Conan O'Brien will broadcast from SDCC Weds-Sat

5 MAY 2015

We've known for a long time that Conan O'Brien will be at San Diego Comic-Con this year. He's just announced that he's going to break with his long-standing show tradition and air new shows on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

He also tantalized the audience by promising that "All of our comedy and all of our guests are going to relate to the magic of Comic-Con." This could be something to make your parents and non-nerd friends watch so they understand just what it is you get up to in San Diego every July. On the other hand, it's probably going to inspire a new 394,723 people to sign up for Member IDs, so there's that.

First-timers, don't bank on watching this in your hotel room each night - it's highly possible you'll be out at an event or already snoring in bed. So you might want to set your DVR if you're interested in seeing these episodes.

As far as getting tickets - this is where you can normally go for Conan tickets. They're free and they go fast. The SDCC shows aren't on the site yet and I'm not entirely sure they'll be handled the same way. If you'd like to attend one of these shows, I'd suggest monitoring the site closely and applying the same obsessive focus you used to get your SDCC badge, because it will be almost as competitive.

Stay tuned.

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Horror Gathering

5 MAY 2015

Are you into horror cosplay? Do you want to meet a bunch of other horror cosplayers at SDCC and take pictures with them?

That seems to be the focus of the San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Horror Gathering. It's happening 11 July at 5:00 pm in the Children's Museum Park and is open to anyone, badged or not. I would imagine something else beyond just photography will transpire, given the grand name, but maybe not. At any rate, this might be a fun opportunity to cosplay for locals who didn't get a badge but still want to dress up.

 Probably more details will be available as we get closer.

Hotel rooms are available for all 4 nights

5 MAY 2015

If you're still looking for a hotel room, good news: there are rooms available for all 4 Comic-Con nights in the Travel Planners system. That would be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The Town & Country, La Quinta, Days Inn, multiple Mission Valley hotels - as of this moment, they all have rooms. So if you are still unhoteled at this point, it's by choice.

I can't emphasize this enough: downtown rooms at the Hilton and Hyatt and Omni aren't going to magically open up, not in enough numbers for you to find them. (This downtown Gaslamp hotel/hostel still has availability - but be warned some attendees have had less than ideal experiences there.) Good Airbnbs are mostly taken at this point. If you continue to hold out, you're going to see your options dwindle rapidly. I'd look over the available stock, get out your credit card and make your peace with it.

San Diego Comic-Con is only 2 months away. Announcements will start accelerating any day, sparking even more people to book a room just to participate in the outside events. Don't wait any longer.

100-200 San Diego Comic-Con workers needed

4 MAY 2015

Would you like to get a paying job at San Diego Comic-Con? Be right there in the magic and hustle and earn money at the same time? Because an agency called On Tour 24/7 is looking for 100-200 workers.

"What kind of workers?" you might be asking. The answer is "event staff and promotional models/brand ambassadors." In other words, go ahead and apply and see what happens. You'll need to create a talent profile and include photos - but that doesn't mean you need to be drop-dead gorgeous, so don't let that rattle you. You'll also need to list your "previous Comic Con experience and the city it was activated in." How much do I love that phrasing? Let me count the ways.

Go ahead and be your most audacious self and apply. But if you get picked, you have to tell me your juicy behind-the-scenes stories.

The penultimate crop of special guests is out

4 MAY 2015

It's Monday and that means we find out more SDCC special guests. Today's announcement brings us....

Jackson (Butch) Guice - artist: Ninjak, Bloodshot, WinterWorld

Kevin Nowland - artist: Superman/Aliens, Jack B. Quick

Joe Phillips - artist: The Midsummer's Knight, Justice League

Hillary B. Price - writer/artist: Rhymes with Orange

Humberto Ramos - artist: Amazing Spider-Man, Impulse, Crimson

Next week we'll find out the final five, bringing the total to 70.  Am I the only one who thinks they should have gone for 75?

