Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek at the Comic-Con Museum.

The Comic-Con Museum in San Diego’s Balboa Park opened this weekend. One of the museum’s inaugural exhibits is titled Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary. Gene Roddenberry was the creator of Star Trek.

Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary celebrates the achievements of a writer and producer whose storied life was filled with optimism about the human race and our shared future. That optimism was embodied in Star Trek, and is one very big reason why generations of fans have loved the many television series and movies in the enduring science fiction franchise.

I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and reruns of the original Star Trek series. I loved the space travel, strange new worlds, sense of wonder and discovery, how Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov . . . Picard, Riker, Data, Deanna, Geordi, Beverly, Worf . . . and a family of diverse characters overcame strange, sometimes daunting challenges, mostly using their moral sense and intelligence, never losing their faith in the potential good of humanity.

I loved the philosophical themes and the alien encounters. It all was fun, original, thought-provoking, exciting. I still enjoy watching the original series, even if the special effects are dated. My attachment to Star Trek is permanent. Like legions of other fans.

So, obviously, I was excited to view this major exhibit at the newly opened Comic-Con Museum. Gene Roddenberry’s creative genius and humanity is on full display–his writings, sketches, quotes, screenplays–plus there are original props and costumes from Star Trek.

If you’re a fan of Star Trek and happen to be in San Diego, this is a must see exhibition.

Here’s a little of what you’ll discover…

A colorful pathway through the exhibit details the life of Gene Roddenberry. He was a World War II pilot, police officer and Hollywood writer, before launching his enduring idea of Star Trek.
Original costumes from Star Trek productions on display.
The optimism and imagination of a curious mind are recalled.
Lexoriter word processor used by Roddenberry writing scripts for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Roddenberry’s personal film projector used to screen Star Trek episodes at home.
Historical documents, letters, artwork and scripts are displayed, pertaining to the creative work of Gene Roddenberry.
Lyrics to the musical theme from Star Trek written by Roddenberry.
Star Trek communicators foresaw today’s cellphone technology. “The Menagerie” script of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, Gene’s wife and actress who portrayed Nurse Chapel.
May Gene Roddenberry’s hopeful, positive world view Live Long and Prosper!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The amazing new Comic-Con Museum opens!

San Diego’s newest museum opened yesterday in Balboa Park. Today I walked through the door and enjoyed my very first visit to the amazing Comic-Con Museum!

The Comic-Con Museum is going to be another major attraction in San Diego. Even during this “soft opening” there are remarkable exhibits that include original, one-of-kind artifacts–artwork, costumes, props, rare documents and more–from the history of popular culture.

I walked about the three-level museum and and tried to take it all in. A variety of extraordinary exhibits are featured during this Grand Opening weekend, which coincides with Comic-Con Special Edition at the downtown San Diego Convention Center.

Please enjoy my photos and read the captions to learn a little more about the museum and its current exhibits.

And make sure to check out the Comic-Con Museum website here! Become a member like me and gain all sorts of exclusive benefits!

Almost 10 am when the doors open! The Comic-Con Museum occupies the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park, which years ago was home to the Hall of Champions. The building was created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
This is just the beginning! The Comic-Con Museum will continue to develop their space in the coming few years. The new museum promises to become ever more incredible.
Many generous donors and benefactors have helped to make the Comic-Con Museum a reality, including the David C. Copley Foundation and the Conrad Prebys Foundation.
The first exhibit I saw on the ground floor is called Art of the Comic-Con Masquerade. It celebrates the Comic-Con tradition of cosplay. These elaborate superhero costumes were made by fans!
My favorite exhibit is titled Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary. Original costumes, art and props are displayed from Star Trek. The life and creative genius of Roddenberry is remembered with his personal letters and more. This exhibit is so fantastic I’ll be blogging about it separately coming up!
Another substantial exhibit, Eight Decades of Archie, celebrates the cultural heritage of Archie Comics. I had no idea that Sabrina the Teenage Witch, before television, was a comic book series published by Archie Comics
Cardboard Superheroes were created by two local youth. Their cool creations debuted in the nascent Comic-Con Museum a couple years ago during Balboa Park’s December Nights.
Looking up at the second floor galleries. When the Federal Building was home of the Hall of Champions, the Breitbard Hall of Fame plaques decorated those upper walls.
Admiring original works of famed artist Charles Samuel Addams, who is probably best known for creating the Addams Family characters.
Looking down from the second level toward the museum entrance.
An inspirational exhibit is titled Out of the Darkness: Comic Art in the Times of COVID. Youth art created during the COVID-19 lockdown is featured. It is presented by A Reason To Survive (ARTS), an organization in National City that works to uplift young people.
Some really great art from San Diego’s South Bay community.
In one of the Comic-Con Museum’s classrooms is a creative work area. During the opening weekend, an exhibit here demonstrates the Cosplay Creator’s Lab.
If you’d like to support San Diego dreamers, fans and artists, here’s one way!
Sewing machine and dress.
Check out this incredible, wearable Grommash Hellscream costume! It was created by Mike Biasi.
In the lower level of the museum, near the auditorium, you’ll find another Art of the Comic-Con Masquerade display. These costumes were all part of past Comic-Con Masquerades.
And check this out! In one corner of the Comic-Con Museum, where the old Hall of Champions café used to be, there’s the PAC-MAN Arcade, complete with playable games and historical exhibits!
Designs, drawings and documents from back when Pac-Man was created, in 1980. A cultural icon (and Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame inductee) was born!
Is this cool, or what?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Balboa Park’s amazing, old Federal Building–like new!

