These are the youngest comic book creators at Comic-Con 2018

Educators face challenges as they try to stoke a passion for reading and writing in young people.

“There are games and electronics,” said Stephanie Jones, a teacher at Loma Verde Elementary School in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. “It’s always hard to find a way to outreach to these students, to make them more interested and passionate about learning to read and write.”


Izzy Fergus, 11, left, Stephanie Jones, Danita Mia Valle, 12, Aaron Felix, 14, and Alex Macias, 14, all of Chula Vista at their B.L.A.S.T. Graphic Novel Project booth during the last day of the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Then one year while attending Comic-Con International, Jones and her friend, Deidre Romero, also a teacher at Loma Verde Elementary School, had an idea. With the popularity of comic book heroes and graphic novels, why not teach children how to create their own books? That’s when B.L.A.S.T — Blazing Literacy Artists Super Team — Graphic Novel Project was born.

For the last seven years, the friends have created a program that is currently in about four schools.

“I think it’s a really good idea to get little kids involved in reading and writing and drawing – that way they can appreciate writing,” said 11-year-old Izzy Fergus, who created a story about a family of aliens who left their home planet after the population learned of their president’s evil plan to take over their entire world. The intergalactic clan crashes on the front lawn of an Earth family’s home and now both have to learn how to get along and live together.

Izzy was among six students, ranging in age from 10 to 14, to attend SDCC this year.

“We’re the only exhibitors in the history of Comic-Con to have elementary-age comic creators,” Romero proudly proclaimed.

“I was a little nervous coming,” said Edgar Zamora, 11. “You wonder if people will like what you did, but then your friends tell you to keep going.”

By Sunday, all of the comics, including Edgar’s story about a battle between two worlds, were completely gone.

Word of the B.L.A.S.T program began to spread across the convention floor and a handful of professional artists made their way to the student’s table at the back of the enormous space to speak to the young creators.

“Yesterday, the Marvel artist, Joshua Cassara, came by and talked to the kids,” Romero said. Cassara was an artist on Marvel’s “Falcon” book.


Graphic novels made by youth members of the B.L.A.S.T. Graphic Novel Project as seen during the last day of the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

“They come here and they give them advice and tell them not to give up,” Romero said.

Two boys, Alex Macias and Aaron Felix, both 14, have been with the program for five years and helped guide the first-timers, like Danira Valle, 12, and Angel Guzman, 10, about what to expect at the convention.

“It’s been fun and it’s so big,” said Angel as he sat at the table handing out cards and fliers about the program which have information on how to donate to the program.

The small program is gaining traction within the Chula Vista district, but both Jones and Romero would like to grow it across San Diego County and beyond.

The program is not funded through the district, so Romero and Jones and two other teachers have worked hard to raise the money throughout the year to purchase supplies, print the comics and purchase the $600 table at SDCC. Like most teachers, when they fall short, they sometimes reach into their own pockets.

That spark has definitely ignited something in Aaron.

“It’s something that I really love and it’s a passion of mine,” said the 14-year-old, who says he now aspires to be a professional comic book creator.

“We feel this is an experience that should be open to all children,” Romero said. “They should all have that opportunity and know that they can do more.”

For donation information, contact Jones at iamst.jones@aol.com.

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These photos of Comic-Con 2018’s Masquerade are what cosplay dreams are made of

Cosplay is undoubtedly one of the drawing features of events like Comic-Con International.

When it comes to the San Diego event though, cosplayers definitely step up their game as they strut their stuff in the annual Masquerade Costume Competition.

  • Winner of Best In Show, “Sarah and Jareth the Goblin King,” by Ambrose Cosplay, at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Best Workmanship award, “Sylvanas Windrunner,” by Heather Waters at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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  • Most Creative Use of Materials winner, “HowlÕs Moving Castle,” by Nina London at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Most Humorous award, “Princess Vanellope Von SchweetzÉand Ralph,” by Bri Sloth and PrueDuctions Cosplay, at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • JudgesÕ Choice winner, “Big Daddy Delta & Big Sister Eleanor,” by Angus & Aubin Duff, at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Best Re-creation winner, “The Grand Apothecary, Putress,” by Vincent Clervi, at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Most Beautiful award winner, “Claire Fraser The Outlander Wedding,” by Rebecca Roberts Ryan, at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Best Young Fan Award, “Bakugou,” by Gabrielle and Brad Jones, at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of Best Presentation, “Crouching Prince, Hidden Dragon,” by Jacob Rodebaugh, Brooke, Rob and Natasha Bowman, at the 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The 2018 Masquerade at the San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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Celebrating it’s 44th year at the four-day pop culture convention, the three-hour event took over the San Diego Convention Center’s Ballroom 20 on Saturday to give the “art of costuming the spotlight it deserves,” according to the Comic-Con website. More than 100 people were expected to take part in the Masquerade with 40 entries being judged Saturday night.

