00-7:30 A Tribute to the Legendary Ray Bradbury—Some called him the greatest writer of fantasy of all time. He was a writer of legendary science fiction, an inspiration to generations, and a good friend of Comic-Con. We lost him on June 12, and now many of his friends and colleagues gather to celebrate this extraordinary figure. The guest list is still being finalized as this guide goes to press, but it should include authors William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, Marc Scott Zicree, Joe Hill, and Margaret Atwood, along with figures from the worlds of motion pictures and television. Your hosts are Bradbury biographer Sam Weller (Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury) and Comic-Con special guest Mark Evanier. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Bradbury character. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

Then, James Hay has posted his extensive research about Comic-Con happenings that don’t require tickets to the con itself. Here are selected excerpts – his full list on Facebook has at least twice as many entries:

Unmasked! Comic Art in San Diego Revealed (July 7 – 31, Tue – Sat 12 -7, Sun 12 – 5)
Exhibit of art by San Diego area comic artists
Cost: Free
Where: Artlab Studios, 3536 Adams Ave.

Darkness and Light: Art Inspired by Heroes & Villains, Hope & Heroism, (July 9 – 15, 9 am – ?)
A collection of original artwork inspired by the universe of DC Comics and its characters, raising Awareness of DC’s “We Can Be Heroes” campaign fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa.
Cost: Free
Where: Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts 363 Fifth Avenue Suite 102

Gam3rcon (July 11-15, 2012, noon – midnight)
Gaming Convention: Games, Panel Discussions, Art Exhibition, Rooftop parties
G33k Theatre (at Gam3rcon)
– Gam3rs: The Play (Jul 10, 8 pm; Jul 11, 3 pm; Jul 12, 7 pm; Jul 14, 7 pm) – Free with any Gam3rcon membership
– Spider Baby: The Musical (Jul 8, 8 pm; Jul 9, 8 pm; Jul 10, 10 pm; Jul 11, 7 pm; Jul 12: 10 pm; Jul 14, 10 pm; Jul 15; 7 pm) – $20 or $10 with any Gam3rcon membership
– I Wish My Life Was An RPG (Jul 13, 7:30 pm)
All events have limited seating. Seats may be reserved for “Spider Baby” at 619-900-4492.
Where: 10th Avenue Theater, 930 10th Avenue

TRICKSTER (Jul 11, 3 pm – 1 am; Jul 12 – 14, 11 am – 1 am)
Comic book art event: Symposia, animation and live-action short film screenings, signings, drawing events, rooftop terrace with full restaurant menu, DJs, and live music.
Cost: Free, but there is a $40 fee for individual symposia
Buy Symposia Tickets –
(1) Plot Construction
(2) Character Development
(3) World Building
Where: WINE STEALS/PROPER, 795 J. Street

Cartoon Network’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition, (July 11, 11 am – 5 pm; Jul 12 – 14, 11 am – 6 pm)
75 Artists take a close look at cartoons from Hanna-Barbera to the Cartoon Network
Super secret good time party and artist reception: July 14, 6 pm – 11 pm)
Cost: Free
Where: JETT Gallery, 989 W. Kalmia St.

Adventure Time: Keyper Seeker Experiencel (Jul 11 – 15, hours vary)
The New Children’s Museum is re-conceptualized to a fully immersive Adventure Time experience, featuring a recreation of the Land of Ooo, riddles, puzzles, and, of course, adventure.
Cost: $10 (?)
Where: The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave.

Nerd Machine HQ (Jul 12 – 15)
Celebrity panels, videos, Video gaming, Vizio tech demos, DJs, Dancing
Cost: General Admission: Free, $20 for each “Conversations for a Cause” panel (money to benefit Operation Smile
Where: Block No. 16 Union and Spirits, 344 7th Avenue (7th and J)

History Channel Cross-Country Cookout (July 12 – 14)
Sample free BBQ and enjoy History Channel entertainment and giveaways.
Local eats from SD favorites Hodad’s and Phil’s BBQ from 5:30 – 8:30pm on July 12th and 13th.
Cost: Free
Where: 80-foot Ultimate Smoker and Grill Truck, Parking lot at 100 Island Ave

Haunted Hotel (July 13 – 14, 7 pm – 11 pm)
The haunted attraction opens once again for Comic-Con
Cost: $16.99 (Cash only)
Where: 424 Market Street (4th and Market)

Space Art Show (Jul 14 – 28, hours vary)
Where: Space Travelers Emporium, 1947 30th St.
Cost: Free
All ages are welcome.