Why NYCC, DragonCon & SLCC matter

3 MAY 2015

We're almost midway through the year. By now you've either gone to a West Coast Con like ECCC, WonderCon or are preparing to go to one, like San Diego or Phoenix. Or maybe you've done none of that - in which case you might want to consider the second half of the year and a few options therein.

I was at a Cinco de Mayo party last night where I heard the typical nay-saying against any other Con; they're boring; no one important goes to them; there's nothing to do; San Diego is it. These arguments almost always come from people who've barely been to any Con at all and are just parroting the media's breathless coverage of San Diego Comic-Con. But streetsmart nerds and geeks know the truth - that there are Cons out there that offer just as good (if not better) an experience, and it's smarter to find a Con that reflects your interests than just rolling the dice on SDCC year after year.

Here are three upcoming major Cons that might appeal to different audiences. I'll be at least one, and I hope you  consider the same - especially if you got shut out of San Diego.


Attendance last year: 63,000

This is always a fun time for sci-fi, fantasy and comic book fans. It's more of a party than SDCC is, with more entertainment and more adult-only events, but some family fare as well. While it's numerically smaller than Cons like ECCC and Phoenix Comicon, the intense round-the-clock engagement of attendees means that it feels like a bigger Con.

Wrestling, live bands, puppet slams, burlesque shows, Rocky Horror and even a night at the local aquarium are just a few of the offerings; the panels and sessions are just as diverse, and focus on the paranormal, cosplay, sci fi, comics, alternate history, tech, gaming, books and more. In many ways, this is a truly nerdy Con in a way SDCC and NYCC shed a while ago - less mainstream pop culture and more of the weird and specific interests nerds tend to drill down into and get obsessed with. It's also more social; the bands and parties, and general friendliness of attendees, means you will always find a party to go to and people to party with. Yes, it's a popular Con for the poly/kinkster crew, but it's also easy just to make friends and find fellow fans and nerds to hang out with.

This year it happens 4-7 September in Atlanta, which means one important deadline looms on the horizon: 15 May is the final day to get the $110 Membership Rate. However you can still register through 15 August for the full $130 rate.

Salt Lake Comic Con

Attendance last year: 120,000

SDCC's nemesis is happening this year 24-26 September. Passes are on sale right now - with rates for all budgets. This Con has grown very rapidly and ranks up there with NYCC and SDCC in terms of size. I've never been, but it seems like a fairly generic pop culture and comic book convention, one that is a bit more wholesome than some other Cons. It's quite popular with parents who are looking to share their nerdy interests with their kids - something that was once guaranteed at SDCC, but these days is a bit harder to pull off, especially for a family of four or larger.

This is in Salt Lake City and tends to reflect the local culture; for instance, the Con runs Thursday-Saturday and does not have any events on Sunday. That can be a selling point for attendees looking for more of a family environment, while attendees looking for a more libertine experience might be happier elsewhere. Programming is still getting announced, but you can see some guests and news.

New York Comic Con

Attendance last year: 151,000

Last year NYCC dethroned SDCC as the biggest pop culture/comic convention. That only should tell you that this is a not a consolation prize for people who couldn't get into SDCC, but a massive and desirable event that offers many advantages San Diego does not.

The obvious: you're in New York. You're not going to struggle finding a hotel room, and if you've never been to NY, you can build in extra days to see the city or even drive into New England and see the autumn foliage. (Despite hailing from that region, I'm not a huge fan of New York - however, I do believe it is a city that everyone should experience at some point.) On the other hand, you won't find that city-wide sense of nerd community that San Diego offers so richly. It's very easy to walk away from NYCC and ten minutes later, feel completely alienated from the milieu you just left.