“A wide variety of characters are brought to life in clever and entertaining presentations of drama, comedy, mock battles, and more, each with specially selected music and lighting — a fun, lively night where you never know who and what will cross the stage next.,” the website states.

Here’s a list of this year’s winners:

  • Most Creative Use of Materials winner, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” by Nina London
  • Winner of the Most Humorous award, “Princess Vanellope Von SchweetzÉand Ralph,” by Bri Sloth and PrueDuctions Cosplay
  • Judges’ Choice winner, “Big Daddy Delta & Big Sister Eleanor,” by Angus & Aubin Duff
  • Best Re-creation winner, “The Grand Apothecary, Putress,” by Vincent Clervi
  • Most Beautiful award winner, “Claire Fraser The Outlander Wedding,” by Rebecca Roberts Ryan
  • Winner of the Best Young Fan Award, “Bakugou,” by Gabrielle and Brad Jones
  • Winner of Best Presentation, “Crouching Prince, Hidden Dragon,” by Jacob Rodebaugh, Brooke, Rob and Natasha Bowman

Staff writer Sarah Batcha contributed to this report.

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Daryl Dixon’s motorcycle, the San Diego Comic-Con Trumpet Player and everything else we saw on day 3 of SDCC 2018

Ah, day 3 of Comic-Con International in San Diego, when the cosplayers start to become a little bit like zombies as they trudge across Harbor Boulevard and some attendees finally get their time to shine with the big stars in Hall H after waiting in line for days. Or maybe everyone was just chasing after the rare Pokemon spawning at the Convention Center.

Speaking of Hall H, everyone is really excited about the “Aquaman” trailer, which was one of the big movie trailer reveals on Saturday.

Unless you somehow scored one of the hotels really close to the San Diego Convention Center, chances are you ended up riding the shuttle, which could be great — one bus was playing “Logan’s Run” — or an adventure — another shuttle full of passengers had to educate their driver about the difference between blue and teal. Even Captain America rode the Comic-Con shuttle.

Getting around at the con itself is an obstacle course — thanks to strollers for kids and droids. For con-goers with disabilities, the throngs can provide challenges.

As always, we saw some fantastic cosplay. Among the people we met in our travels today: a drag queen Deadpool and tiki-inspired “Star Wars” villains. And if you ever wanted to know who supplies cosplayers with wigs, there’s a company in Tustin that would love to give you fake hair.

We met the San Diego Comic-Con trumpet player, who is even better than that guy who cosplayed as Sexy Sax Man last year and just kept playing Wham’s “Careless Whisper.” Mark Grisez, of Miami Beach, provided a personal soundtrack for some Indiana Jones and Darth Vader cosplayers.

Speaking of music, the con floor turned into a Chuck E. Cheese with Deadpool miming Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” at the Deadpool Super Duper Dance Party thanks to the folks at the Jim Henson Creature Shop in Burbank.

Fan activations were all the rage on Saturday. You could get your photo with a walker AND Daryl Dixon’s motorcycle at AMC’s Deadquarters. But you couldn’t touch it — they apparently actually use it on “The Walking Dead.” You could also visit Christmas Town at a pop-up for the 25th anniversary of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

And we we headed to Barrio Logan to visit Border X Brewing, which held its own comic book convention focusing on the contributions of Latino creators within the industry with the fourth annual Chicano-Con.

We’ve got one more day in San Diego tomorrow and we’re going to make it count. Follow our team’s coverage of Comic-Con online and at socalnewsgroup on Instagram.

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Comic-Con 2018: 5 ways Stephen King impacted ‘Castle Rock’ creation and actors

Even though Stephen King wasn’t around for the introduction of “Castle Rock” to Comic-Con International on Friday, the author’s name was on everyone’s lips.