Final Leg of the Course of the Force, 5 day run (Jul 11th, 7am – 12:30 pm)
Join a Olympic Torch-like run (carrying a light saber) event to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation
Where: Runs from Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach to Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue
Cost: $500 for ¼ mile segment (it’s for charity folks), Free to watch
(Register as runner at
Runners will receive a Star Wars Ultimate FX lightsaberTM along with other gifts celebrating the Force.


Readers Day at the Wired Café, (Jul 12, 11 am – 5 pm)
Wired fans are invited to an event featuring gadgets and gaming, specialty cocktails, WIRED WiFi and charging stations, new arts and entertainment releases.
Cost: Free RSVP for tickets to [email protected]
Where: 6th floor of Omni Hotel, 675 L Street

W00tstock 4.0, (Jul 12, 7pm)
A night of Geeks and Music with Will Wheaton, Adam Savage, Paul and Storm, Bonnie Burton, Marion Call, The Doubleclicks, Rob Reid and more
Cost: $44.65 including Ticketmaster fee
(Buy Tickets at W00tstock 4.0
Where: Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue
Ages 6 year and older

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops – The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess (July 12, 8:00 pm)
Cost: $20 – $76 (Buy Tickets at
Where: Embarcadaro Marina Park South, Foot of Marina Park Way behind convention center.
Munky King Carnival, (July 12, 8 – 11 pm)
Party featuring games, shooting gallery and artists
Preceded by the Designer Toy Award Nomination announcements from 7:30 to 8 PM
Cost: Free
Where: Bar Basic, 410 Tenth Ave.


March for Undead Rights, (July 13th, 5:30 pm)
San Diego Zombie Walk stages a walk through the Gaslamp in protest of discrimination against the undead.
300 marchers will receive tickets to the Con of the Dead Party (Below)
Cost: Free (Come in zombie costume/makeup, bring protest sign)
Where: Walk starts at 4th and Broadway (do not arrive before 4:30 pm)

The Nerdist Podcast Live!  (Jul 13, 7pm)
Chris Hardwick’s popular podcast on all things Nerdy does presented live with Jonah Ray & Matt Mira
Cost: $31.50 Reserved Seating advanced sale including Ticketmaster fee (Buy Tickets at
Where: Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian and James Hay for the links.]

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8 thoughts on “Comic-Con, Inside and Out

  1. Sounds like fun, but probably too busy for me. It has gotten large and loud and lots of media attraction. I await the news of various film and projects and TV shows. But I don’t think I’d ever attend.

  2. Without being able to spend money like water, what’s the point of such events? I doubt I’ll ever be able to afford even the admittance fee.

  3. Wow. “I can’t afford to attend. They shouldn’t hold it.” Now there’s an open-minded fannish sentiment.

    There’s an old saying about science fiction conventions: everyone attends a different convention. The same is true for Comic Con. In spades. There’s so much going on that it’s possible for two people to see and do all the same things, unless they’re literally joined at the hip. And it’s certainly not to everyone’s tastes or interests but there’s a lot going on in terms of art show, dealers, masquerade, cosplay and hall costumes (you can debate the differences), and programming. Thousands of hours of programming. Something like 30 rooms of programming over 4+ days, ranging from comics (yes, still a great deal of programming about comics), TV & movies, science fiction & fantasy, writing novels as well as writing comics, etc. You can attend what interests you and deal with only as much crowding as you can stand. (Personally, I don’t have the patience to deal with the crowds that stand in line for an hour or two to get into the major panels but I see plenty of stuff in the smaller rooms that hold 50 or 100 or 500. Others enjoy those larger items. Some spend all their time in the dealers room. Sounds like most SF conventions, actually.)

