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Comic-Con International, San Diego

Event date: July 18–21, 2019
Comic-Con International, San Diego
Photo by Gage Skidmore

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It’s big, crowded and bloated with corporates wanting a piece of pop-culture pie. However the San Diego Comic-Con still manages to attract a growing number of super fans, regular fans and professionals who lap up the behemoth multi-day expo. As the North American nexus for the sci-fi and fantasy community, Comic-Con features hundreds of film screenings, costume competitions, autograph signings, stalls and more within 22 rooms in the San Diego Convention Center.

Although its current scale is larger than most music festivals such as Coachella and Burning Man, Comic-Con is still a celebration of contemporary arts, with its roots as a humble comic book convention for 100 plus attendees in 1970.

No doubt the culture has expanded and opened up commercially however it is still a place where nerd culture thrives and the social atmosphere is heady with sweaty men in capes, body paint, latex and backpack toting enthusiasts intent on collecting the best in freebies or meeting industry idols. Plan carefully, and remember the people-watching opportunities are endless, even for those non-fans who might have to accompany someone more involved.

Most importantly, fantasy and escape from modern world duties are the order of the day here. Talking oneself into not needing a decent amount of personal space will help somewhat too.


  • Flown in from out of state? The Convention Center offers a shipping service for any goods purchased, which may prove cheaper and less admin that adding parcels onto checked baggage allowance.
  • Attempt to score a Professionals pass. Anyone interested will have to explain why they should be included in this section of ticketed guests, but the allowances are surprisingly flexible. It helps to come sporting a fantastical costume, or have a social media channel dedicated to something expo-related.
  • Book accommodation well ahead of time. San Diego can barely handle the influx of attendees, although the sunny warm climate and selection of good restaurants makes up for this.
  • Pay attention to the Quick Guide. All the most important details are included in here, including navigation tips and detailed maps.

Visit Comic-Con International, San Diego

Crowd walking outside Comic-Con convention centre with a palm tree lined boulevard behind it, San Diego
Comic books installation arranged in a spiral, Comic-Con, San Diego
Trio dressed as comic book characters at Comic-Con, San Diego
Comic book character figurines on a display table at Comic-Con, San Diego
Artwork of comic book heroines faces lined up against a wall at Comic-Con, San Diego
Crowd thronging in the Comic-Con hall banners and posters above their heads, San Diego
Published on December 6, 2016
Location: San Diego
Country: United States Of America ›
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