NYCC is run by ReedPOP, which means it differs from SDCC in other ways. While CCI does clearly want to improve our Comic-Con experience, ReedPOP has superior change management skills and a vastly greater appetite for change in general. From the cosplay red carpet to sexual harassment policies to recognizing and incorporating ECCC's excellent culture, they are willing to adapt to the ever-evolving Con community needs. They have to be that agile; they also run ECCC, Paris Comic Con, Shanghai Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, C2E2, other Cons and are pretty much colonizing the planet.

There's also New York Super Week. NYCC happens 8-11 October; however, it's part of a larger event called New York Super Week that runs 5-11 October. This takes place out and about in the city and a few events have already been announced:

  • Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular (1st time in America)
  • After Party with BBQ Films
  • Workshops on Writing for TV and Film - led by top network & studio writers and producers
  • A Shipwreck Fan Fiction Competition
  • Karaoke with Broadway Stars
Many more events will be added over the spring and summer; cardholders also get discounts at various bars, attractions and restaurants. You can get the Super Week card if you buy a 4-day NYCC ticket for $105, while other ticket holders can buy it for an extra $10. Yes, it's really that cheap.

Tickets go on sale for both NYCC and Super Week go on sale 13 May; don't delay on this because they will go fast. You can buy online, at Special Edition NYC 6-7 June, or at a special Midtown Comics event this summer.

Other conventions are consistently presented as the community college to SDCC's Ivy League. This just isn't true anymore. If you were willing to shell out for San Diego and didn't get a badge, consider using that money for another Con. You are not settling for second best, even if it feels like it at first. You are being smart - and you're also getting ahead of the future attendees who will eventually turn NYCC and other Cons into the same traffic-jammed nightmare that SDCC is now. Be adventurous, try out these unique offerings of these Cons and enjoy them while you can. I don't think you'll regret it.

Don't forget to request vacation days for SDCC

1 MAY 2015

Summer might still seem a distant dream, but San Diego Comic-Con is just over 2 months away. Consider the fact that it takes place right after 4th of July, and you might have to fight your coworkers for vacation days that week.

First-timers - if you can swing it, take the following Monday off too. You'll need it to recuperate.

Zombie Walk driver & passenger are suing too

30 APRIL 2015

A month or so ago we learned that the woman injured in last summer's ZombieWalk is suing the city, the walk organizers and the driver. She's not alone; the driver and his passenger are also suing the city and several parade participants.

It boils down to the lack of a parade permit. But the lawsuit quite vividly describes how the driver "became increasingly confused by the traffic stoppage created by the parade" and how the Zombie Walk participants were "lurching like corpses and wearing gruesome makeup, torn and disheveled clothing and large amounts of fake blood." Also getting a mention: "threatening gestures." You get the idea.

Who else can sue who? Who's going to pay? I have no idea. But I am more convinced than ever that any zombies at this year's Comic-Con will be safely contained within Petco Park at the Walking Dead Escape.

Russ Manning nominees are announced

30 APRIL 2015

Today one of the most exciting parts of the Eisner awards came to the fore: the Manning newcomer award nominees. This is given to a young artist who's demonstrated exceptional skill early in their career.

The 2015 nominees are:
  • Jorge Corona - Feathers (Archaia), Goners (Image), and Teen Titans Go (DC)
  • Leila del Duca - Shutter (Image) 
  • Vanesa R. Del Rey - Hit (BOOM! Studios)
  • GABO (Gabriel Bautista) - The Life After (Oni Press)
  • Greg Smallwood - Moon Knight (Marvel) and Dream Thief (Dark Horse)
The winner will be announced during the Eisner Awards on Friday, 10 July at SDCC.

Will Anaheim take the SD out of SDCC?

30 APRIL 2015

Another day, another article on the tempting towns that just might steal Comic-Con out of San Diego's clutches. The focus of this article: Anaheim. Which according to Jay Burress, CEO of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureay, attendees would just love.

