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Comic-Con 2012

July 2, 2012
Comic-Con 2012 San Diego

Comic-Con 2012 (Photo: Lisa Schmidt)

Written by:  Alexandra Hart & Julie Gelfat 

Comic-Con, the annual festival of animation and the popular arts begins with the super-powered “Preview Night” on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, continues with the full convention on Thursday, July 12, 2012, and ends on Sunday, July 15, 2012.

As we’ve reported in the past, a supernatural influx of people comes together to commune with each other. Thousands of people, many dressed as their favorite comic or video game characters, descend on downtown San Diego to interact, to buy and trade collectibles, and to hear the latest news on their favorite forms of entertainment, whether in print, online, or in 3-D.

Comic-Con is a nerd’s utopia. Everyone is free to be themselves, whether in costume or not. This international convention is a feast for the eyes and all the other senses. Be sure to bring your cameras/smart phones as many of the costumed wonders will pose for you in character.

There is something for every fan boy and girl at Comic-Con. From the massive Hall H to the small lecture rooms, people flock to lectures from industry insiders and celebrities alike. For those lucky enough to have a ticket, entrance to “The Con” is access to a world beyond their current position in life. It is fantasy made into reality.

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Photos/Slideshow: David Schmidt & Lisa Schmidt

We’ll be attending this extravaganza and plan to document our extraterrestrial experiences with our trusty digital camera & our communicators. We’ll be posting these photos to our Facebook page which can be found here.

The San Diego/Comic-Con Connection

Why is this convention in San Diego? It started here many light years ago and although the organizers have toyed with the idea of going to other magic kingdoms, San Diego has continued to lure them back. The Comic-Con experience extends beyond the San Diego Convention Center as it literally spills out onto the streets and sidewalks of the Gaslamp District. In fact, all of San Diego gets into the Comic-Con experience because it’s good for tourism, business and it’s 100% fun.

TIP! San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has put together a very nice listing of where to find what in the Gaslamp.

Celebrity Spotting at Comic-Con

One of the most intriguing aspects of Comic-Con is that famous celebrities attend the convention in costume and sometimes even try out an act with the public. Major movie studios and TV networks have come to Comic-Con to show previews and make presentations that showcase cult, favorite and brand new shows. In fact, so many appearances are made that we don’t even have the final list at press time. If you want the latest information, be sure to go to Comic-Con’s ever-changing special guest list.

Autographs – Like every year, Comic-Con 2012 will  feature a galaxy of guests that will be on hand to sign autographs. Located upstairs in the Sails Pavilion, the Autograph Area is the place to go for a special memento from a variety of artists, authors, and actors from every era of popular culture. The Autograph Area is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Update: Photos from Preview Night 2012:

Comic-Con 2012 – Preview Night (Photo: Dave Schmidt)

How to Get Around Comic-Con

The San Diego Convention Center is completely consumed by Comic-Con. Be sure to wear very comfortable shoes & bring a fresh pair of socks. A map of the various meeting rooms and halls can be found in the official printed catalog or online. Here is an Exhibit Hall Map that you can refer to during your Comic-Con experience.

Comic-Con 2012 – San Diego (Photo: Dave Schmidt)

When to Go to Comic-Con

Wednesday, July 11  (Preview Night) – 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (4-Day Memberships ONLY)
Thursday, July 12 – 9:30 a.m. to 7:00p.m. *
Friday, July 13 – 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. *
Saturday, July 14 – 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. *
Sunday, July 15 – 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

* Additional nighttime events and programming run until after midnight.

What’s Happening at Comic-Con?

The organizers of Comic-Con do their very best to update each day’s activities, lectures, panels, screenings, and events. Here is a link.

Have you downloaded the iPhone Comic-Con app? It’s a great way to keep tabs on each day’s event while you’re on the go. Best of all, it’s free. You can find it here.

How to Get to Comic-Con

Comic-Con Parking InformationParking in downtown San Diego is limited but there are a number of paid parking lots that you can secure if you arrive early. Don’t bother trying to park at a meter because there aren’t enough long-term meters near the San Diego Convention Center, although you can always give it a try. You can purchase an official Comic-Con Parking Pass in advance and online through Comic-Con. There are various parking lots (both on-site and off-site) that are participating in this demonstration project.

Public transit is a great way to get in and out of the area and this includes the many Comic-Con sponsored shuttles that bring conventioneers to and fro. Unfortunately, there is still no way for humans to materialize in and out of Hall H.

Comic-Con Can Shuttle You for FreeIf you are one of the thousands that plan to travel to San Diego for Comic-Con, please take advantage of Comic-Con’s free shuttle service. This year, organizers are going to try a 24-hour shuttle service for the first time this year. Why? Comic-Con knows just how impacted parking can get in the downtown area. In order to ease congestion and increase convenience, Comic-Con has chartered specially marked buses to shuttle between various convention hotels and the San Diego Convention Center. In addition to Downtown hotels, the Comic-Con organizers have now extended the shuttle service area to include Mission Valley, Shelter Island & North Harbor Island hotels!

The FREE Comic-Con shuttle service, sponsored by Showtime and coordinated by Seat Planners Incorporated, starts Wednesday, July 11 from 3:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. for Comic-Con’s Preview Night. On Thursday, July 12, 24-hour service begins starting at 5:00 a.m. and runs continuously until Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

TIP! The good folks at Comic-Con have also taken locals into account – even if you’re not staying at a downtown hotel, you can still utilize this service by parking your car at a one of the designated hotel pick-up areas  and taking the shuttle.

Comic-Con and Public TransportationThe San Diego Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) will be providing Red Line Trolleys as a special event service from Qualcomm Stadium to the Convention Center every 15 minutes all four days of Comic Con. Parking is free and plentiful at Qualcomm Stadium (this is where the San Diego Chargers football team play).

Tip: Transit riders should purchase a Day Pass for $5. Better yet, buy a Four-Day pass for only $15.

Disabled Access & Childcare Services

Disabled Services – Comic-Con’s Disabled Services Department’s goal is to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable as possible at Comic-Con. Special attention is paid to attendees who need assistance with mobility and language.

  • Wheelchairs are available for loan in 2-3-hour increments on a first-come, first-serve basis at the San Diego Convention Center with a picture ID and a $20 deposit.
  • A special rest area for the disabled, elderly, expectant moms, and parents with babies.
  • Cold storage of medications.
  • American Sign Language interpreters for the deaf during the large panels and the Masquerade.
  • Special limited seating for the disabled for large programming events and the Masquerade.

Child Care Services for Comic-Con – Comic-Con has a long-standing tradition of providing a childcare vendor (KiddieCorp) to service those conventioneers who wish to give their kids a break from all the action.

One Last Thing

Be sure to bring your patience with you and set your phasers to stun. May the Force be with you!

If you have any comments that you would like to share with us and the rest of the universe, please feel free to provide relevant comments below.

Would you like our latest edition to land in your inbox? All you need to do is subscribe. To subscribe to the blog, look for the SUBSCRIBE button just below the photo on the upper right-hand corner. If you want to find out about things to do in San Diego, go to San Diego Travel We can be reached at: sdtips @ For even more information, please  follow us on Twitter & Facebook!

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