Update 11 a.m. July 3: BlueBoxCafe.com offers a handy map of various Comic-Con events, along with other hints for the pop culture extravaganza.
Only a few more weeks before Comic-Con arrives in downtown San Diego, and you don't have a badge?
Perhaps you found sitting for over two hours while EPIC, Comic-Con.org's ticket sales website, held your place in line (mine was number 23,187) was just not worth surrendering a couple of hours of your existence to cyberspace.
With only three weeks before zombies and storm troopers descend on the San Diego Convention Center, there’s no time to be vexed about the epic ticket fail. There’s still a few ways you can be part of San Diego’s most popular event if you’re willing to work a little.
Some events are completely FREE and others not-quite (and one's way costly, but worth it if you a fan of one big comics icon). Some you can attend with or without a Comic-Con badge.
Though there are still plenty of ways to win tickets to the annual pop culture convention, you'll have to act fast!
- Redbull, the popular energy drink, the Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures are looking for the next up-and-coming young filmmaker to inspire Quentin Tarantino. In an effort to promote Django, Tarantino’s latest, you can enter to win two passes to Comic-Con and to a meet and greet with the actor/director. This contest requires quite a bit of work, but it’s worth a shot. Hurry up because it ends Saturday.
- If you are a fan of Disney (and even if you're not) here’s another contest that could get you to the Con in style. Disney is promoting the upcoming film Frankenweenie and this contest is very easy to enter: Just register your email. The lucky winner will get a VIP trip to Comic-Con, entrance to the Frankenweenie Exhibit, and an exclusive meet and greet with Tim Burton!
- SONY Entertainment Network is also offering Comic-Con tickets via their Facebook page. Go hit them up!
- VH1 Classic will hold an Opening Night Attendee Welcome Party, “Dawn of the Con,” 5:30-11 p.m. July 12. VH1 Classic will take over San Diego's Petco Park to ring in Comic-Con in true rocker fashion. The night's festivities will be hosted by hard-rock icon and celebrated filmmaker Rob Zombie, and live music will be spun by DJ Will from VH1 Classic's “That Metal Show.” “VH1 Classic is thrilled to be hosting the first-ever official Comic-Con welcome party for the fans and attendees of Comic-Con,” said Nigel Cox-Hagan, executive vice president, creative and consumer marketing at VH1. “Dawn of the Con” is FREE for all attendees.
- Fearnet.com is throwing an invitation-only bash called “Con of the Dead.” They'll partner with Capcom, which is set to release the Resident Evil 6 video game, and MPI's Dark Sky Films to celebrate the horror genre at an evening party saluting both fans and industry insiders. This party (fittingly) will take place Friday, July 13, at San Diego's gothic-inspired Voyeur nightclub.
- PETCO Park will be hosting the “Walking Dead Escape.” For three days, July 12-14, you can purchase tickets to become a Survivor, Walker or Spectator in this first-of-its-kind event at the ballpark. Dig up your best zombie costume and head to PETCO Park for this apocalyptic experience where you’ll crawl, slide and drag yourself through the bowels of the stadium encountering an obstacle course and other unknown elements as you try to escape to safety!
- If you’d rather pay (big) for a unique experience, Desert Winds Comics is offering a very special meeting with Stan “The Man” LeeThe event is scheduled for the evening of Friday the 13th. A VERY LIMITED NUMBER of tickets will be offered for $300 per person. Lee will sign two items brought in by the ticket recipients and pose for a photo, provided you bring the camera.
Good luck to you, and may the force be with you!
Note: Comic-Con moves fast. So beware: The information contained in this article may change. We suggest that you verify times and requirements for the contests, sweepstakes and events listed here. For the latest, you may also follow @SD_Comic_Con on Twitter.