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Home / Life! / Entertainment / Hey GeekCal / Hey GeekCal summer geek guide

Hey GeekCal summer geek guide

by F Diaz
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The summer of geek conventions is finally here! If you’re into superheroes, anime, wrestling, Power Rangers, reptiles or all of them, then SoCal can fulfill your fandom needs. And our Summer Geek Guide is here just in time to help you stay on top of all the nerdy fun.

If your geek cup has not yet runneth over, my colleague Mike Ciriaco has  rounded up the best of our Hey GeekCal content to feed your need for nerdery

Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing – The Exhibition

The Comic-Con Museum | 2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101 | July 1 | feverup.com

Immerse yourself in Spidey’s world through original artwork, interactive installations, movie props and costumes, and priceless artifacts from the last six decades.

Anime Expo

LA Convention Center | 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 | July 1-4 | anime-expo.org

Get your best anime cosplay ready to celebrate everything from Japanese pop culture to gaming. Check out the Butler or Maid Cafe for interactive experiences featuring dances, musical performances and photo ops for the gram. Fashionistas will want to check out the latest Japanese streetwear trends at the fashion show and anime lovers can look forward to world premieres and special guests like Tomotaka Shibayama, director of “A Whisker Away” on Netflix.

Jared’s Epic Blaster Battle LA

SoFi Stadium | 1001 Stadium Drive, Inglewood, CA 90301 | July 2 | blasterbattle.com 

Live out your childhood dreams at what event organizers claim is the largest Nerf battle in the world. The field inside the stadium will be covered in obstacles for a four-hour series of 15 battles. There will also be special guests, product reveals and other surprises. 

Near Mint Sunday

Brookhurst Community Center | 2271 W. Crescent Ave., Anaheim, CA 92801 | July 3 | pineapplesdocumentation.com

Buy, sell or trade comic books from over 50 vendors. 

Marvel Studios’ Greatest of all Thor Marathon

El Capitan Theatre | 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | July 7 | elcapitantheatre.com

Be one of the first to see “Thor: Love and Thunder” at Marvel Studios’ G.O.A.T. Marathon: Greatest of all Thor showing all four “Thor” films hosted by Nerdist. Guests are encouraged to cosplay as their favorite Marvel characters. Tickets are $125 and include a t-shirt, lanyard with credential, drawstring bag, button badges, patch set, breakfast, Thor themed popcorn tin with refill and two bottled beverages.

(Left to right) Natalie Portman as Lady Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love and Thunder.” | Photo courtesy of ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The Streaming-Verse of Madness: An Unauthorized Musical Parody

Lyric Hyperion Theatre & Cafe | 21069 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 | July 7-24 | eventbrite.com

This musical parody of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” follows a sorcerer who finds himself transported from one streaming platform to another in hopes. As he tries to get back to his home streamer, he must fight a witch. Expect pop culture references and songs from pop, rock, R&B and the top 40 charts. 

Reptile Super Show

Anaheim Convention Center Hall D | 1950 West St., Anaheim, CA, 92802 | July 9-10 | reptilesupershow.com
Fairplex Gate 17 | 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, Ca | Aug. 13-14

Get up close and personal with interesting creatures and talk to breeders of these animals. You might even walk away with a new pet with all the knowledge and supplies you’ll need to care for them. 

Horrorville 2022

Halloween Depot | 13422 Paramount Blvd., South Gate, CA 90280 | July 9-10 | eventbrite.com

Featuring Rodger L. Jackson, aka Ghost Face from “Scream,” this horror-themed pop-up will have special guests from the horror industry, cosplayers, independent fashion designers, horror collectibles and apparel, and more surprises. 

Infolist Pre Comic-Con Bash

Academy LA | 6021 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | July 14 | eventbrite.com

Celebrating all things comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and cosplay, this pre comic-con party will host producers, creators, execs and stars from blockbuster movies, top TV shows, manga, comic books, anime and video games. The lineup includes execs from Comikaze Entertainment and LA Comic Con, producers from “The Umbrella Academy,” director and writer Shane Black (“Iron Man 3,” “The Predator,” “Lethal Weapon”), screenwriter David Hayter (“X-Men,” “The Watchmen”), Geoff Mark (lead VFX artist on “Spider-Man 3”), Emmy award-winning art director Ellen Jin (“Dr. Strange,” “Iron Man,” “He-Man & The Masters of the Universe”), producer/writer/director John Over (“Animaniacs,” “Tiny Toon Adventures,” “Clifford the Big Red Dog”), music director/composer Shie Rozow (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Corpse Bride,” “Hellboy 2”) and many more.

