Comic-Con Museum
The Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. Photo courtesy of the museum

Even if you don’t have a Comic-Con badge, you can experience the pop culture spectacle at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park for just the price of admission.

Throughout Comic-Con, which began Wednesday night at the San Diego Convention Center, the museum will host a variety of hands-on activities, talks and film screenings for all ages.

“Not everyone can get into Comic-Con, but everyone can come visit the Comic-Con Museum,” said Museum Executive Director Rita Vandergaw. “If you’re a movie buff, love to draw, Hemingway aficionado, future astronomer or coder, or fan of Marvel’s Spider-Man or PAC-MAN, we’ve got an event for you during Comic-Con!”

Key offerings, free with Museum admission, include:

  • Movie screening of “The Rocketeer” on Friday, July 22 at 3 p.m. Theater seating is limited — first come, first served.
  • Archie comic book artist Dan Parent will lead a “How to Draw Archie” Workshop on Saturday, July 23 from 3-4 p.m. (space is limited), followed by an autograph session during which Parent will sign exclusive Archie comics for sale from 4-5 p.m.
  • Tied to the sneak preview of the “Hemingway in the Comics” exhibit, showing Ernest Hemingway as an artist and a pop culture icon through the lens of comics, Robert K. Elder will be on hand for book signings on Saturday, July 23 from 4-5 p.m.
  • Signing with author, artist and illustrator Pablo Leon on Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. with limited, free advanced reader copies of “Miles Morales: Stranger Tides” from Scholastic Publishing.
  • Chat with Patrick A. Reed and Dr. Ben Saunders, curators of “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing – The Exhibition” on Sunday, July 24, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • IF/THEN STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) ambassador career talks and hands-on experiments, from coding a video game to caring for live animals, led by female scientists on July 21-24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • PAC-MAN AR Experience: An exclusive look at the limited time PAC-MAN AR Experience on Snapchat at the museum. PAC-MAN will be making appearances on Saturday, July 23, and Sunday, July 24, during Comic-Con Museum operating hours.

With purchase of museum admission, guests can see all the exhibits, including:

  • “PAC-MAN Arcade” – PAC-MAN, a neon-lit arcade room featuring one of the most recognized images on the planet, including arcade games, artwork and memorabilia. During Comic-Con, the Museum will also host the first playable demo stations of “PAC-MAN WORLD™ Re-PAC,” a remastered and enhanced version of one of the most popular PAC-MAN games of all time.
  • “Dave Stevens and the Rocketeer: Art for Arf’ Sake” – In addition to over 40 original covers and pages from “The Rocketeer,” this one-of-a-kind exhibit will also feature Stevens’ early works, his artwork for Comic-Con, animation storyboards, and other uniquely designed props and pieces.
  •  “Eight Decades of Archie” – a unique exhibition that explores artifacts including vintage comic books, animation production materials, priceless pieces of original art and pieces from the WB’s popular “Riverdale” series.

The Comic-Con Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the last entry at 5 p.m. Standard admission is $30; children (ages 4-12) are $18; seniors (65+), students (13-17) and military are $24.


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Ellen Bullock