The argument is less than convincing. Yes, Disney is right there (because attendees want to drop another few hundred after blowing a fortune at the Con, right?) and at some point there's going to be lots of parking. Yawn. But the article seems to think hotel rooms are Anaheim's ace in the hole. Which they could be, but that argument would be more persuasive illustrated by a deeply personal Hotel Day account. Instead we find out that:

  • Anaheim has 13,000 hotel rooms within a mile. Note the distance. San Diego does have a decent number of hotel rooms as well but not within a mile.
  • Of the 54 hotels doing Travel Planner discounted rates for SDCC, 4 have not signed on for those rates in 2016. Please note that doesn't include the hotels that have signed on, but are making fewer rooms available at those rates.
  • SDCC organizers and San Diego officials are "optimistic" the Con will stay in San Diego.

Then weirdly the article says this: "The cost of hotel rooms is the one factor that San Diego has room to negotiate. It could be the secret weapon the city can use to keep the convention in town."

What? Everything else we've been told points to hotel rates going up. We saw that ourselves in the very special "overflow" site this year. We're just not getting as many discounted rooms as we used to.  If Hilton Bayfront was saying, "Sorry, sold out unless you want to pay a thousand a night" this year, where exactly is the room to negotiate? Unless city officials pressure hotels to return to discounted prices again, I fail to see a "secret weapon."

But maybe that'll happen. Maybe the Comic-Con overlords will slap some sense into local hotels and tell them to quit being greedy. I'm just not sure what the incentive would be, since the customer base for those expensive rooms is clearly there.

In the meantime, Anaheim will sing its siren's song and L.A. will join the chorus. It's a little disconcerting that we're still having this conversation in spring 2015 when CCI's contract is so close to its end. This dialogue has been going on for years - and the fact that it hasn't landed on a resolution yet makes a lot of us dubious that any kind of satisfactory outcome is going to happen in the next 2 years.

2 SDCC contests - 1 for Aussies only

28 APRIL 2015

Are you feeling lucky? Contest season is upon us - but depending on where you reside, only 1 of these contests will be open to you.

The Geek Week Contest

If you're still riding high on all the photos and news coming out of Star Wars Celebration, and you live in Alabama, you've got plans this Saturday: going to Books-A-Million's Star Wars event, which will involve costume and trivia contests and other themed activities for adults and kids. They're also giving away a Star Wars prize pack on Facebook.

They're also giving away something even better in their SDCC contest. The winner gets 2 SDCC badges, hotel room and airfare. Not a bad contest at all - but it's running for 2 months, which means you'll be competing with half the planet. So factor that into your optimism level.

Deadline is 25 April.

The Down Under Contest

This contest says it's from 20th Century Fox. However, it requires a purchase and looks incredibly unofficial.

It's open to Australians only. To enter you have to buy a "Fox TV product" marked with a sticker mentioning this promotion from a JB Hi-Fi store. Then you officially enter the contest online with your purchase receipt number and say in 25 words or less what excites you most about going to Comic-Con. Yes, 25 words or less. You have to be both excited and succinct.

Here's what the winner gets: the usual two badges, airfare and hotel, plus 1 "cosplay costume shop gift voucher" for $120.00 and a $500.00 Visa card for both people, plus a Meet & Greet with a TV or film personality.

I don't know. I hate to stand in the way of an Australian nerd's happiness, so I'm posting this and hoping it's legit.

Deadline is 24 May.

Say hi to the next group of SDCC special guests

27 APRIL 2015

Today's crop of San Diego Comic-Con special guests should make a few attendees happy:

Jonathan Hickman: writer - Secret Wars, Manhattan Projects, East of West

Stan Lee: writer/icon - X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, countless projects

Laura Martin: artist - Planetary, Star Wars

Scott Shawl: cartoonist - Captain Carrot, His Amazing Zoo Crew

J. Michael Straczynski: TV and comic book writer - Spider-Man, Babylon 5, Superman: Earth One

And that makes 60. 

