Welcome Comic-Con Attendees!


Downtown San Diego will be full of excitement this weekend as over 125,000 attendees from around the globe arrive for the 2008 Comic-Con Convention. In this post, I’ll describe the hoopla around Comic-Con for the locals and provide a list of resource links for Comic-Con attendees.

Comic-Con is a Huge Star-Studded Affair

The San Diego Comic-Con began at the U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970. At first, the Comic-Con convention focused on its namesake, comics. Now, it has grown to become the largest pop culture event in the world covering comics, toys, video games, and more. The Comic-Con Exhibitors page also notes this is the largest convention in the United States in terms of attendees. Exhibitors include big name companies such as BBC America, Mattel, Harper-Collins, Hasbro, and NBC.

Comic-Con is a Hollywood favorite. Major movie production companies such as Lions Gate Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Walt Disney, and Lucasfilm will be on hand to build up a groundswell of support for upcoming movie releases and to spot the newest trends in pop culture. Hollywood stars expected to appear for the 2008 Comic-Con include Will Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, and Dan Aykroyd. Several other notables will be speaking at the event, including writers Ray Bradbury and Dean Koontz as well as actress Noel Neill (Lois Lane).

Comic-Con Tickets are Sold-Out

Comic-Con is so popular that all single day and four day passes are sold out. Scalpers have been earning several hundred dollars reselling tickets. However, the Variety Magazine Blog shares a word of caution on buying scalped Comic-Con tickets. It appears the automated ticket readers at Comic-Con will associate tickets with the buyer’s name in their database. Those without the proper I.D. will be turned away. The Comic-Con web site notes name changes can no longer be processed but those with complimentary badges may still register online.

Traffic & Transit

The Convention starts Thursday night and runs through Saturday. Fortunately, the Padres are out of town playing in Pittsburgh. Otherwise, the Gaslamp and East Village could have been a real mess. The Trolley is running their special event Red Line and expanded Green Line Service. Attendees can view the full trolley schedule for Comic-Con at the MTS web site.

Drivers can pull up the directions for Comic-Con from Google Maps. There is parking underneath the convention center. However, if you don’t mind walking a couple hundred yards, there is a large parking garage just southeast of the convention center where Harbor Drive meets 8th Avenue.

Another option would be to exit the I-5 at 10th Street. Drive all the way down 10th Street and park at a garage around the Padres’ Petco Park. Petco Park is across the street from the San Diego Convention Center. This option keeps you from getting caught up in the traffic in front of the Convention Center and in the Gaslamp Quarter.

The Comic-Con web site also provides a map of local parking garages.

Comic-Con 2008 Schedule

The Comic-Con web site offers a convention center map and fully searchable program schedule. There will be free wi-fi courtesy of DreamWorks. If you have any trouble accessing their site because it is too busy, let me know and I’ll try to post the map and schedule.

The Latest Information on Comic-Con

Comic-Con RSS Feed from Comic-Con

Comic-Con Blog from Variety Magazine

Comic-Con Preview from Entertainment Weekly, including 27 Sneak Peaks

Live Video & Blogging from Ugo.com gaming web site

$5,000 Sweepstakes from MashOn.com

Things to do in San Diego

Should you need a break from the Convention, here are a few things going on in San Diego during Comic-Con. All are within a 10 minute walk of the convention center unless otherwise noted.

Gaslamp Dining – Get the full list of restaurant options in the Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Entertainment – Get the full list of entertainment options in the Gaslamp Quarter

Phantom of the Opera at Civic Theatre

Music of Billy Joel at the 2008 Summer Pops on the South Embarcadero

Movies, including ‘The Dark Night’ at Horton Plaza and the Pacific Gaslamp Stadium

The Dark Night on IMAX – 15 minutes drive north of downtown; just off I-15. More info on IMAX.

Dave & Busters – Directions from Google Map – 10 minute drive northeast of downtown; just off I-8 near Qualcomm Stadium.

Have a great time in San Diego!

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