Wonder Woman and Spiderman. “There are so many people here. I have to make sure that these kids and adults don’t run and clog up the pathways.”
  • Wonder Woman and Spiderman. “There are so many people here. I have to make sure that these kids and adults don’t run and clog up the pathways.”
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You don’t need no stinkin’ badges

What’s a poor unlucky muggle to do now that Comic-Con passes have become more expensive than Batmobile rims, and harder to pick up than Thor’s hammer? Not to worry, mere mortals without badges can still spend the week enjoying Con-themed events around town, some officially part of the show and open to the public, and other less authorized shindigs.


The retro-resurgent El Cortez Hotel (702 Ash Street, Cortez Hill) will host a Throwback Pre-Con Meetup in the Barra Barra Saloon, geared for those who either remember or wish they’d been around for the olden daze of the 70s and 80s. Discussions will focus on how the dealers’ room used to be filled with comic books instead of Hollywood shills, the autographs and sketches were always free, and there was never, ever a line for the ladies room.


The San Diego Symphony presents its annual Movie Music of John Williams concert at Jacobs Music Center (750 B Street, downtown) on Wednesday, July 18, with songs from the Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park films, and of course selections from Star Wars. Arrive early for a Star Wars cocktail party and costume contest, sure to be filled with a galaxy of tinfoil robots, overexposed princesses on leashes, and enough wookie hair to clog up every toilet in the former Symphony Hall.

Fluxx (500 Fourth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter) hosts Ready Party One, paying tribute to the Ready Player One book and film franchise with Nerds Like Us, Damn Good Shindig, Nerdbot, and the Flux Capacitors.

Hero Initiative Comic Kick-Off at Basic Bar & Kitchen on Wednesday, July 18

The annual Comic Kickoff fundraiser for the Hero Initiative (helping comic creators in need) happens at Bar Basic (410 Tenth Avenue, East Village), with cartoonists on hand doing live art and premium rarities to be raffled from collectible manufacturers such as Dark Horse comics, Funko toys, and Blizzard games.


Cover of upcoming unauthorized Testament comic book bio - courtesy Acme Ink

Hard rock heroes Testament (soon to be the subject of an unauthorized comic book bio from Acme Ink) will be playing Nuclear Blast’s Comic-Con Afterparty at House of Blues (1055 Fifth Avenue, downtown), where locals Carnifex will open. However, it looks like that previously secret show is already sold out.

Kristian Nairn: Rave of Thrones at Omnia on Thursday, July 19 - photo courtesy omniaclubs.com

As a backup plan, there’s always Rave of Thrones at the nearby Omnia nightclub (454 Sixth Avenue), where Hodor from Game of Thrones, actor Kristian Nairn, will be doing a live DJ set for the third consecutive year. He'll also be trying to avoid breaking his non-disclosure contract when fans barrage him with questions about the program’s upcoming final episodes.

Carry On My Wayward Cocktails Party at Analog Bar on Thursday, July 19 – Supernatural still courtesy SupernaturalWiki.com

Devotees of the never-ending TV show Supernatural will meet up at Analog Bar (801 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter) on Thursday for the third annual Carry On My Wayward Cocktails Party, named for the Kansas song that opens the program, which just wrapped its 13th year. All ages are welcome until 9:30 pm, with promoters promising exclusive giveaways and a Hunter’s Banquet offering “a selection of hot food for all the hungry hunters, angels, and demons, and of course pie!” There will be Supernatural-themed cocktails such as the Single Man Tear, Angel Grace, and the Wayward AF, and exclusive Hunter’s swag, and nougat for everyone.

Her Universe Geek Coutere Fashion Show at Manchester Grand Hyatt on Thursday, July 19 – past award winners courtesy HerUniverse.com

The 5th annual Her Universe Geek Coutere Fashion Show will be staged Thursday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt (1 Market Place, Marina District) with fashion designers competing for a chance to create a new collection for Hot Topic. Actress Ashley Eckstein hosts and a cast of human coat hangers will parade the competing clothing on a catwalk in the Harbor Ballroom for a “celebrity panel” of so-far unannounced judges.

Hop-Con 6.0 Comic-Con Party at Stone Brewing Liberty Station on Thursday, July 19

Hop-Con 6.0 at Stone Brewing Liberty Station (2816 Historic Decatur Road) delivers three specialty casks of w00tstout beer, Mostra coffee samples, unlimited treats and tastings, lawn games (including giant Jenga, bocce ball, and Connect 4), and commemorative glassware to take home for those who purchase the deluxe ticket package.

The Girls Drawin' Girls Comic-Con Extravaganza at Bell Marker Brewery (602 Broadway), hosted by the GDG founders and artists, features a signing artist area, food and drink specials, $5 pints of the venue's collaboration beer, and more from 7-9pm. Ticket includes meet and greet with the GDG artists and founders, sips and bites, and swag bags.

Jay & Silent Bob Get Old at American Comedy Company on Thursday, July 19

Comic Book Men TV star Kevin Smith will stage two shows at American Comedy Company (818 Sixth Avenue) on Thursday, Fatman on Batman and Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. For Fatman on Batman, he’s joined by Marc Bernardin to “talk about all the news in movie make believe, terrific TV, and anything that squeaks in Geek.” During Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, he’ll reunite with frequent cinematic costar Jason Mewes (Clerks, Mallrats, etc), to riff in character for an improv-heavy performance that will be recorded and later made available free at smodcast.com. Smith returns to American Comedy Company on Saturday night for a panel discussion, Hollywood Babble-On With Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman.

Superhero Aerial Arts Circus & Interactive Show at Harley-Davidson Coronado Beach on Thursday, July 19

Harley-Davidson Coronado Beach (3201 Hoover Avenue) hosts the Superhero Aerial Arts Circus & Interactive Show, with superheroes performing aerial arts and demonstrating the ropes, as well as $1 raffles, food trucks, and more. The Marriott's Altitude Sky Lounge is the site of Webtoon's Green Room Party, previewing the newest features of the digital comic app with a vertical scroll function said to average more than 40 million monthly users via iOS, Android, and web browsers.

Harry Potter cosplay at 2017 ConDorCon San Diego, photo by Jamie Ralph Gardner


Several cosplay and fan gatherings are planned around town, including a Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Costumers Meetup in Children’s Park at 10 am Friday (across from the Marriott Marquis), followed at 1 pm in the same locale by an Assassin’s Creed Fan and Cosplay Meetup.

Bob’s Burgers Meat-Up at Embarcadero Marina Park South on Friday, July 20 – Bob’s Burgers comic infinity cover courtesy Dynamite

Devotees of the Fox cartoon Bob’s Burgers will Meat-Up at 2 pm at Embarcadero Marina Park South (200 Marina Park Way), where men in aprons can feel free to hold intimate conversations with inanimate objects, and BYOBH (Bring Your Own Bunny Hat) cosplay is encouraged.

Funko FunDay at Manchester Grand Hyatt on Friday, July 20 – 2017 Funko FunDay courtesy Funko.com

Toy company Funko is known for producing limited edition playthings, with this year’s newest collectibles debuting for Funko FunDay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt (One Market Place). The party includes food, drinks, and photo ops with life-size toy characters. All guests who pony up the $140 ticket fee receive one of the company’s coveted Boxes O’ Fun, usually containing extremely limited edition creations only available via this event.

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jazz23 Aug. 9, 2018 @ 1:38 a.m.

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