Back to the Future documentary coming to SDCC

23 APRIL 2015

2015 has been a savory year for nostalgic cinephiles. We'll have a fresh Star Wars movie in theatres (despite Star Wars Celebration, this still doesn't seem real to me) and a gaudy new Jurassic Park movie and even a Mad Max flick. TV shows like X-Files, Twin Peaks and Tales from the Dark Side are also coming back from the grave. But there's another highly anticipated movie date this year: October 2015 is the era visited in the movie Back to the Future.

This is such a big deal that there's going to be a 5-day party in LA this October celebrating the entire movie trilogy - and there's even a Kickstarter-financed documentary, which will be coming to San Diego Comic-Con.

Having never seen the movie, I was a bit surprised to realize it had such a passionate following. Call it a pop culture blind spot. But this article is a fairly interesting read about not only the documentary itself, but the filmmakers' adventures in the process of making it. Maybe once fandom was seen as a passive appreciation of a book or film universe, but today people recognize it as a community and an experience worth chronicling. The documentary has over 50 hours of interviews and footage so far, exploring both the fan and the production side of the film. That's devotion.

The actual quote in terms of SDCC is "We're hoping to hit the film festival circuit. So we'll be doing more appearances like San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con." That suggests the documentary will be screened there as part of the film fest, but it's possible it will have a panel too. Stay tuned.

Eisner nominees have been announced

22 APRIL 2015

The Eisner nominees have been announced. Comic-Con 2015 is starting to feel very official, isn't it?

CCI says of this year's Eisner nominees that they "highlight the wide range of material being published in comics and graphic novel form today, from companies big and small, in print and online." I mostly agree. There's nothing too radical on the list, but then every field has its awarded work and work that's more, well, experimental. I think the fact that even awarded work in comics can go off the narrative beaten path is something to celebrate. Compare themes, characters and storylines to the films and TV shows that win awards, and it's obvious that good comic book work exists in an imaginative universe like no other.

Nominees who won't surprise you: Brian K. Vaughan leading individual nominations with 4; Grant Morrison, Noelle Stephenson, Paul Tobin and Gary Groth getting 3 nominations each.  The titles topping the lists include Saga, Multiversity, Ms. Marvel, Bandette, Sandman, Little Nemo and Astro City.

Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Fantagraphics dominate among publishers but Image and IDW got a decent number of nods as well. Whether you think they got enough nods is your call. BOOM!, Oni and Drawn & Quarterly showed up a few times.

If you're a professional in the industry, you're eligible to vote at The deadline is 1 June. And of course the ceremony itself will be Friday night at the Con.

SDCC Open Registration was 2 months ago today

21 APRIL 2015

On 21 February, most of us found out whether or not we'd be going to San Diego Comic-Con this summer. That was 2 months ago; we're still 2.5 months out from the actual Con. Which makes this a good midway point to think about where you are.

Housing. Are you still one of the unfortunate homeless attendees? Keep checking the site. Rooms are still available. But if you're waiting for the Hyatt to open up, you may be waiting a long time. At some point, you have to settle on something and pay up. Don't forget to join your hotel's reward program for free Wifi and other benefits.

Money. Speaking of paying. A few months back, I suggested saving money, even if you're a born spender. Whether or not you've done so is your business. But I will point out this for first-timers: Comic-Con spending goes beyond badge, hotel and restaurants. Obviously there are the exclusives and other prizes you buy on the floor, but there are also events. So far we haven't had too many announcements but the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops at SDCC and the Walking Dead events are just two examples of outside events you may want to splurge on. Trust me, over the coming weeks you'll hear about a cavalcade of comedy shows, band shows, parties, screenings, live tapings and other events to tempt your wallet.

Marketing. Maybe you'll just bring business cards; maybe your plans include full color portfolio samples, merchandise and promotional material. 2.5 months isn't a lot of time to get cranking on this, especially if you're dependent on co-creators, printers and developers, so don't wait much longer.

