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November 03, 2018

Comic-Con Museum - Balboa Park

If you can’t make it to Comic-Con, or don’t like the crowds, Comic-Con can soon be experienced every day!  It’s coming, the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.  The museum will occupy 68,000 square feet of the former Hall of Champions, which is now gone.
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Officially the structure is still called the Federal Building, built for the 1935 Pacific Exposition.  The pre-Colombian architecture is unique among the more traditional Prado buildings.  The building, and many in Balboa Park, were used by the Navy during World War II, then it was used for sporting events.  Back-in-the-day both Fran and I played intramural volleyball there, before the Hall of Champions was established.

To keep the Comic-Con name in the spotlight and its future home, Comic-Con hosted MASK-arade last week for Halloween.  I did not attend ($15), however this week there will be panels on comics and the take-offs and interpretations from them.   The theme is SAM (Storytelling Across Media).  And (drum-roll-please) daughter Kami will be on one of the panels!  Seating is limited at all of the panels, and pre-registration is required.

The various breakout sessions include panels on Storytelling in Animation; Audio/Music; Film; Print; Games; Virtual Reality.

Kami will be part of the Storytelling and Board Games Panel.  Where she is introduced as:
Kami Mandell designs games for witches and wizards of all ages.

Which refers to the Harry Potter games she has worked to bring to life.
Kami has brought us many of the specialty Monopoly games, including National Parks Monopoly and National Parks Trivia.  She was also on the design team of the Harry Potter games.  If you’re looking for a family Christmas gift, consider a board game from USAopoly.

The panelists include Johnathon, Bridget, Jon and (Ta-Dah!) Kami.

Both Jonathon and Kami did an excellent job of explaining the transition from a story to a board game.  In the story/film version there is a set plot that is not interactive.  However, they endeavor to design games that are interactive, that have a journey not just a winner and loser.

As for the museum itself, it plans to celebrate comics, movies, television, characters, etc. in various media.  There will be exhibitions, film screenings and other panels.  Areas will be set aside for displays by various fan groups on a rotating basis.  It views itself as not just a museum, but the Comic-Con Center.  It is anticipated the new museum will attract new visitors to the park.

There are No Bad Days in Balboa Park.  Although, this is likely the shortest day I’ve spent there, but as a proud dad – it was one of the best!

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