Ways you can enjoy Comic-Con even if you don’t have a ticket
Alex Owens | Downtown News
Comic-Con starts July 17 and while tickets for the event are sold out, it is actually quite easy to enjoy the event without having a pass.
During the main days of the 5-day “Con,” people who walk down Fifth and Sixth avenues towards the Convention Center will be inundated with all sorts of freebies – from stickers, to movie passes and even free ice cream novelties.
In addition, it’s common for local businesses to be rented out by media outlets like Cartoon Network and turned into special Con-only boutiques.
Exact details were still being worked out at press time but here is a list of what some local Gaslamp businesses are doing during the Con.
RA Sushi on Broadway is offering a special themed menu during Comic-Con weekend with specialty rolls like the “How I Met You Maki,” the “Tuna Takei” and the “Zombie Roll.” On July 17, the Con’s preview night, the restaurant will feature discounted drinks and a pop-up art exhibit by GMONIK, a self-described trash pop artist whose work is inspired by iconic characters from anime and pop culture.
Spike Africa’s will be hosting a costume contest July 19 starting at 7:30 p.m., and the first place winner gets $150. In addition, the seafood restaurant is offering Liquid Kryptonite cocktails and a burger named after Iron Man’s alter ego Tony Stark that is topped with soft shell crab.
On July 20, LOUNGEsix at Hotel Solamar will being holding its annual “Odd Ball” party for those who don’t have a Comic-Con pass, an invite or don’t care to stand in hour-long lines. There’s no cover or long lines, but it’s not uncommon for celebrities from movies like “Twilight” to show up and mingle with the fans.
Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar will be offering drink specials and free cover to the jazz bar to all those with Comic-Con badge.
Pinzimini at the Westin Gaslamp has introduced a quartet of Super Hero pizzas including the Wolverine (barbecue chicken, grilled red onions, mozzarella); The Hunger Games (bacon, chicken, pepperoni, sausage); The Robo Cop (jalapenos, pork carnitas, asiago sauce, black beans, mozzarella); and the Spider-Man (pesto, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, mozzarella).
Meanwhile, Katsuya has created a special menu in honor of “Catching Fire,” the second book in the “Hunger Games” series, to ensure the odds will be in any Comic-Con guest’s flavor.
Menu items include Catching Fire Robata Wings; Peeta’s Shishito and Edamame Tasting; Quarter Quell Roll; Katniss Evergreen Fizz cocktail, and the Capital cocktail, which blends three muddled blackberries with Plymouth gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and a splash of lemonade, garnished with Lemon Disk and halfway covered with pop rocks.
The Sidebar is adding a special touch for people who order bottle service – the booze will be delivered by a super hero – while the Grant Grill has created the Green Goblin, a cocktail made from London gin, Midori, and fresh pressed apple juice.
The Sheraton San Diego has created cocktail menu with an “Anchorman” theme cocktail menu to help Comic-Con fans stay classy, even after the “Scotchy-Scotch-Scotch” cocktail, which blends Dewar’s Highlander honey-flavored scotch whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and varnished with a lemon wheel and honeycomb.
The W San Diego will also be serving Comic-Con cocktails including “The Hobbit”-inspired Shire Flower, which has vodka, Elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and apricot schnapps.
On July 20, San Diego’s “hopheads” should have a super time with the Heroes Brew Fest, a craft beer festival benefitting the San Diego Coast Keeper and Surfrider Foundation. Beer-loving guests are encouraged to dress up in super hero costumes and enjoy live music and local craft beers from breweries like Karl Strauss, Coronado Brewing Co., Aztec Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing, Stone, Iron Fist, Butcher’s Brewing, Ballast Point, Mission, Monkey Paw and Green Flash. All the suds and fun take place behind the Convention Center, at Embarcadero Marina Park North from noon to 5 p.m. For more info, visit heroesbrewfest.com.
Of course, if you really want to get into the Comic-Con spirit but can’t get into the Con (the guards and volunteers are notorious sticklers about checking passes), the next best thing will be to participate in the Seventh Annual SDCC Zombie Walk, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on July 20 at Children’s Park, located on Island Avenue, between Front & First streets, Downtown.
Aspiring zombies are asked not to bring extra blood or anything messy and are forbidden to leave blood on the ground in or near the meeting location. As the SDZombieWalk.com website puts it: Being a “zombie” does not excuse you from common courtesy.
Alex Owens is a San Diego based freelance writer.