Fitness. You'll be walking way more than you anticipate - and if you're not ready, you will be sore and exhausted on your 2nd day. Comic-Con is its own type of marathon and if you want to enjoy it, it's good to get your feet and legs ready. I'd suggest walking daily even for just 30 minutes. You really will be glad you did it once you're there.

Cosplay. If you're of a mind to try cosplaying this year, plan/buy/glue/sew now. Experienced cosplayers have this knocked, but first-timers tend to underestimate how itchy, hot or poor quality a costume can be. Or they'll order a special outfit from somewhere (again, I'm talking to attendees who just dress up, not competitive cosplayers who don't do store bought) and then it arrives in the wrong size or color.

On the one hand, Open Reg seems like a long time ago; on the other, we all know the next two and a half months are going to fly by. Get your logistics locked down now because it's easy to forget them in your excitement once parties and collectibles and parties start getting announced.

And the new SDCC special guests are...

20 APRIL 2015

Happy Earth Day. To celebrate, CCI has dropped a rather showy group of special guests on us - and they say these Monday announcements will continue into May, so we'll definitely have 60 special guests at a minimum when all is said and done. Who knows, maybe they'll go straight to 75.

Random thought: it would be cool if CCI threw an annual attendee event with all of the special guests. Maybe a meet and greet, maybe a charity dinner where every table gets a different guest as their server, maybe a speed mentoring event. Not that I ever see that happening.

The special guests are...

Greg Capullo: artist - Batman, Spawn

Tony Harris: artist - Starman, Ex Machina

Skottie Young: writer, cartoonist - Oz Books, I Hate Fairyland, Rocket Raccoon

Jeff Smith: cartoonist - Bone, RASL

Maggie Thompson: writer, editor, comics historian - Comics Buyer's Guide

Silicon Valley Comic Con is now a thing

18 APRIL 2015

Maybe you'll have a feeling about this and maybe you won't. Disparate forces such as Stan Lee and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak have commingled their powers and created Silicon Valley Comic Con.

It will burst into life on 19-20 March 2016, and will probably be exactly how you envision a Con in Silicon Valley. Described by Wozniak as "the place to experience all your favorite things at one great show," SVCC sounds at first like a rising upstart and competitor to SDCC. But then he clarified, "Technology is pop culture in Silicon Valley and around the globe. Entertainment and innovation inspire and bring so much joy to the world, and I'm so excited that we will showcase both at Silicon Valley Comic Con. It's finally the Age of the Geek and we're ready to celebrate!"

So... Silicon Valley Commerce Con? Obviously Stan Lee will bring his magical comic book prowess to the event, and it'll do healthy business considering San Jose and San Francisco don't have WonderCon anymore. When it comes to delivering up the promised "Hollywood celebrities and various tech leaders," Wozniak and his Apple connections will no doubt import the very best. Who knows, maybe they'll throw in a few bands and film fests and call it South by Silicon West CES.

But will it have that nerdy Comic Con feel? As big as SDCC has gotten over the years, I think CCI has done a good job at preserving that original ambiance of wandering through aisles of random wonders. Yes, it's much more bombastic and corporate in parts, but its basement origins are still palpable in places. Somehow I can't imagine a Comic Con created by the man who created Apple - a sleek design-driven brand - to deliver that lovably shabby feel.

But maybe that's what people want. While some attendees enjoy pawing through cartons of back issues and weird DVDs and bizarre art, knives and jewelry, maybe other attendees long for streamlined tables of well-preserved comics and elegant demos. This could be right up their alley. Maybe there will be Eric Schmidt cosplay and photo ops with IPO jillionaires. It's Silicon Valley! Those innovative boy kings can do anything. I bet they won't even get sued by CCI.

