Sure, San Diego Comic-Con is great and all, but being camped inside a convention center with non-stop noise, sweaty fans, and sweatier celebrities can drive even the best of us insane. Luckily, pretty much all of San Diego is being taken over by nerds, and nerdy events – so you can leave the Con, without ever leaving the Con. Here are ten events that will technically take you outside:
If you can pry your eyes away from the latest game demo, or that limited edition copy of NFL Superpro #34, and look just across the street, you’ll see Trickster, the Slamdance to SDCC Sundance. A mini Con right outside the Con (actually a pop-up store), Trickster has a focus on art, workshops, and amazing guests like Skottie Young, Mike Mignola, Mike Allred, and way more than we can list here. Also? It’s free. Fans of indie fests like MoCCA and Stumptown will be in heaven. Tuesday, 7/19 – Sunday, 7/24; see the site for more details.
2. Protest DC
We don’t actually think you should protest DC, but there will be a protest of DC’s upcoming relaunch right outside the Con. Because a few hundred people dressed in colorful costumes, holding signs and shouting will stand out at the San Diego Convention Center. With a fair amount of press attention sure to be focused on this regardless of how many people show up (right now, the Facebook invite has 451 attending), this will be a buzzy thing to talk about whatever side you fall on. Saturday, 7/23 at 2pm.
3. Go See Captain America
I was in Charlotte for HeroesCon the weekend X-Men First Class opened, and every conversation I had either started with, “Have you seen X-Men?” or “I just saw X-Men…” With Captain America riding huge positive buzz, and opening the Wednesday of San Diego, where better to see it than in an auditorium filled with screaming fans? Plus, with star Chris Evans in the area, who knows when he might drop in to a screening…
4. Get Super Drunk
There are plenty of opportunities to get totally schnokered at SDCC, and we always advocate drinking responsibly, but at least there’s a few programmed events where you can sip the demon alcohol with a few new friends. BOOM! Studios Annual Drink Up (7/21 at 9pm) is at the Hilton Bar, and a great chance to harass – I mean, politely chat with – your favorites from the publisher. Meanwhile, there’s the Super Hero Pub Crawl, which takes you to a number of area bars. Make sure you have Wolverine’s healing factor before you head out, though. 7/23 at Noon-9pm.
5. Something Viral, Probably
Every year at San Diego, there’s some sort of viral film thingy that happens outside the Con. One year it was THE DARK KNIGHT, another TRON LEGACY. This year, rumors center around a S.H.I.E.L.D. viral that will end in an AVENGERS teaser trailer. Point being, if you see guys in black suits wandering around, knock them down and search their pockets.
6. Fight For Middle-Earth
Speaking of something viral, Warner Brothers Interactive has promised something cool to commemorate the release of Lord of the Rings: War in the North, a video game prequel to the films (and books). You’ll be able to play the game, natch, but it seems like there will be some sort of show/battle/thing. At the very least, we’re guessing Brian Wood – who’s writing the comic book that ties into the game – will be there, and he’s a good guy. So that’ll be nice. 7/23 at 8pm.
7. Watch a Podcast
What’s more exciting than watching an audio podcast, live? Well, if it’s Chris Hardwick’s popular The Nerdist podcast, or Kevin Smith’s even more popular SMODcast, pretty darn exciting. The Nerdist’s first show, which features DOCTOR WHO stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan is sold out, so a second, mystery show has been added (7/23 at 11pm). And Smith hits the stage with co-star Jason Mewes for a special recording (7/22 at 11pm) which promises to answer the question: why was it important to make Batman piss himself?
8. Meet-Up With Your Evil Twin
Whatever your very, very specific interest, from DOCTOR WHO, to even WHITE COLLAR, there’s a meetup. Though since you’re super into that, I didn’t need to tell you that, did I? Our favorite, though, is the Slashers Dinner Fan Meetup, which has nothing to do with horror fandom, and everything to do with slash fiction. And we’d go, but we’re too busy working on our erotic Slasher Dinner Fan Meetup/The Nerdist Podcast Recording fan-fic story. 7/22 at 8pm
9. Get Haunted
San Diego’s popular Haunted Hotel opens about three months early for two nights of spookity fun. I’ve got nothing snarky to say about this, because it sounds like a great idea! With the Hyatt being a terrifying place to hang out most nights anyway, it—Oh, I’m sorry, you mean an actual Haunted Hotel? Never mind. 7/22 and 7/23 from 7pm-11pm
10. Party Like a Pirate
One of the actual pirate ships from the Pirates of the Caribbean films hosts the pricey but fun Marked Men Party III. Not only that, but dozens of actors depicting characters from the movies – including Captain Jack Sparrow – will be populating the ship, while you partake of food, dancing, and lots and lots of rum. And if Marked Men Party III is anything like the third Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll spend a lot of time betraying and allying yourself with different groups of people, before eventually settling on a halfway satisfying ending. Sounds like a party to us. 7/22 at 8pm.