By Sandra Kraisirideja
Passes to Comic-Con sold out in a manner of minutes but there are so many happenings that extend way beyond the convention center that it’s worth a trip downtown even if you don’t have a coveted attendee badge.
The Interactive Zone at Petco Park is becoming the best place for non-badge holders to get a taste of Comic-Con, and it’s all free! If you ever wanted to understand the impact of Comic-Con on business, this is the place where national brands attempt to connect to customers through popular entertainment.
Paramount has partnered with Pizza Hut to promote the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie. Participants can take a green screen photo posed with the Ninja Turtles while munching on free slices of pizza.
Courtyard by Marriott is offering free special effects makeup for participants who visit its Super Hero HQ. Hollywood make-up artists will be on hand Thursday through Sunday. On Saturday Greg Nicotero will be at the booth from 12-2 p.m. to talk about “The Walking Dead” and Norman Reedus is also stopping by from 6-7 p.m. George R.R. Martin, the author whose books inspired the HBO show “Game of Thrones” will appear on Sunday from 2-4 p.m.
Vintage cars are on display for the upcoming “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” and there is also a unique game experience as part of the booth. Players sit in an actual Dodge Charger to play a racing game projected on an enormous screen in front of the car.
Angry Birds has a playful, tropical beach theme booth promoting a new character named Stella. Visitors will be treated to a hair bar, the opportunity to get a custom-printed T-shirt, and a nail bar.
The Blu-ray release of “24: Live Another Day” has a booth but it was unclear Wednesday night what entertainment or activity would be provided.
Even Amazon is breaking into Comic-Con with its Geek Boutique. Everyone who dares wait in the long line will be rewarded with the chance to win one of several prizes, ranging from a TV to free music downloads. Everyone who plays wins something.
Adult Swim is back with its Funhouse and Hello Kitty merchandise can be purchased at a cute little village set up in the Interactive Zone.