Street art celebrates legendary musicians!

Talk to me so you can see what's going on.
Talk to me so you can see what’s going on.

Check out this extraordinary street art in East Village! All four sides of an electrical box have been colorfully painted with the images of legendary musicians. And the accompanying messages are inspirational.

The artwork includes legends of Motown, jazz, blues, pop music, hip-hop, reggae, and rock and roll. You can see them at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street.

How many of these famous musicians can you identify?

Legendary musicians are celebrated with inspirational street art in San Diego's East Village.
Legendary musicians are celebrated with inspirational street art in San Diego’s East Village.
Music can change the world.
Music can change the world.
Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.
Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.

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!

Awesome cosplay group poses for Comic-Con!

An awesome group of cosplayers assembled near the San Diego Convention Center late this morning!

Members of the Science Fiction Coalition arrived for the special occasion from all around Southern California. It’s Sunday, and while there’s no ordinary Comic-Con in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, local fans have been visiting the Comic-Con shrine during Comic-Con@Home week by the Tin Fish Restaurant.

I was lucky to walk through the Gaslamp Quarter as this fantastic cosplay event was underway. I’ve had a number of encounters with this fan group in the past, most notably in Balboa Park and at the future home of the Comic-Con Museum.

Check it out!

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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!

Cosplay by the expanding Comic-Con 2020 shrine!

Dude Vader was eating lunch at the Tin Fish when I happened by Thursday afternoon!
Dude Vader was eating lunch at the Tin Fish when I happened by Thursday afternoon!

I stumbled upon some great cosplay this morning and afternoon! A news reporter and a couple of Comic-Con fans were dressed up in costume to celebrate this year’s unusual Comic-Con!

As everybody knows by now, Comic-Con isn’t being held at the San Diego Convention Center this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event for 2020 is entirely virtual, and you can enjoy live panels, visit an online Exhibit Hall, view cool art, play video games, participate in a cosplay contest, and enjoy many more unique experiences at the Comic-Con@Home website here.

A shrine was set up several days ago by the Tin Fish where Comic-Con fans in San Diego could leave messages and mementos from their past experiences. This morning I noticed several items had been added, then when I walked by this afternoon the shrine had extended outward in the plaza as it continues to grow each day!

Is that Batgirl or a reporter for the local Fox TV news station?
Is that Batgirl or a reporter for the local Fox TV news station?
Thursday morning some more swag bags had been added to the Comic-Con 2020 shrine.
Thursday morning some more swag bags had been added to the Comic-Con 2020 shrine.
In the afternoon the Comic-Con shrine had enlarged!
In the afternoon the Comic-Con shrine had enlarged!
Some comic books were added! And I see a Syfy thumbs up!
Some comic books were added! And I see a Syfy thumbs up!
The Tin Fish Restaurant across from the San Diego Convention Center still has its The Good Place decor from last year's Comic-Con.
The Tin Fish Restaurant across from the San Diego Convention Center still has its The Good Place decor from last year’s Comic-Con.
It's a great Alvin cosplay! Alvin  . . . Alvin . . . Aaaaalvin!!!
It’s a great Alvin cosplay! Alvin . . . Alvin . . . Aaaaalvin!!!

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!

Downtown shrine grows for cancelled Comic-Con.

A shrine has appeared in downtown San Diego lamenting the cancellation of Comic-Con in 2020.

This is the week in July when over 100,000 enthusiastic pop culture fans would have converged upon the San Diego Convention Center. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has caused Comic-Con International to call off their world-famous event this year.

I was walking by the Gaslamp trolley station a couple hours ago when I noticed a shrine has been created in the plaza near the Tin Fish Restaurant. Fans know that this area, at the south end of the Gaslamp Quarter’s Fifth Avenue, tends to be center of all the crazy, wonderful outdoor Comic-Con activity. At least, it is during normal years.

The shine includes some posters, swag bags and flowers. But the best part of the shrine is the growing number of hand-written messages by fans.

Do not despair!

Because this year is far from ordinary, Comic-Con has done something extraordinary. Comic-Con for 2020 is now entirely online . . . and free! This week fans can visit the virtual Exhibit Hall, watch live panels, and even participate in the annual cosplay competition!

Learn all the details by visiting the Comic-Con@Home web page here!

There is also an awesome free Souvenir Book that you can download. It features 260 pages of articles and cool artwork, and pays tribute to one of the all-time greatest writers of fantasy and science fiction, Ray Bradbury. In my last blog post I wrote a little about that here.

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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!

Free Comic-Con Souvenir Book features Ray Bradbury!

With less than a week to go, Comic-Con International logos have appeared all over the San Diego Convention Center!

One of my favorite authors of all time–perhaps my favorite–is featured in this year’s Comic-Con Souvenir Book!

Ray Bradbury!

The 260-page epic 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book pays special tribute to 100 Years of Ray Bradbury. The book, which is jam-packed with articles, plus original artwork by many popular artists, is available for free download at the Comic-Con@Home web page by clicking here!

The free Souvenir Book is in PDF form and has many clickable links, which lead to all sort of cool offers and websites that will interest fans.

I love that the Souvenir Book’s cover and Introduction is: Ray Bradbury, Riding a Dinosaur, on Mars. I suppose that after Ray jumped off his dinosaur, he entered a rocket ship and headed to Earth, and walked right into your home, mind and heart.

Ray Bradbury combined fantasy, science fiction and reality in a way that was so brilliantly poetic and wildly imaginative and thought-provoking that I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. His uninhibited prose breaks through the walls in our mind and exposes regions of truth and wonder we might not otherwise explore.

When I lived in Denver, I attended a speech he made about his writing and his amazing life. That might have been the most inspirational (and fun) talk I’ve ever heard. He was brilliant, enthusiastic, but really just a nice, ordinary guy like you and me. And like you and me he was a big fan. A fan of creativity and pretty much everything in life. He loved both pop culture and fine art, and everything in between.

