Power Avengers beat Darkula in Chula Vista!

In Chula Vista, the dastardly supervillain Darkula has been defeated, thanks to the superhero Power Avengers!

Don’t believe me? The exciting comic book story fills the walls of the Energy Station at the South Chula Vista Library!

When local sixth grade school students enter the Energy Station, with its action-packed walls, they might be inspired to become real life heroes. At the Energy Station makerspace they learn about energy conservation and sources of renewable energy, such as solar or wind power.

This unique City of Chula Vista project, created several years ago in partnership with San Diego Gas and Electric, aims to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. Having a pipeline of future STEM workers is essential to the health and growth of our regional innovation economy, which depends on technical expertise in fields such as electrical engineering, biomedical research, and wireless communications…

No matter what a kid’s talents or interests might be, at the South Chula Vista Library they can learn how to create a brighter future and thwart the menace of Darkula . . . as members of the Power Avengers!

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!

Comic books and graphic novels in education.

Comic books and graphic novels can be used in schools to stir excitement for reading, and to explore and teach a variety of subjects.

Today a panel of educators shared their thoughts about Words and Pictures Together. The hour-long panel was part of a Will Eisner Week event at the San Diego Comic-Con Museum.

Will Eisner was a pioneering cartoonist and writer whose work both inspired and influenced almost every comic artist that followed him. He practically invented the graphic novel. His amazing artwork is legendary. His stories are often complex, surprising, challenging and philosophical. Not unlike great literature.

The panelists at the Comic-Con Museum yesterday discussed how they have used Eisner’s work and other comics in the classroom.

As I sat in the audience listening, I learned there are many benefits to using certain comic books or graphic novels as educational tools.

Perhaps most importantly, they are accessible to young people. Particularly kids who struggle with reading. Those who resist reading or have limited language skills will often turn the pages of a comic, greedily devouring both words and pictures. After all, most comic books and graphic novels are written to engage and excite.

Another benefit can be the development of critical thinking. There are plots to analyze and characters to understand. Allusions and themes can provide subject matter for discussion. Stories that involve historical events or contemporary issues can open a young mind to interesting ideas and questions.

And there is the graphic art itself. Why did the artist make certain choices? The page layout, typography, style, visual point of view . . .

What I found most inspiring was that students can be encouraged to make their own comic art. To tell their own stories. Express their own thoughts and feelings. When you’re a young person, secretly unsure of many things and trying to figure out life, personal expression can help you grow.

By producing their own comic or graphic novel, students also learn how to plan a creative project and execute it. And they write!

What’s more, the opportunity to show their finished art provides a sense of accomplishment!

The panelists mentioned a few works and web pages that you can use or peruse:

The beloved Owly book series for the very young.

Necessary Trouble Archives.

“testing wally wood’s 22 panels to see if they always work”

Years ago I described how high school students in San Diego were creating their own graphic novel. Their amazing Jasper and the Spirit Skies was launched last year at Comic-Con@Home! You can revisit that past blog post here.

There’s another reason why I found this panel of educators so interesting. Classrooms around the world are reading my short story One Thousand Likes. This small work of fiction (no pictures!) concerns the use of social media and human isolation. Read the story here.

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

Spider-Man comes home to San Diego!

The first reviews of Spider-Man: No Way Home are coming in and it’s going to be awesome! By all accounts the movie is going to be an epic multiversal thrill ride that brings laughs, tears, fond memories and cheers! Are you stoked, too?

Did you know that Spider-Man makes his home in San Diego? It sure seems that way. Because I see him in the city frequently. At least, I see a lot of him when Comic-Con comes around!

Enjoy this collection of Spider-Man cosplay photos that I’ve taken over many years of walking around downtown during San Diego Comic-Con. If you’d like to see hundreds of cool photographs of Comic-Con related stuff, just click 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!

San Diego readies for Peacemaker and The Freak Brothers!

Comic-Con Special Edition, during this Thanksgiving weekend, will be featuring a few cool offsite activations in and around San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. They are free and open to the public.

I walked along Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade this morning and saw a big new Peacemaker display and workers readying an offsite that promotes Tubi’s new show The Freak Brothers. (UPDATEpossibly The Freak Brothers! It might actually be the Peacemaker Proving Ground. We’ll have to see Friday!)

NBC will also be promoting La Brea in Gaslamp Square next to the Tin Fish, across from the San Diego Convention Center. I took updated photos of that offsite yesterday, which you can see here.

A security guard told me a homeless person tried to rip off the plastic wrapping, breaking the Peacemaker sign below.

Here’s a photo of the big Peacemaker building wrap on the Marriott Marquis. Peacemaker is a show about the DC Comics character, who appeared in the latest Suicide Squad movie. The new series will be on HBO Max.

