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KPBS Midday Edition

A Comic-Con Preview For Locals

A gathering of "Doctor Who" cosplayers at a past Comic-Con, July 24, 2011.
Jose Zuniga
A gathering of "Doctor Who" cosplayers at a past Comic-Con, July 24, 2011.
A Comic-Con Preview For Locals
A Comic-Con Preview For Locals GUESTS:Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar Michelle Dederko, editor, DiscoverSD

This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Nationally, the big show is in Cleveland, here in San Diego the week is all about Comic-Con. Ticketholders are planning their strategies for getting the best out of Comic-Con. What if you don't have a ticket? That doesn't mean you have missed out. I spoke with KPBS arts calendar editor Nina Garin and Michelle Dederko editor of DiscoverSD . First of all, ladies, let's test your Comic-Con crowd. Hominy times of you been? This has been my fourth year. Nina? I've been about 10 years, I've done everything from the small panels to almost staying overnight. I have been 23. A long time ago. Why, Nina, should the average San Diego care? This is one of our biggest events. People come from all over the world. It's very international and it's right in our backyard. It brings high profile events. We have Conan O'Brien doing a show here, it's a super spotlight on San Diego. San Diegans can experience a lot of it, or as little as they want. Can you give us an example of that a lot versus a little? If you want to do a lot without a ticket, right next door, at Petco Park there is something called Camp Conival . They have panels and games, they are calling it summer camp for geeks. You can play archery and board games. If you don't want to, but you want to do custom stuff over at hazard Center they have a dog costume contest. If you go near the area coming to get your extremes. Michelle, what does it do for nightlife? A lot of the downtown nightclubs and bars transform into these themed party hubs. Some are open to the public, others get booked completely, by the nation -- major motion picture companies. They are all a great spot for celeb watching. Can you tell us about some of the parties? The MTV fandom awards are getting started on Wednesday before Comic Con. They are having a pre-party at flux with rapper taiga. Omnia San Diego, enactor whose from "Game of Thrones" is DJ in. He has been teaching -- DJ ink and they're calling it the rave of thrones. One of my favorite bars, werewolf is having a massive party focused on Ghostbusters. After 9 PM it will be age 21 and older. It must be hard to get into these parties. Any tips? Some of them are first come first serve. You can show up early, if you know where to go you can squeeze your way in. Others, like the rave of thrones are ticketed at omnia. Some are super exclusive, those are invitation-only. Nina, even the local arts scene gets involved. The San Diego Symphony, they are doing concerts. Last year they did the next door, this year they are back at come play -- Copley Symphony Hall. They will be doing the legend of Zelda and they will be doing videogame concerts. At Balboa Park they have a Balboa Park After Dark and that will have some fun activities. A vintage radio show, at Japanese friendship Garden, the queue party. I know art galleries have Comic Con related shows. If you go down the gaslamp, there are pop-up galleries where you can find your way into. There's specific political cartoon one. Where do people go, Michelle, if they want to see costumes? I would recommend rolling down fourth avenue, Fifth Avenue or six Avenue in the gaslamp. There's a bar called rustic route that has a rooftop. If you are there on Saturday night and things get creepy, there's no reason to panic, it's a zombie walk Saturday night at 6 PM, you will see hundreds dressed as zombies, crawling through downtown. It's free to watch or to walk. Have you been involved in that? You can just dress up and show up. The meeting spot is still pending, you can still dress up in. Is there anything for families to do? Summer movies in the park they will be doing Star Wars at heritage park I think that will be a great event. It's a beautiful park and there will be a free Star Wars screening. There will be a Pokémon go meet up in Balboa Park. Pokemon go and Comic Con collide. If you are going to pick one event? My must pick is "Archer" , the whole cast will be aboard a yacht. This is something that I don't want to miss. They will have the cast their and drinks and DJs. That will be a good time. Nina? As you can tell, I'm not that into geek culture. I do love comedy. There will be too great life tapings of some comedy podcasts, harm in town -- Harmon town. How to enjoy, can I've been speaking with Nina Garin and Michelle the Derrico. Thank you both. San Diego comic con starts this Wednesday, runs through Sunday, July 24 KPBS television will begin coverage of the Republican convention at 5 PM. Join us tomorrow for KPBS Midday Edition at noon. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Thank you for listening.

Comic-Con is quickly approaching and that means fans, celebrities and major traffic is headed our way.

Though the convention itself is completely sold out, there are still plenty of ways San Diegans can experience a little bit of comic book culture without a ticket.

Check out KPBS' list of Comic-Con events that don't require a badge.

Those looking for something as close to the Con as possible can head to off-site gatherings like Camp Conival or Nerd HQ where there are panels, games and plenty of celebrity appearances. Or try one of the many nightclubs nearby, which are themed for specific tastes like "Game of Thrones" and "Archer."

Find San Diego's best arts events on the KPBS/Arts events calendar.

Looking for a taste without getting too close? There are also events at the San Diego Symphony, Balboa Park, family movie screenings and even a costume contest for dogs.

KPBS/Arts calendar editor Nina Garin and Michelle Dederko, editor of DiscoverSD and entertainment reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune, go over the best ways locals can experience Comic-Con.