Here are five ways the Master of Horror impacted not only the creation of the new Hulu series but also the showrunners and actors themselves.

1. Studying Stephen King

Creators and executive producers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason said they grew up on King and revered the writer.

“We never would have done it without his blessing and a feeling that we were delivering something creatively that he was going to be happy with,” Thomason said. “I think that ultimately … every character choice, every setting of his that we wanted to use in this first season, we went to him and we made sure that he was comfortable with it.”

To create the series, they had to build a “graduate level seminar on Stephen King” to divide and conquer the library of King’s work, according to Shaw.

  • Sissy Spacek attends a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Melanie Lynskey, from left, Bill Skarsgard and Sissy Spacek attend a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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  • Jane Levy, left, speaks as Melanie Lynskey looks on at a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Jane Levy speaks at a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Jane Levy attends a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Bill Skarsgard, left, speaks as Sissy Spacek looks on during a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Melanie Lynskey, left, speaks as Bill Skarsgard looks on a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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“We’d sit around and try to anatomize what it is that makes a Stephen King story a Stephen King story,” he said. “What is essential to the DNA of the stories?”

The answer to that question is what helped Shaw and Thomason launch the “Castle Rock” series.

2. Small town tensions

According to Shaw, what lured him and Thomason down the path of “Castle Rock” was their love of the American small town and the secrets that can lie within.

“Part of what we always loved as readers of Stephen King was how specific his anthropology of New England and of Maine was in the sense that he really lovingly became an archivist of small town life there,” Shaw said during a press roundtable Friday. “And so it was exciting for us to check in there on this town that we’ve been reading about for a long time and re-imagine it in 2018.”

In just 5 days #CastleRock will open its gates. Come and join us July 25 on @hulu. pic.twitter.com/XnSBurHWBk

— Castle Rock (@castlerockhulu) July 20, 2018

3. Unexpected turns

“One thing that we love about Stephen King is the way that you can go on a Stephen King ride and never know exactly what ride you’re on,” Thomason said. “Sense of the unexpected is something that we really wanted to achieve.”

The creators of “Castle Rock” kept the detailed storylines a secret from the actors during the audition phase.

The secretiveness of the show almost scared Bill Skarsgård, who played Pennywise the clown in the 2017 remake of the film “IT” based on a King novel, away. Skarsgård, who became one of the main stars of the show, was a little hesitant to even apply for the role.

“I was reluctant. I just did something in that world and I don’t know how this interferes with the ‘IT’ narrative really,” Skarsgård said. “As soon as they allowed me to read the pilot that all changed. I fell in love with the show.”

After meeting the writers, Skarsgård said he was in all the way.

#BillSkarsgard discussing his initial hesitation taking the #CastleRock roll after recently being in the remake of #StephenKing’s #IT. #ComicCon #SDCC2018 pic.twitter.com/9AD4lOBqDP

— Sarah Batcha (@SarahBatcha) July 21, 2018

4. Appreciating horror

“With ‘IT’ the book was a bible to me because that was a source material that we were adapting,” Skarsgård said.

While Skarsgård said he’s only read about five to six of the novels by the prolific writer, costar Melanie Lynskey said she began reading King at a young age.

“I was a fan of a Stephen King probably too early. I think I was like 10 when I started reading his books, so I felt pretty well versed” coming into the role of Molly, Lynskey said. “I didn’t do any extra reading for the show, but I already loved his stuff.”

For Jane Levy coming into her role as Jackie on “Castle Rock” made her realize how much of King’s work she didn’t actually know, such as “The Shawshank Redemption” film being based off one of the author’s short stories.

Since taking the role, Levy says she’s become a huge fan of King.

“Such a fascinating person, really no comparison,” she said. “I’m honored to be part of the universe.”

Levy also noted that through her “Castle Rock” role she’s realized that she’s actually a fan of the horror genre, which is in tune with her character who loves the macabre.

“Maybe I am an actual huge horror fan,” she said. “Whenever a horror movie comes out it’s the only thing that without absolute fail will get me to the movie theater.”

5. Connecting worlds

Levy’s character’s last name is Torrance, a name any “constant reader” — what King calls his fans — should know hearkens back to the Torrance family in “The Shining.” It’s yet to be revealed exactly what Jackie’s connection may be to Jack Torrance, an alcoholic family man who became not so friendly to his family during their stay at the Overlook Hotel.