Here come more pics from this Thanksgiving morning. It looks like (maybe) The Freak Brothers will be living in a trailer. The animated Tubi show satirizes both the drug counter-culture and the establishment. It’s based on an underground comic about stoner characters and their crazy exploits.

The Garden of Peace sign makes me wonder if this isn’t actually the Peacemaker Proving Ground, referenced here. We’ll find out!

UPDATE!

Turns out I was wrong! What I thought might be The Freak Brothers activation is actually the Peacemaker Proving Ground. That would explain the obstacle course I photographed earlier.

A bus promoting The Freak Brothers will be parked by the Hilton San Diego Bayfront!

I’ll have to check that out this weekend!

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!

Friday morning at SDCC Causeplayer Community Shrine!

The San Diego Causeplayer Community Shrine is kicking off in the Gaslamp Quarter by the Tin Fish restaurant this morning. What was referred to in 2020 as the Comic-Con Shrine has grown for 2021 into a full-fledged event!

Today through the weekend, the Causeplayer Community Shrine will feature chalk art, cosplay (including afternoon parades up Fifth Avenue), 91X FM dance parties, and, most importantly, a big blood drive by the San Diego Blood Bank! Everyone is invited to swing by and add their own words and Comic-Con memories to the shrine, this second year that San Diego Comic-Con was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I captured these photos this morning as I walked by the shrine!

The SDCC Causeplayer Community Shrine has many memories from past San Diego Comic-Cons.
It’s Dude Vader and Lightning McQueen!
Dude Vader chalk art.
I met my girlfriend at SDCC.
Look at all the Funkos!
Free Funko for every blood donor!
Thor holds up her hammer at the 2021 Causeplayer Community Shrine!

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!

Cosplay banners for Causeplayer Community Shrine!

Cosplay banners have been hung all over the Gaslamp Quarter in anticipation of the upcoming San Diego Causeplayer Community Shrine. The event will be held July 23-25!

What has been referred to as the Comic-Con Shrine has recently been given a new name. The San Diego Causeplayer Community Shrine (in Gaslamp Square near the Tin Fish restaurant across from the Convention Center) will be the site of a blood drive by the San Diego Blood Bank, not to mention fan chalk art, dance parties and lots of cosplay activity!

These banners up and down Fifth Avenue feature members of the Science Fiction Coalition and various other cosplay groups from around San Diego.

Look at all these very cool banners!

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!

Black Widow appears at San Diego Convention Center!

Black Widow of Marvel’s Avengers made an appearance this afternoon outside the San Diego Convention Center!

She passed me in a big hurry, no doubt pursuing a crafty supervillain, but was nice enough to pose a few seconds for my camera.

I noticed that Black Widow is wearing her white costume in San Diego, so I’m assuming she recently arrived in the Avengers Quinjet from snowy Russia.

Yes, Black Widow’s upcoming movie features this white costume, so I’ve concluded that in her rush to intercept some despicable villain she probably didn’t have time for a change. As for the Quinjet–perhaps she landed it atop the Convention Center. I looked up and down but didn’t see it anywhere.

Most everyone knows that San Diego Comic-Con was cancelled for 2021 due to uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic and its trajectory. So I really enjoyed snapping this unexpected cosplay photograph.

Hopefully during traditional Comic-Con week in July there’s some outdoor cosplay by the Tin Fish just like last year. If there is, you can bet I’ll be taking photos!

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!

Superhero team guards entrance to El Cajon!

For many years, a mighty team of superheroes has stood guard at the entrance to El Cajon. As I walked past the motley, costumed group on Saturday, I noticed they were fending off a variety of dangerous supervillains and otherworldly menaces!

I immediately recognized some of the universe’s most powerful heroes. I saw Thor, Spider-Man, Hellboy, Yoda, Batman, Superman, Hulk and Wolverine. Together they were engaged in an epic battle against evil on the wall of Comics-N-Stuff, on El Cajon Boulevard!

A clerk at the comic book store told me this huge, fun mural was painted about 14 years ago by a local artist. It has really faded in El Cajon’s sunshine over time, so I’ve increased the contrast of various photographs.

Will Doc Ock and Venom get past Spidey and invade the city of El Cajon? I doubt it!

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!

Super cool Batman painted on a van!

OMG! Check this out!

I timed this shot just perfectly!

An amazing van painted with a super cool Batman and other colorful images flashed past me as I was photographing the sculpture at the corner of Highway 101 and Plaza Street in Solana Beach.

I aimed my camera a little ahead of the Caped Crusader and hoped for the best as he whizzed by!

Yes!

Then the Dark Knight (striding heroically near rockets, palm trees and sea creatures) came back around setting up a second, more distant photo.

Hey, dude. That’s one awesome van!

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!

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?