Way Out West

ILWU Memorial Hall | 231 West C St., Wilmington, CA 90744 | July 15 | pcwultra.com

Meet your favorite professional wrestlers and legends, like Booker T, and get a seat ringside to watch them in action. 

Long Beach’s ‘80 Arcade Pub Crawl

Downtown Long Beach | 300 The Promenade N., Long Beach, CA 90802 | July 16 | dothecrawl.com

Get your best ‘80s outfit together for chances to win a prize for best dressed on top of drink specials, no cover charge, and food specials.


San Diego Convention Center | 111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 | July 21-24 | comic-con.org

The goliath of all fan events returns to San Diego for the first time since 2019! Confirmed special guests so far include Tomi Champion-Adeyemi, one of  “Time” magazine’s 100 most influential people and writer of “Children of Blood and Bone”; Jane Baer, animator on “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Fox & The Hound,” and “The Rescuers,” and owner of Baer Animation; Henry Barajas, Latinx author of “La Voz De M.A.Y.O.”; and many more. Keep an eye out for programming schedules to be published.

Attendees at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con International. | Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Patches & Pins Expo

Anaheim Convention Center | 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802 | July 23 | eventbrite.com
Fairplex  Gate 16 | 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768 | Aug. 21

Shop for unique pins, patches, art, vintage fashion and toys, and sneakers from creative vendors. When you need a break from shopping, check out the food trucks and enjoy some live music.. 

Toy-Zilla Swap Meet

Toy-Zilla | 43 E. Main St., Alhambra, CA 91801 | July 30 | toyzillastore.square.site/swap-meet

Find a new treasure from an array of vendors selling pop culture collectibles, toys, games, comics and art. 

Midsummer Scream 

Long Beach Convention Center | 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802 | July 29-31 | midsummerscream.org 

Calling all ghouls, witches and demons! Celebrate Halloween and all its horrors early with vendors, exhibitors, haunted attractions, live entertainment and special guests like James Jude Courtney (Michael Myers), Christin McConnell (star of “The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell” on Netflix), Kirk Hammett of Metallica and many, many more. 

“Back to the Future” with the LA Phil

Hollywood Bowl | 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068| Aug. 5-6 | hollywoodbowl.com

Power up your DeLorean for a trip to the Hollywood Bowl to experience this pop culture sci-fi classic on the big screen with the LA Philharmonic performing Alan Silvestri’s score live. 

Christmas Con

Pasadena Convention Center | 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Aug. 5-7 | thats4entertainment.com

Dashing through the California heat in an open top convertible, or however the song goes. Celebrate Christmas in July with special guests and surprises. 

Ronin Expo

Terasaki Budokan | 249 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Aug. 13 | ronin-expo.org

Featuring artists, exhibitors, live performances and special guests, this anime and Japanese culture convention caters to up-and-coming creators. 

La Bulla

Plaza de la Raza | 3540 N. Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031 | Aug. 20-21 eventbrite.com

If you’ve never watched lucha libre live, this is your chance to catch Solar, Solar Jr and Laredo Kidd for a double main event and Lil Cholo and company. The festival also features and art show curated by Johnny “KMDZ” Rodriguez; musical performances by Quita Penas, Undisputed World Champions, Faces and DJ Javie; poetry from Matt Sedillo; a fashion show, a bike show, food, a full bar and so much more. 

Lucha libre masks in Olvera Street. | Photo by Larry Costales on Unsplash


Long Beach Convention Center | 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802 | Aug. 20-21 | collectaconusa.com

Grow your sports card, Funko POP!, comic book, vintage toy or video game collection and then get your new collectibles signed by the people behind some of your favorite characters. In addition to over 500 vendors, this year’s special guests include Vanilla Ice, TMNT, Sean Schemmel (the voice of Goku from “Dragon Ball Z”), Cristina Vee (the voice actress for Sailor Mars), Eric Stuart (the voice behind Brock, Squirtle and James on “Pokémon”) and Charles Martinet (the voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi), among many others. 


Anaheim Marriott | 700 W. Convention Way, Anaheim, CA 92802 | Aug. 26-28 | clexacon.com

ClexaCon brings together LGBTQ+ women, trans and non-binary fans and creators for a multi-fandom event with panels, workshops, autograph sessions, educational resources to help push for better representation, and loads of fun. Speakers include Amanda Holland (founder of GirlShipTV and Fruity Productions), Elena Heuzé (star of “Heart Shot” on Netflix), actress Giovannie Espiritu (“Ally 3000”) and many other.

Power Morphicon

Pasadena Convention Center | 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Aug. 26-28 | officialpowermorphicon.com

Go, go, Power Rangers! It doesn’t matter which iteration is your favorite because they will all be represented at Power Morphicon. The event will feature exhibitors and the actors who brought the Rangers to life. 