“She brushes up very close to a famous King character,” is all Levy would say about Jackie.

The Shawshank State Penitentiary becomes a predominant location that connects the “Castle Rock” characters — most notably Henry Deaver, an attorney from the “Needful Things” novel portrayed by André Holland, to Skarsgård’s character who has been in solitary confinement at the prison.

There are plenty of other connections that will be made clear as the series progresses, according to the creators. Shaw said that even PhD-level King fans will be able to find clues throughout the the series and King’s immersive universe.

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Comic-Con 2018: A cosplaying dog, Deadpool’s apartment, Voltron and everything else we saw on day 2

Let’s just admit it – Friday was a weird day in the nerd world at Comic-Con International in San Diego. There were so many highs – like meeting Merly the Cosplay Dog. But there was also a major shock — James Gunn getting booted from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” by Disney because of offensive tweets he sent years ago.

But the team roamed the San Diego Convention Center and its surroundings to show you what it’s really like to be at Comic-Con 2018 in photos. And yes, we captured images of more amazing cosplayers — like Maui from “Moana.”

What does it take to be great at transforming people into main attractions? We hung out with the folks from Cinema Makeup School to find out. The results were equal parts terrifying and amazing.

We may have inadvertently joined a cult Friday morning, too, with the launch of DC’s “Heroes in Crisis.” Those robes sure were comfy, though.

Outside of the con, we ended up at a street party talking to Orlando Jones while a brass band played the song from Mos Eisley Cantina in “Star Wars.” (No, really, it happened. We were not dehydrated and delusional.) And we also found out which member of “The Golden Girls” Deadpool keeps a photo of in his apartment. Plus, we watched people play video games on a giant laptop. It was kind of like being in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

Inside the San Diego Convention Center we were hard at work reporting on topics like the reveal that a major character from “Voltron: Legendary Defender” is LGBTQ to help better reflect the real life audience of the animated series. We found out that “Preacher” is diving deeper into its comic book roots. Oh, and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is officially leaving “The Walking Dead” but all is not lost.

Most importantly, we found out the answer to the question “Do zombies poop?” from the cast of “Fear The Walking Dead.”

Speaking of zombies, if you were less of a Zombies fan during the British Invasion and more a Beatlemaniac for John, Paul, George and Ringo, you probably know that it’s the 50th anniversary of “Yellow Submarine.” But did you know The Beatles’ film has never been a graphic novel until now? We caught up with Titan Comics’ Bill Morrison, the man behind the “Yellow Submarine” graphic novel.

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Comic-Con 2018: The winning looks from the Her Universe Fashion Show

The fifth annual Her Universe Fashion Show and design contest drew hundreds of geek couture fans to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Thursday, the first official day of Comic-Con International, for a night of style and reveals including a special surprise guest who sashayed across the catwalk.

The show kicked off with the debut of Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein’s unique gown inspired by the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The 40-pound frock was designed and created by 2014 contest winner Andrew MacLaine, and featured 500 Jack Skellington Funko Pop heads.

  • Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein welcomes everyone to the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland’s The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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  • Winner of the Singer Award, Jane Burson’s Howl’s Moving Castle inspired entry, “Howl-in’ For You,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Audience’s Choice award, Kristi Siedow-Thompson’s Aliens inspired entry, “PWL Chic: Ripley In The Powerloader,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein welcomes everyone to the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Sarah Hambly’s Black Panther inspired entry, “King Couture,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Skyler Barrett’s Guardians of the Galaxy inspired entry, “Subject 89P13,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Stephanie Flor’s Teen Titans inspired entry, “Zinthos,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Stephanie Flor’s Teen Titans inspired entry, “Zinthos,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Melissa Lynnette’s Black Panther inspired entry, “Yibambe,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Harmony Leiker’s Tangled inspired entry, “Best.Dress.Ever!,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Harmony Leiker’s Tangled inspired entry, “Best.Dress.Ever!,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Kelsey Michele’s Disney Parks inspired entry, “Style on Space Mountain,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Kimberly Burns’ The Nightmare Before Christmas inspired entry, “Seamstress Sally,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Chatam Gray’s Pocahontas inspired entry, “Colors of Couture,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Phoebe Ping’s Wall-E inspired entry, “Directive..?,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Phoebe Ping’s Wall-E inspired entry, “Directive..?,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Singer Award, Jane Burson’s Howl’s Moving Castle inspired entry, “Howl-in’ For You,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Singer Award, Jane Burson’s Howl’s Moving Castle inspired entry, “Howl-in’ For You,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Aaliyah Frye’s Coco inspired entry, “My Alebrije,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Aaliyah Frye’s Coco inspired entry, “My Alebrije,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Candice Miller’s Star Wars inspired entry, “Convor Couture,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Candice Miller’s Star Wars inspired entry, “Convor Couture,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland’s The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland’s The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland’s The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland’s The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland’s The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Ericka Angiuli’s Beetlejuice inspired entry, “Beetlesuit V:1,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Rachel Roth’s Overwatch inspired entry, “Nerf This,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Tanya Apuya’s Godzilla inspired entry,” Godzilla, Queen of the Monsters,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Tanya Apuya’s Godzilla inspired entry,” Godzilla, Queen of the Monsters,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Lynne Martens’ Harry Potter inspired entry, “Flight of the Phoenix,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Lynne Martens’ Harry Potter inspired entry, “Flight of the Phoenix,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Sarah Timm’s The Gilmore Girls inspired entry, “Coffee at Luke’s,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Lynleigh Sato’s Edward Scissorhands inspired entry, “Bespoke Barber of Suburbia,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Jill N Nofziger’s Harry Potter inspired entry, “Courage, Daring, Nerve and Chivalry,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Adria Renee’s Star Wars inspired entry, “Rebellion Reborn,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Christopher Lopez’s Star Wars inspired entry, “Darkness Rising,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Carina Langley-Lacy’s Doctor Who inspired entry, “Vincent and Exploading Tardis,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Carina Langley-Lacy’s Doctor Who inspired entry, “Vincent and Exploading Tardis,” during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein watches as audience members take their turn on the runway during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Cynthia Kirkland, in red, reacts after her The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” is announced as the winner of the Judge’s Choice award, during the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Singer Award, Jane Burson, left, winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland, center, and winner of the Audience’s Choice award, Kristi Siedow-Thompson, walk the runway with their entries after the awards were announced at the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winner of the Judge’s Choice award, Cynthia Kirkland, and winner of the Audience’s Choice award, Kristi Siedow-Thompson, hug after the awards were announced at the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Cynthia Kirkland, in red, celebrates with her model after her The Shape of Water inspired entry, “The Couture of Water,” is announced as the winner of the Judge’s Choice award, at the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Winners Jane Burson, top, Cynthia Kirkland, center, Kristi Siedow-Thompson, and their models hug after the awards were announced at the Her Universe Fashion Show, during the San Diego Comic-Con, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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Besides the “Nightmare” anniversary, Eckstein also announced the celebration of the 10th anniversary of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which Disney just revealed would be returning to the air, as well as the 20th anniversary of Cartoon Network’s “Powerpuff Girls.”

To mark the occasion, two of the “Clone Wars” voice actors, Matt Lanter and Dee Bradley Baker, modeled two new menswear looks from Eckstein’s latest Star Wars line. The winners of the first Her Universe junior competition, who created “Powepuff Girl” looks, were also announced during the fashion show.

The #HerUniverseFashionShow judge’s winner, Cynthia Kirkland for her #TheShapeofWater look, is announced by #AshleyEckstein. #ComicCon #HerUniverse #SDCC2018 pic.twitter.com/meLAmuyqKn

— Sarah Batcha (@SarahBatcha) July 20, 2018

A portion of the way through the fashion show, made up of 24 designers all vying to win the coveted Judges and Audience Awards along with the newly announced Singer Award, the audience erupted into applause when Jodie Whittaker, the 13th Doctor for the BBC America series, “Doctor Who,” walked the runway in a Her Universe Doctor Who-inspired hooded coat.

This year’s designs consisted of high-fashion creations inspired by geek culture fandoms including Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and even the Aliens franchise.

Jane Burson’s #HowlsMovingCastle looks is named the Singer winner of the #HerUniverseFashionShow by #AshleyEckstein during #ComicCon. #SDCC2018 #HerUniverse pic.twitter.com/XiEcrAZi9O

— Sarah Batcha (@SarahBatcha) July 20, 2018

Ten of the 24 designers hail from Southern California — some born and raised, others who moved here to purse their passion.

