Thursday | 20
Jay and Silent Bob/Babble-On/Fatman on Batman
Kevin Smith is in San Diego for Comic-Con, and as usual he has a lot to say. On Thursday it’s “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old” (with Jason Mewes). Friday, “Hollywood Babble-On” (“Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman take a twisted look at showbiz news and bite the Hollywood hand that feeds them”). Saturday it’s “Fatman on Batman” (“Marc Bernardin and Kevin Smith talk about all the news in movie make-believe, terrific TV, and anything that squeaks in Geek”).
Comic-Con International returns to the San Diego Convention Center for the 48th time, making it the longest continuously run comics and popular-arts convention in the U.S. With attendance topping 140,000 in recent years in a convention center that has maxed out its space, the event has grown to include satellite locations, including hotels and parks. Many celebrity appearances, costume competitions, art installations, lectures, workshops, and the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival take place outside of the convention center, stretching the event across the Gaslamp and throughout downtown San Diego. Runs through Sunday.
Friday | 21
- Friday, July 21, 2017, 7 p.m.
868 Fourth Avenue,
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live
Join Joel Hodgson, creator of MST3K, and new host Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) as they bring their first live touring production to San Diego for the “Watch Out for Snakes!” tour. Robot companions Crow (Hampton Yount), Tom Servo, and Gypsy will be there, along with Synthia (Rebecca Hanson) and the ever-present surveillance of the Mads, Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day), and “TV’s Son of TV’s Frank” (Patton Oswalt), checking up on their unwilling test subjects via a video screen. The tour consists of two shows, each with its own admission. On Friday the crew riffs on the 1962 caveman film Eegah, and on Saturday it’s a “surprise film.”
Saturday | 22
It’s the 11th annual extreme-sports competition and convention and the longest-running and largest single-day pro-scooter event in the world (that’s what they say!). Pro-scooter riders from around the globe come to compete for international recognition. Two hundred riders of all ages and riding levels will be competing throughout the day, with the pro runs going from 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m. The ScooterCON Vendor Walk will host 25 pro-scooter companies showcasing their latest products and handing out freebies. The Vendor Walk is free entry and allows limited viewing of the competition. For full viewing access, spectator wristbands are available at the door for $5.
- Saturday, July 22, 2017, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
1600 Pacific Highway,
$24 - $54
Heroes Brew Fest 2017
This year’s event, a short distance from the convention center, features Game of Thrones’ Kristian Nairn (“Hodor!”) as the headlining DJ. With lots of beer, comic-book artists, and “costumed-themed activities enhanced by augmented reality technology, live virtual reality artwork displayed on LED screens, and custom augmented reality set pieces designed by world-renowned art exhibitor Sutu.” Use code READER to save 10 percent.
Calling all aspiring entomologists — it’s your dream day at San Diego Botanic Garden. Thousands of creepy crawlies (both with legs and without) will be on display. Some you can touch and feel, including the infamous Madagascar hissing cockroaches, giant monitor lizards, and six-foot-long pythons. Don’t miss the Bug Bar, with live meal worms for sale in tasty BBQ, teriyaki, and mesquite sauce. New this year: Sam, the garden’s giant Galapagos tortoise, will make an appearance on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. That doesn’t really fit in with the creepy-crawly theme, but everyone loves the gentle 600-pound giant. No entrance fee for kids under 12. Also on Sunday.
Sunday | 23
Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. With Japanese food, taiko drumming, koto performances, talks on Buddhism, cultural demonstrations, boutique items, a farmers’ market, games for children, and lessons on both days (at 3 p.m.) to learn the bon-odori Japanese folk dances that start at 6:30 p.m. You can join in! Also on Saturday.
Monday | 24
- Monday, July 24, 2017, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
$35 - $62
There aren’t many places where it’s still okay to shout “Freebird!” at the band between songs. A Blackberry Smoke concert is one of them. The Atlanta rockers are still cruising on the fumes of last year’s Like an Arrow, which topped Billboard’s U.S. Country chart and hit number three on the U.S. Rock chart, double-dipping into an ever-growing fan base likely to fill the Belly Up this Monday. Nashville’s Cadillac Three opens.