While Comic-Con can be an enriching and exciting experience, it’s best to come prepared.
If you don’t know what you’re getting into, the Con can quickly turn into a fight for survival as you bob and weave your way through the sweaty mass of capes, plastic lightsabers and metal bikinis, wondering why you’re there and when you can just go home.
Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, here are a few recent developments that will hopefully make surviving the Con that much easier.
The Con is in the air
Maybe you’ve seen the banners, which hail the coming of the Con, all over town. This year, they say “celebrating the popular arts” and feature images from Tim Burton’s upcoming stop-motion animated film “Frankenweenie.” After the critical and commercial flop “Dark Shadows,” Burton is returning to his roots, creating a feature-length version of his original short film from 1984 about a boy who brings his dog back from the dead. Disney will bring “The Art of Frankenweenie” exhibition to the Con this year, and, if you managed to miss out on passes to the Con this year, they’re giving away two Con passes along with VIP passes to the exhibit and a chance to meet Tim Burton. Visit disney.go.com/frankenweenie to enter the sweepstakes.
Fox announces lineup: “Glee” will be back
Despite previous announcements to the contrary, Fox will be bringing the cast of “Glee” back to San Diego this year. While hard-core comic fans have cited the appearance of the “Glee” cast in past years as evidence that the Con has become too commercialized, others have come primarily to see the stars from the show. Last year, I made the mistake of walking past the Fox booth during the “Glee” signing, and the place was a madhouse. For the mob of screaming fans I saw that day, this will probably be welcome news. Fox will also include cast signings from “Bones” and “Sons of Anarchy,” as well as its reliable stable of animated shows, such as “The Simpsons,” “Futurama,” “Family Guy” and “Bob’s Burgers.”
Warner Bros. announces lineup: “Fringe” and "Big Bang" in Hall H
Speaking of TV shows, Warner Bros. has announced its schedule for this year. They will feature signings from stars and producers of “The Big Bang Theory,” “Fringe,” “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries,” among others. Also, for the first time ever, panels for “The Big Bang Theory” and “Fringe” will take place in Hall H (that’s the biggest hall at the Con, in case you didn’t know). Warner Bros. signings are among the most popular at the Con, and usually require wristbands that can only be obtained by lining up at 6 or 7 a.m. The WB booth is one of the most consistently crowded in the entire convention hall, and I would seriously recommend avoiding it entirely if you don’t want to experience an on-foot version of gridlock.
“The Legend of Zelda” concert
If you have any energy left after the first day of the Con, “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Godesses” Concert has added a tour stop at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 12 at Embarcadero Marina Park South, on the harbor outside the convention center. If you’re a “Legend of Zelda” fan, you already know you want to see this. If you’re not, this concert will probably convince you why you should be. The San Diego Symphony will perform fully-orchestrated renditions of famous Koji Kondo-penned melodies from throughout the history of the venerable video game franchise. Sadly, the show is sold out, but you’ll probably be able to hear the music if you hang out around the Marina. For concert tour prices, dates and locations, visit zelda-symphony.com.
No more parking permits available online
Official Comic-Con parking permits are no longer available online, but may still be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. But seriously, do you really want to park downtown? Take my advice and use the trolley to get to the convention center. It is a godsend, and a day pass, which gives you as many rides as you want, is only $5.
Michael Uslan announced as Con’s guest of honor
The venerable comic writer and film producer will introduce and sign copies of his memoir, “The Boy who Loved Batman,” on Friday, July 13, at 1 p.m. in Room 9 of the convention hall. Uslan has been the executive producer of the “Batman” movie franchise from Tim Burton’s “Batman” all the way through Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” He has also produced several “Batman” animated films and written many franchise comics over the years.
Pictured: Visitors to Comic-Con walk on a Comic-Con logo at the Convention Center. — Howard Lipin / U-T