    Even though Comic Con raised the price for a membership quite a bit this year, it still costs less to get into than Worldcon. Up until this year, it was about half the cost. So Taral’s whining about it being too expensive to even deserve to exist is, at best, uninformed.

  4. @Craig: Something is interfering with your particular view of File 770. Of course, I guess it’s easier sometimes to argue against things a person didn’t actually say. However, since Taral had only a two-line post it’s pretty silly to fabricate much on what you somehow think he said. Jeez, Craig, read it again…

  5. Mark Evanier has noted in his News From Me weblog ( ) that you really have several conventions going on at the same time, also. There’s the one for the actual fans of comic books, who go to Artists’ Alley, attend comics panels, and wait in lines to meet comics writers and artists and get their comics autographed.

    Then there’s the T.V./Movie con where you sit in huge ballrooms and have panels from shows and movies in the promotion cycle as well as see newly released footage and trailers, with prop and vehicle exhibits (like the dead body of Abin Sur from the GREEN LANTERN movie or one of the Black Beauties from THE GREEN HORNET movie, or Odin’s throne from THOR or the GAME OF THRONES throne, in which you could get a picture of yourself seated. Occasionally you can meet an actor (as the little boy who loved Green Lantern comics did after asking Ryan Reynolds to say how he was going to say the Lantern oath in the then-upcoming movie). I think some of Ray Bradbury’s and Stan Freberg’s appearances fell into this category.

    And the convention for the people who make ultra accurate (and not so accurate) costumes from their favorite anime’, comics, movies, t.v. shows, etc to walk around in and show off. I remember these being called “hall costumes” when I was in L. A., but they’re called “cosplay” now after the Japanese term for it.

    (I was croggled when my physician mentioned cosplay in conversation as my last appointment ended. I asked him how he knew the word, and he smiled and said “I have teen-age sons.”)

    And of course, there’s the gamer’s con for those who want to play and/or meet the increasing number of gaming celebrities such as Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day.

    There’s even a contingent of fannish s.f. fans, although they usually overlap with one or more of the above categories of interest.

    Have I got all this right, or would someone feel the need to tell me otherwise? This is what I know based on reading, but I’ve never been to one of these !00,000-attendees extravagances myself.

  6. My comment followed immediately after Robert’s “But I don’t think I’d ever attend,” so I expected to be taken in that context. Why wouldn’t I want SCDC held? A more accurate statement would be that I don’t *care* if it’s held — it has nothing to do with me either way.

  7. Elaborating on my comment about “spending money like water,” it always seemed to me that SCDC was more of a giant dealer’s room than a convention. I might well be wrong — I believe there’s programming and other events. Even so, it would be the displays and dealers’ tables that would interest me if somehow I sneaked in through a back door. But, much as I might find a million things there to buy, I doubt I could afford much. No sense, then in tempting myself by trying to imagine the loot I’d want to come home with — One of George Reeves capes, the complete run of Magnus Robot Fighter in the original editions, a DVD set of Captain Star, all the Sherriff hockey coins for 1967, an original by Elder, a shipping crate full of Muppet figures, etc, etc, etc. So, the sanest course for such as I is to stay home and not even think about it.

  8. It is more about comics and films and television than print media, where I evolved from. Novels and short stories and the writers. Worldcons and Locus deal with this arena, and I feel they do it very well. Though I have read and own a few hundred comic books, I have no interest in the hard core collecting or that kind of mindset. I do not wear costumes. And often, I do not want to see people in costumes. I also would not attend because I would feel out of place. And being on the east coast, I certainly can’t get up and go to a convention as a local could. If this is someone else’s idea of fun, I have no objection. It certainly has drawn media to it, as it winds up in movies and TV shows as a point of interest or a plot element.

    Burning Man holds more interest for me, though I probably have no opportunities to attend.

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