We already knew that corporate entities like ReedPOP and the people behind Salt Lake Comic Con embrace the business side of Con popularity, and it's clear that every town with two or more zip codes is determined to have its own Con. But to nostalgic purists like me, the idea of corporate megalodons taking over the Con universe is just a bit cringe-worthy.

Still, this could be - I'm being genuine - a really satisfying Comic Con. If it can blend Hollywood, comics and tech (and obviously the networking will be killer), it's going to appeal to many current SDCC attendees. And I'm curious to see how that Apple touch can technologically revolutionize Con bureaucracy. Maybe Wozniak can put a ding in the badge sale universe or something.

Wozniak did say, "In life, the most important thing is to have fun" - and while fun is maybe not the first word I'd associate with the workaholism capital of America, he obviously cares about creating an entertaining experience for geeks. And he's right in that tech, geek, nerd and pop culture circles are all blurring together. So will Silicon Valley Comic Con be worth attending? I doubt it will persuade too many people to opt out of SDCC. But between Wozniak and Stan Lee, it's probably going to be one interesting show.

Your Walking Dead dreams come true at SDCC

17 APRIL 2015

I'm not just talking about the Walking Dead panel or the panel for the new unfortunately-named Fear The Walking Dead (which will have the most epic line ever), and of course the Walking Dead Escape. All of that will be there - but we have a new event this year too.

The Walking Dead Escape
Friday, 10 July -Saturday, 11 July
6 pm - 10 pm
Petco Park

This "revamped version" will have the usual zombies of course, but also Negan and his Saviors. So if you're only up on the show and not the comics, you might be in for a surprise.

As to your participation options:

Walker. You get transformed by a makeup artist with one prosthetic piece to look even more corpse-like. You'll also attend Walker School, get a Walking Dead Escape poster and t-shirt... and you can hang out on the course as much as you like.

Survivor. You also get a t-shirt and a poster. Escape waves are every 15 minutes so no, you won't be out there long, but all that running from the dead and psychotic should tire you out pretty fast.

Combo. Why not do both? Run the course as a Survivor, then return painted as a Walker.

The Walker Stalker Fan Fest

Friday, 10 July -Saturday, 11 July
11 am - 5 pm
Petco Park

This will include cast appearances, panels, autograph sessions, cosplay, photo ops and more. Tickets will go on sale soon - and no, you don't need a badge. I'm betting many attendees will opt for the Fan Fest over waiting in the Hall H line for the panel.

This is a great example of why I tell people to stick around even when they didn't get a full 4-day badge. Events like this are just as good as what you'll find inside the convention center. (Sometimes they're better.) And with these being on Friday and Saturday, even people with just a Sunday badge or Thursday/Sunday should be around to participate.

Get your free tickets now for Batman vs Superman trailer

17 APRIL 2015

There were 3 projected dates for the Batman vs. Superman trailer: the Superbowl, WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con. And... all of them were wrong.

Instead it's going to be at IMAX Monday if you want to see it on the big screen - and tickets are free. So that should be some consolation to those of you who won't be at SDCC this year.

Between the Star Wars trailer and this, it's quite a week for fans.

San Diego Symphony SDCC tickets on sale now

16 APRIL 2015
It's that time again; San Diego Symphony's Summer Pops program is returning with two SDCC shows and tickets are already on sale.
Thursday, 9 July - 8 pm
Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions
This will "take audiences of all age on a powerful musical retrospective through the popular video game franchise's most memorable melodies," accompanied by "exciting visuals on giant screens."
Saturday, 11 July - 8 pm
Star Trek: Into Darkness
The 2013 movie will be broadcast on enormous screens as the symphony orchestra performs the film score live.
If you've never been to San Diego SDCC symphony show, it's an event I recommend highly. It is incredibly relaxing to sit out by the water and escape from the SDCC circus for a few hours. They have popcorn, wine and other snacks and beverages, and it's all very accessible since it's literally behind the convention center. Plus the shows start at 8 pm, so you can still go out after.
Tickets are on sale now.