Check out these amazing photographs!

For too many years, the exterior of Balboa Park’s historic Federal Building had languished neglected in a state of decay.

Not any more!

This is what I saw yesterday as I walked through the Palisades area of Balboa Park.

The Federal Building, built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, has suddenly returned to life. What visitors to Balboa Park will now see is something more like the building’s original appearance.

This uniquely beautiful building will be the home of the Comic-Con Museum, which is scheduled to open this coming Thanksgiving weekend.

The repair and painting of the Federal Building’s exterior was made possible in large part by the Balboa Park Committee of 100.

You can see photos of the historic restoration getting underway a few weeks ago and learn a little more by clicking here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Comic-Con Museum’s historic Federal Building restored!

The exterior of the historic Federal Building in Balboa Park, future home of the Comic-Con Museum, is currently being restored!

During my walk today I noticed the unique building, built in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition, is being patched up and painted to match several principal buildings in the Palisades area of the Balboa Park.

The Federal Building was designed by architect Richard Requa, who gave this and other nearby buildings a pre-Columbian appearance. According to this article, the ornamental detailing on the main entrance was unquestionably derived from the Palace of the Governor in Uxmal, Yucatan.

In one photograph you can see how the Federal Building was once home of the San Diego Hall of Champions.

The Comic-Con Museum will be opening this Thanksgiving weekend, in conjunction with the 2021 Comic-Con Special Edition to be held at the San Diego Convention Center.

After taking these photos I peered through the front windows, and I could see some preliminary construction going on inside.

The Comic-Con Museum already has 15,000 members. And I’m one.

I can’t wait for it to open!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Comic-Con Museum helps you create comics!

I’m no graphic artist. I can barely draw a stick figure.

But check out some news I learned today in an email blast from the Comic-Con Museum!

The fun Comic-Con Museum@Home web page has begun an online series where a variety of comics layouts can be downloaded by anyone and everyone!

The first PDF file they’ve released contains six pages of blank, ready-to-use comics layouts. You can print them out and create your own cool comic strip or comic book!

Here’s an example of one dynamic layout:

When I read this email I had a sudden silly idea. Using a few of my photos of cosplay (mostly from past San Diego Comic-Cons) and the graphic editing software GIMP, I’d create my own thrilling comics page! (My creative efforts were limited to applying the “cartoon” filter to cropped photos.)

Mind you, I did this as a rank amateur, merely goofing around this evening by cutting and pasting some images on my computer. As you can see, I obviously did not use the Comic-Con Museum layouts.

You can surely do better than me!

You’re artistic efforts will instantly surpass my own if you download the Comic-Con Museum’s first set of professional comics layouts here!

Hey, Cool San Diego Sights is mostly about enjoying life, learning new things and having some creative fun, right?

See how amazing the Comic-Con Museum will be!

Are you wondering how amazing the Comic-Con Museum will be when it has its Grand Opening in Balboa Park in 2021?

It promises to be super amazing!

Check out this web page to see a video fly-through of the future museum’s layout and features. Numerous renovations and additions to the museum will continue from it’s Opening Day in 2021 through 2024.

