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Comic-Con 2023: 'Walking Dead,' 'Jurassic Park' highlight Day 2

2023 Comic-Con
Posted at 10:17 AM, Jul 21, 2023

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A pared-back -- but still packed -- San Diego Comic-Con continues Friday, with a focus less on Hollywood, more on comics, owing to an ongoing strike between studios and screenwriters and actors.

SAG-AFTRA, which represents 160,000 actors, went on strike on Friday, joining striking Writers Guild of America members who have been on the picket lines since May 2.

As a result, the multiple-day Comic-Con will have no HBO, Netflix, Marvel, DC, Sony and other big studio representation, and few large-enough draws to fill the San Diego Convention Center's largest stages.

However, hearkening back to the 54-year-old convention's earliest days, comics will take the forefront. The convention is still sold out and planning to draw tens of thousands of people to the region.

"Comic-Con has been a celebrated fixture for decades, and we are so proud that this international phenomenon was homegrown right here in San Diego," Mayor Todd Gloria said, kicking off the convention Thursday morning. "This much-anticipated annual event not only draws thousands of tourists and generates hundreds of millions in economic activity in our city, but it's also a true source of civic pride. We are grateful for their continued presence here."

In 2022 alone, Comic-Con welcomed more than 135,000 attendees and generated $3 million in hotel and sales tax revenue for the city, according to city documents.

Some of the presentations and panels which have been chopped off the schedule include Disney's The Marvels and "Ahsoka," HBO's "House of the Dragon" season two, Sony's "Kraven the Hunter" and Universal's "Last Voyage of the Demeter."

But what can comic fans still expect?

First off, the exhibition hall and Artist's Alley will return, allowing merchandise purchases from nearly every strain of superhero, science- fiction, fantasy and pop culture.

On Friday, AMC/AMC+ will host an event in Hall H from 1 to 2 p.m. providing fans an exclusive, first-look access to all things The Walking Dead Universe.

At 4 p.m., Entertainment Weekly will host a panel of actors to "discuss the thrill of playing iconic characters, the difference between their personas and real life, and the highs (and lows!) of their careers in Hollywood" in Hall H.

San Diegans aren't left out, with locals leading panels such as "Boundless Adventures" with San Diego Festival of Books authors TJ Klune, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofia Lapuente, Charlie Jane Anders and John Jennings discussing the adventures in their latest books at 4:30 p.m. in Room 10.

The authors will also "explore how imagination and inspiration intersect on the page during a lively conversation with Alonso Nuñez of Little Fish Comic Book Studio," a Comic-Con statement reads.

At 6 p.m., Kumeyaay elders and historians Ethan Banegas, Michael Connolly Miskwish, Lorraine Orosco and Stanley Rodriguez have teamed up with Jen Shannon, John Swogger and Jewyl Alderson to "develop a community-engaged comic that speaks from the perspective of the Kumeyaay people, on whose land Comic-Con is held every year," a SDCC statement reads. The event will be from 6 to 7 p.m. in room 29AB.

Couldn't get a ticket? Not to worry, as just about as many things happen outside the SDCC as within.

Universal Products & Experiences and Amblin Entertainment will celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Jurassic Park" as a free, timed-entry event experience.

"Visitors will be greeted by meticulously crafted scenes, bringing the 1993 prehistoric park to life right before their eyes -- from the Dilophosaurus attack scene to "that" famous moment on the toilet -- fans of all generations will have lots to explore in this experience, a statement from the event organizers reads.

The event will run at Luce Cielo, 325 15th St. from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim will host a free Festival on the Green -- the northwesterly part of Bayfront Park behind the San Diego Convention Center. While meet and greets with casts and creators of several shows have been canceled, fans can still expect a "Checkered Past" trivia and screening and a 9 p.m. performance by Flying Lotus.

But getting to the Convention Center can be easier said than done. Parking can be expensive and frustrating. Metropolitan Transit System will offer a special event line of the trolley between the Balboa Avenue Transit Center and 12th & Imperial Transit Center every 15 minutes, Thursday through Saturday to accommodate large crowds starting at 6:55 a.m. and ending at 10:35 p.m. at Gaslamp Quarter Station.

Trolley lines will run increased service throughout the convention. One caveat to cosplayers, no weapons -- real or simulated -- are allowed on MTS transportation.

San Diego's Police and Fire-Rescue departments have committed additional resources to ensure the safety of visitors both inside and outside of the Convention Center.

"Our priority is ensuring everyone has a safe and enjoyable time at Comic-Con," said Police Chief David Nisleit. "Our teams are working closely with Comic-Con International, the San Diego Convention Center and our partner agencies for the safety of all."

Fire Chief Colin Stowell said SDFD members would ensure fire code regulations were being followed and would provide emergency medical services personnel, just in case.

All events are subject to change with the ongoing strike.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.