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Top 21 Things to Do for Comic-Con 2016 Badge Holders

Our top picks each day for those lucky enough to score a pass to the convention
San Diego's Comic-Con International is July 21-24. | Photo: Lauren Elisabeth /

By Carlos Rico


  1. The Embarcadero Marina Park will host the red carpet World Premiere of Star Trek Beyond in IMAX. Stars of the film will be on hand to introduce it and the San Diego Symphony will be performing the score live. To receive tickets you will need to have a badge or a valid barcode for any day, and line-up at the park’s box office starting at 11 a.m. on Wednesday where a drawing will start at noon. Once there, get in line to pick a ticket out of a container. The winning tickets will have a distinct stamp on the back. Once a winning ticket has been drawn, the ticket will be exchanged for two wristbands that will admit you and a guest into the World Premiere of Star Trek Beyond that night. Both people wishing to attend the screening must be in attendance at the time of the drawing.


  1. The MTV Fandom Awards return to Petco Park on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Attendees can enjoy free food, drinks, games, giveaways, and more. The event is only open to those with Comic-Con badges. The night will include the tapping of the awards ceremony, along with live musical performance.

  2. Inside the Convention Center on Thursday, basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes a special appearance to launch his new comic book, Mycroft Holmes: The Apocalypse Handbook—which debuts exclusively at Comic-Con with a special variant cover—at a panel discussion from 12-1 p.m. in room 5AB. Abdul-Jabbar, along with series artist Joshua Cassara will reveal exclusive and insider information about the brand new standalone comic book adventure that uncovers the secrets of the elder Holmes brother. Also, each audience member will receive an exclusive show art card.

  3. The Her Universe Fashion Show, the ultimate runway for fan-girl fashion, returns to Comic-Con on Thursday night at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel Harbor Ballroom. This year, 27 amazing designers have been selected to compete in what organizers call the “geek couture” fashion show. The winner will get the opportunity to design a fashion collection with the fashion company and lifestyle brand Her Universe and be sold exclusively at leading pop culture retailer Hot Topic.

  4. In Hall H on Thursday from 10-11:30 am., DreamWorks is bringing the cast of the new animated movie Trolls. Moderated by Chris Hardwick, actors Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, along with director Mike Mitchell, co-director Walt Dohrn, and producer Gina Shay will give attendees a preview of the movie and answer questions from the audience.


  1. If you want to see the superstars from some of the biggest television shows, you should plan on camping out in Hall H all day. Starting at 12 p.m., the leading cast and executive producers from AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead will take the stage. The panel, moderated by Chris Hardwick, will discuss where the series left off in May’s finale and what to look forward to when it picks up in August. There will also be a Q&A session and an official sneak preview of the second half of season 2. Right after, the cast from The Walking Dead will get in front of fans to talk about the shocking finale of season 6 and a sneak peek into season 7, debuting in October.

  2. At 2:15 p.m., Hall H will host the Game of Thrones panel discussion and Q&A session. Cast slated to attend include John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth, Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei, Conleth Hill as Varys, Faye Marsay as The Waif, Hannah Murray as Gilly, Kristian Nairn as Hodor, Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, and Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark.

  3. Game of Thrones fans will also not want to miss the House of Black and White Hall of Faces experience. HBO returns to their usual site at 628 L Street (across from the Omni Hotel) from Thursday-Sunday all day starting at 11 a.m. Fans will have their portrait taken and a custom app will render their Hall of Faces portrait and display the image onto one of the towers within the space using digital displays and experiential effects. After adding their likeness to the Hall of Faces, attending fans can peer into Melisandre’s Flames which features OC Dream hologram technology. Fans can also claim a seat on the Iron Throne, pose with Arya’s sword and see costumes from Arya, Jaqen H’ghar, and the Waif. In addition, the first 500 attendees each day will receive a free Funko Pop! Figure and a poster created exclusively for Comic-Con by artist Robert Ball. The Hall of Faces is open on a first-come, first-serve basis to members of the public with a valid 2016 Comic-Con badge.

  4. At 3:45 p.m. in Hall H, aficionados of Joss Whedon will get a chance to ask him what is next on his plate and get exclusive insight into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity and more.

  5. At 6:30 p.m. in Hall H, AMC’s Preacher executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg join comic book co-creator and series co-executive producer Garth Ennis and members of the cast including Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Colletti, and Graham McTavish, in a panel moderated by Kevin Smith, to discuss the first season of the hit series. The panelists will perform a live reading of the newest episode, followed by a Q&A session.