The Comic-Con Museum is going to be the place where pop culture fans of all ages go for a wide range of unique experiences–to be dazzled, learn, create and simply have fun.

Students will have access to an Education Center where STEAM learning will be emphasized. The museum will have multiple rotating art galleries, areas where fans can participate in panels, movie nights, workshops and a variety of special events, a super cool lounge area above it all for social gatherings, tabletop gaming, book club meetings and more, plus a cafe with ever-changing themes, and a store filled with comic books, graphic novels, and all sorts of cool, collectible merchandise. There will also be an Online Museum for those fans who can’t make it to San Diego, or who’d like to enhance their visit!

And much of the Comic-Con Museum’s programming will be determined by the community of fans!

Does that sound pretty amazing to you?

Check out this web page for all the details!

An artist's rendering of what the entrance to the Comic-Con Museum will appear like when it opens in San Diego!
An artist’s early rendering of what the entrance to the Comic-Con Museum might appear like when it opens in San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! And I’m an excited Comic-Con Museum charter member! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Kids learn while having fun with pop culture!

What’s the best way for kids to learn?

By having fun!

The very cool Comic-Con Museum@Home web page continues to grow and grow! It’s now bursting with fun activities for kids–educational activities that relate to the popular culture!

Not only are there oodles of downloadable, printable Fun Books, which are jam-packed with word puzzles, mazes, instructions on how to draw comic art, and fantastic coloring pages (including some by prolific San Diego muralist Gloria Muriel), but now you can watch lots of cool videos, too!

A brand new series of videos this summer will be showing kids how to create superheroes and other pop culture characters out of folded cardboard! The tutorials are by Connor and Bauer Lee. You might remember seeing their fantastic creations during December Nights here!

The first cardboard character kids can create by following a YouTube video is Wall-E!

The Comic-Con Museum has also partnered with Balboa Park’s Fleet Science Center for a series called Pop Culture Science. Celebrating the anniversary of the popular character Sherlock Holmes, there’s a video about how TV crime shows accurately or imaginatively portray real forensic science. Additional activities include how to detect fingerprints and write with invisible ink!

Learning is always best when it’s fun!

Check out the Comic-Con Museum web page with all of these great activities by clicking here!

Comic-Con Museum offers fun at home!

Are the kids bored being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Are you bored?

The Comic-Con Museum has created something enjoyable for everyone to do! They’ve produced their first Fun Book!

Fun Book #1 has pages to color, instructions on how to draw a cute cartoon character, word puzzles and other activities! Download the .pdf here and print it out!

The Comic-Con Museum has launched a web page called Comic-Con Museum@Home, where all sorts of cool stuff will be appearing in the future, including lots of exclusive videos. Check it out here!

Like many of you, I’m really going to miss Comic-Con this summer, which was cancelled for the first time in 50 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. But time flies and next year will be here before we know it.

And the Comic-Con Museum still plans a Grand Opening in 2021!

I can’t wait!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos from 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!

Last year I took hundreds of photos while walking around 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. It’s something I’ve done for many summers now. Living downtown near the action is definitely a lot of fun!

2020 Comic-Con is still scheduled as of this moment, but the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has made the future of conventions and all public events uncertain. Hopefully the pandemic will subside by July and everyone can enjoy another great Comic-Con!

Meanwhile, I thought it would be fun to post some random photos from last year. Most are in no particular order.

Enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

WonderCon art at the Comic-Con Museum!

Another super cool exhibition opened this evening in Balboa Park at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum!

Sense of Wonder: The Art of WonderCon Anaheim features a gallery full of original artwork used for the covers of WonderCon program books. Many top comic artists have created these covers over the years, and visitors this evening were admiring sketches, thumbnails and finished pieces by the likes of Jim Lee, Dan Jurgens, and many others.

Before everyone filtered into the gallery, the 2020 WonderCon program book cover by artist Jen Bartel, winner in 2019 of an Eisner Award, was revealed: a stunning rendition of Wonder Woman with her golden Lasso of Truth! There was applause all around!

This great exhibition will be open to public on select dates through May 31, 2020.  If you’re in San Diego and love either WonderCon or Comic-Con, or if you have kids who love superheroes–particularly DC characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman–don’t miss it!

Follow the Comic-Con Museum’s Facebook page here for more info!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!