He wrote popular short stories in the days of pulp fiction magazines. He wrote stories and novels that are now considered literature. He wrote the screenplay for Hollywood classic Moby Dick. His celebrated stories have been turned into numerous television shows and movies. He has been a major influence for generations of writers and dreamers.¬† He was engaged in too many projects to mention, such as the creation of Disney’s Epcot Center. Even the idea of becoming safely lost in a city, put forth in his essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness,” was used in designing San Diego’s very own Horton Plaza Mall.

Did you know Elton John’s classic song Rocket Man was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Rocket Man” in his book The Illustrated Man? (By the way, the story is simply amazing. It’s one of my favorites.)

Ray Bradbury loved and attended comic book conventions, and frequently spoke at San Diego Comic-Con. From the 1970 convention at the U.S. Grant Hotel, to the 2010 event at the San Diego Convention Center, he was a guest at Comic-Con over the course of four decades!

He was a tireless lover of life whose imagination soared into the farthest reaches of the universe and even beyond. His mind never stood still.

If you’re a writer, read his Zen in the Art of Writing to instantly wipe out writer’s block and unleash your full potential. And read all of his short stories again and again. He was a master. Some say he was the greatest writer of the 20th century.

I do a little writing of fiction myself. If you want to read a short story that I’m sure was unconsciously influenced by Ray Bradbury, you might enjoy clicking One Strange, Shimmering Dream.

Ray Bradbury, in my opinion, provided a perfect example of how to lead a full life. He loved people. He loved living. He never stopped dreaming and creating. He loved everything.

Now download the free 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book by clicking here and get busy filling your eyeballs with wonderfulness!

Favorite photos from past Comic-Cons!

Are you ready for Comic-Con@Home? The gigantic international virtual event kicks off this Wednesday, July 22. And it’s entirely free!

There’s going to be a live Exhibit Hall!

There are going to be over 350 separate panels viewable on Comic-Con’s YouTube channel!

There will also be many “at home” activities, including art and cosplay challenges, and a video competition!

Learn everything you need to know, and print your free official badge by clicking here!

Plus, visit Amazon’s Virtual-Con here! Amazon is the official sponsor of Comic-Con@Home and will have lots of cool experiences at their website.

Meanwhile, I’ve gone through hundreds of photographs that I’ve taken during Comic-Con over the past six years, and I’ve selected some of my personal favorites . . . in no particular order!

While the world anticipates Comic-Con’s triumphant return to downtown San Diego and the Convention Center in 2021, enjoy this wonderfully mixed-up collection of photographic memories!

img_0408z-get-your-photo-taken-in-some-gigantic-bony-jaws

img_0416z-the-turner-boat-is-all-dressed-up-and-ready-to-go-when-comic-con-opens-tomorrow

img_0668z-the-syfy-band-was-entertaining-the-crowd-on-fifth-avenue-in-the-gaslamp-for-sdcc-2017

img_7133a-theres-so-much-crazy-fun-going-on-my-head-was-on-a-rapid-swivel

img_0845z-syfy-had-a-handy-cosplay-repair-cart-along-mlk-promenade

img_5957a-super-awesome-suits-of-armor-at-the-fantastic-weta-workshop-exhibit

img_6367a-clive-barker-is-back-at-comic-con-this-year-with-more-of-his-horror-themed-artwork

img_6201a-and-heres-another-cool-hot-wheels-car-modeled-after-a-star-wars-stormtrooper-helmet

img_6658a-a-large-troop-of-colony-soldiers-marches-down-martin-luther-king-jr-promenade-during-comic-con

img_9311a-mace-windu-in-a-movie-clip-shown-above-huge-star-wars-exhibit

img_7077a-a-cool-dragon-ball-z-poster-in-window-of-a-gaslamp-eatery

img_9256a-almost-anything-imaginable-could-be-bought-including-these-star-trek-uniforms

img_9370a-clown-masks-used-in-heist-scene-in-dark-knight

img_9451a-lots-of-video-games-could-be-sampled-including-realistic-racers

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!

Spider-Man on the hood of a Corvette!

Look what I stumbled upon today while walking to work. A very cool Spider-Man graphic on the hood of a Corvette!

The friendly guy said he’s a big Spider-Man fan. I can see that!

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!

Six years of colorful Comic-Con trolleys!

It’s mid-June. If this were an ordinary year, brand new trolley wraps would be rolling out right now for San Diego Comic-Con. But, alas, like most events, Comic-Con has been cancelled in 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

I’ve photographed just about every Comic-Con trolley wrap that has appeared in the past six years. As mobile billboards, they’re used to promote popular entertainment–primarily new or ongoing television series. They’re designed to catch the attention of Comic-Con fans and create a sense of anticipation and excitement.

This year I’ll miss watching the weeks of preparations that lead up to the world’s greatest pop culture convention. Seeing streets, buildings and trolleys massively transformed for the epic event is one more thing that makes living in downtown San Diego so much fun!

If you, like me, are saddened by the cancellation of Comic-Con in 2020, I figured we could revisit these very colorful trolley wraps from the past six years. How many do you remember or recognize?

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

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!

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!

Yoda spotted in East Village!

During my afternoon walk through East Village I had to do a double take. Had I stepped into a galaxy far, far away?

Across the wide Space 4 Art parking lot I spotted Yoda!

I took the above photo from a distant sidewalk, then greatly enlarged the image and sharpened it. Hopefully you can see how cool this mural appears in person!

Yoda is spray painted on a nondescript building whose other sides are home to a variety of murals. Check out an awesome Mechanical Shark here, and other works of super creative street art 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!