  1. Hall H is also going to be a popular habitat on Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m., with Warner Bros. Pictures showcasing several of its most-anticipated upcoming feature films including Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, The LEGO Batman Movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Kong: Skull Island.

  2. From 2-3 p.m. in Hall H, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A session on Star Trek, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first broadcast.

  3. At 3:15 p.m. in Hall H, writer/director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd join cast members Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Michael Biehn, and Paul Reiser for a look back at the iconic science fiction classic in honor of the 30th anniversary of the movie Alien.

  4. At 4:30 p.m., Entertainment Weekly hosts a panel discussion and Q&A Session titled Women Who Kick Ass. Actresses Morena Baccarin (Gotham), Melissa Benoist (Supergirl), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead), Tatian Maslany (Orphan Black), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman) and Ming-Na Wen (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will open up about the power and privilege of playing women that redefine the rules and refuse to yield.

  5. At 5:30 p.m., Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige and special guests provide an inside look at the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  6. And closing out Hall H, like he has for the last few years, Kevin Smith at 7 p.m. will tell silly stories and talk about his new movie Yoga Hosers, AMC’s Men and Geeking Out, directing an episode of The Flash for The CW, his forthcoming Buckaroo Banzai adaptation, and the Mallrats sequel that’s going to be a TV series.

  7. For those millennials who grew up watching Nickelodeon in the 90s will get a blast from the past with a panel discussion and Q&A session with the cast from All That and Legends of the Hidden Temple in Room 6A from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Josh Server, Danny Tamberelli, Lori Beth Denberg, and Kel Mitchell will discuss all things All That, with a few added surprises.  Plus, get the first look at Nick’s new TV movie based on Legends of the Hidden Temple and hear about it from returning cast members Kirk Fogg and Dee Bradley Baker, and other panelists.

  8. Also Saturday, don’t miss your chance to get an autograph and picture with the cast of Suicide Squad when they make their appearance at the DC booth from 1:15-2:00 p.m. Cast members will include Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delvingne, Adam Beach, and Karen Fukuhara. Raffle tickets for this meet and greet will be distributed Saturday at 6 a.m. at the Sails Pavilion.


  1. Fans of Fox’s action packed dramas Prison Break and 24 will want to be in Hall H at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies, Robert Knepper, and producers Vaun Wilmott and Michael Horowitz will greet fans and share their behind-the-scenes experiences from set and show a special sneak peek of all new footage.  The panel continues with Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), Miranda Otto (Homeland, Lord of the Rings), and Jimmy Smits (Sons of Anarchy, Star Wars: Episodes II &III), who join the creators/producers of the original 24—Howard Gordon, Manny Coto, and Evan Katz—for a special fan presentation of the highly anticipated new series.

  2. The last day of the Con is mostly kid-friendly, and this year the major attraction is Pokémon GO. At 1:45 p.m. in Hall H, Niantic founder John Hanke will examine the past, present, and future of extending games beyond the screen and re-imagining reality through the lens of Ingress and Pokémon GO. And of course many expect a special Pokémon character to be released to attendees of this panel.

  3. Sunday is also the best day to get the best deal on comics, toys, clothing, television shows, movies, drawings, and anything else for sale inside the exhibitor hall because most exhibitors do not want to pack up their merchandise and haul it back to their storefront in their hometown.

Don’t have a badge? Check out our list of the Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016.

Transportation Tips:

Parking will be extremely hard to find, and expensive if you do ($30-100) in and around downtown, so I would recommend taking a taxi, public transportation, or use a ride sharing service such as Uber, Lyft, or Flywheel.

In addition, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and Uber are partnering and offering a one-time discount of $5 for uberPOOL riders who utilize its service to arrive or depart from 20 MTS Transit Centers.

UberPOOL riders enter the code MTSUBER and the discount is applied if they are picked up or dropped off at one of the participating Transit Centers:

  • Trolley Transit Centers: Iris Ave., H Street, 8th Street, Barrio Logan, Euclid, Lemon Grove, Santee, El Cajon, Grossmont Center, 70th Street, SDSU, Mission San Diego, Mission Valley Center, Fashion Valley, and Old Town.
  • Rapid Transit Stations: Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, Miramar College, and City Heights Transit Plaza.

Carlos Rico has been attending Comic-Con since 1998 as a teenage fan and professionally as a member of the media since 2008.

Top 21 Things to Do for Comic-Con 2016 Badge Holders

San Diego’s Comic-Con International is July 21-24. | Photo: Lauren Elisabeth /

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