Celebrating John Williams at 90

Hollywood Bowl | 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068 | Sept. 2-4 | hollywoodbowl.com

John Williams is among the most influential composers in the movie business. Williams is the man responsible for the scores of blockbuster films like “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” and “Indiana Jones.” Now, the LA Philharmonic will perform some of his biggest hits alongside film clips.

Gateway 2022 

Hilton Los Angeles Airport | 5711 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045 | Sept. 2-5 | strategicon.net

This gaming convention gives game enthusiasts the chance to play, watch and buy a variety of board, card, miniatures, roleplaying, collectable, and video games.

Pony Fair West

Holiday Inn Buena Park | 7000 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90620 | Sept. 3 | mylittleponycon.com

Hundreds of My Little Pony collectors and fans of all ages gather for My Little Pony presentations, workshops, vendors, contests and games in a family-friendly atmosphere. 

Long Beach Comic Con

Long Beach Convention Center | 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802 | Sept. 3-4 | longbeachcomiccon.com

It might be smaller than San Diego’s, but Long Beach Comic Con promises to pack the weekend with comics, artist, exhibitors, cosplay and celebrity guests.

Anime Impulse OC

OC Fair & Event Center | 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626 | Sept. 3-4 | animeimpulse.com

A fusion of anime and manga with video game culture, K-Pop and Asian pop culture, Anime Impulse features all the typical con events like panel, vendors, artist and celebrity guests, but it also adds an itasha car show and Sneaker Expo.

Sneaker Expo

OC Fair & Event Center | 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626 | Sept. 3-4 | sneakerexpo.com

Get some new shoes or threads from vintage classics to the latest trends and when you’re done shopping check out Anime Impulse OC. 

Brick Fest Live

Hilton Anaheim California Ballroom | 777 W. Convention Way, Anaheim, CA 92802 | Sept. 3-4 | brickfestlive.com  
Pasadena Convention Center | 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Sept. 10-11

You have two opportunities to catch Brick Fest Live in the Southland. Lego fans can expect over 25,000 square feet of displays, interactive shows, life-size models, building activities, photo opportunities and exclusive merchandise. 

D23 Expo 2022

Anaheim Convention Center | 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802 | Sept. 9-11 | d23expo.com

The largest Disney fan event in the world will celebrate Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. Guests will be treated to new details, first looks, sneak peeks, surprises and announcements for upcoming theatrical and Disney+ projects. Studio heads, filmmakers, and cast members will be on stage for the reveals. On Saturday, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm will give peeks at their upcoming films, specials and series. Disney Park fans won’t want to miss Sunday as Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro gives a look at the future of the parks during a presentation that promises to be full of exciting new surprises. This year’s exhibit, “Walt Disney Archives presents Step in Time,” will kick off Disney100, a chronological exhibition showcasing assets from the company’s nearly 100-year history. 

Dsiney+ booth at D23 Expo in 2019. | Photo by Anthony Quintano (CC BY 2.0)

SoCal Anime

Pomona Fairplex | 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768 | Sept. 16-18 | socalanime.us

Event details are still sparse but this three day convention celebrating Japanese pop culture will feature performances, a cosplay contest, and special guests.

Sing-A-Long “Sound of Music”

Hollywood Bowl | 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068 | Sept. 17 | hollywoodbowl.com

Melissa Peterman, best known as Barbra Jean on “Reba,” hosts a night of singing with the von Trapps to this Oscar-winning film that remains relevant today.

The Off Market Mouse Expo

Ontario Convention Center | 2000 E. Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA 91764 | Sept. 17 | eventbrite.com

Find over 60 craft Disney, Marvel and Star Wars vendors under one roof. There will also be food, beer and a cosplay contest. 

ABBA The Concert

Hollywood Bowl | 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068 | Sept. 23 | hollywoodbowl.com

Gimme, gimme, gimme your best disco moves you dancing queen. Take a chance on this Swedish band paying tribute to ABBA and the band’s biggest hits. Voulez-vous aller?

Star Wars in Death Valley

Death Valley | nps.gov

Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV). | Photo courtesy of ©2022 & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Visit Tatooine by taking a road trip to Death Valley, where “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” and “Star Wars: Episode V – Return of the Jedi” filmed scenes. This is a self-guided driving audio tour you can access by downloading the NPS App. Remember to check alerts, conditions and temperatures before heading out as the park routinely breaks heat records. 

(Editor’s note:  HeySoCal.com is dedicating July to a series on “Geek” culture. Let us know what you think by contacting our editor, Andrew Voros, at drewvoros@heysocal.com) 

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