Finalist and costume designer Tanya Apuya, who grew up in San Pedro, said that she learned to express herself through what she wore while growing up, according to her bio in the Her Universe Fashion Show program.

Annnnnd the #HerUniverseFashionShow audience winner is announced by #AshleyEckstein. Congrats Kristi Siedow-Thompson on your #Aliens look! #ComicCon #HerUniverse #SDCC2018 pic.twitter.com/yXLNcqI0O2

— Sarah Batcha (@SarahBatcha) July 20, 2018

“It was this kind of creativity coupled with her love for storytelling that has led her to theatrical costume design,” the program states.

Apuya designed a Godzilla-inspired coat on which she hand-stitched textured dragon scales.

Moreno Valley resident and finalist Christopher Lopez, who’s an aspiring costume designer, used his love of Star Wars and the character Kylo Ren, introduced in “The Force Awakens,” to inspire his “Darkness Rising” gown.

After working in Disney costuming, Anaheim designer Ericka Angiuli, who create a “Beetlejuice”-themed look, said that participating in the fashion show in the past “changed her perspective on Geek Couture and the fashion industry,” according to the program.

After all the looks headed down the runway, Cynthia Kirkland received the Judges’ Award for her gown, The Couture of Water gown inspired by “The Shape of Water.” The Singer Sewing Award went to Jane Burson for Howl-In’ For You based on “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and the Audience Award winner was Kristi Siedow-Thompson for PWL Chic: Ripley in the Powerloader based on the film “Aliens.”

The winners will design a Spring 2019 Marvel’s “Avengers 4” fashion line for Her Universe to be sold at Hot Topic.

#HerUniverse founder #AshleyEckstein announces that winners from this year’s #fashion show winners will be designing a new #Marvel #Avengers line coming in 2019. #ComicCon #HerUniverse #SDCC2018 pic.twitter.com/wWHwtnNKy9

— Sarah Batcha (@SarahBatcha) July 20, 2018

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Comic-Con 2018: The coolest stuff we saw and did on day 1

Comic-Con International is underway and our team has been swarming the San Diego Convention Center, finding everything from Deadpool paper toilet seat covers to the 13th Doctor to “Supernatural” superfans singing “Happy Birthday” to a cardboard cutout of series star Jared Padalecki.

We started the fun early with Preview Night on Wednesday, snapping some photos (including one in the bathroom of the Deadpool toilet seat cover, because of course we did) and checking out the floor.

We also found a female Pennywise wandering the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter at dusk, because that isn’t creepy at all. We’ve seen some great cosplay creations so far and put together a big San Diego Comic-Con cosplay photo gallery that we’ll be updating over the next few days. Some of our favorites we found include “The Macho Man” Randy Savage, a Weeping Angel from “Doctor Who,” Inspector Gadget and a group of women who dressed up as the dancers from Beyoncé’s Weekend 1 performance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The con officially opened Thursday, but before we went inside, we heard from DC Comics chiefs Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, who had some pretty big announcements, including the new writer of “Aquaman.”

There is already a notable difference for 2018 — people are able to move around outside the Convention Center much more easily this year. Inside the hall, we found where you can dance with an animatronic Deadpool or participate in a “South Park” game show where the loser is covered in a fake bodily fluid.

Everyone was talking about some of the big panels Thursday, including “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.” But one we were excited to be at was for the new season of “Doctor Who.” There’s a new Doctor and a new sonic screwdriver! But seriously, Jodie Whittaker talked about being the first female Doctor and it was pretty great. And later Whittaker was a surprise guest at the Her Universe Fashion Show.

Speaking of the Her Universe Fashion Show, a Victorville teen was one of the winners of the inaugural junior Her Universe competition with her design inspired by the Powerpuff Girls.

After the panels, we hung out at a party created by and for “Supernatural” fans. And there may have been cake involved.

Remember the time before Hollywood invaded and Comic-Con was all about comic books? Mike Carbonaro does. He looks like he could be the guitarist of an ’80s rock band but he sells comic books for tens of thousands of dollars at cons.

Are you headed to San Diego for any of the days? Here are our picks for the best panels on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you don’t have a pass, here are all of the things you can still do without a badge. And you can check out the Nintendo Lounge and play “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” long before it hits store shelves.

Follow our team’s coverage of Comic-Con online and at socalnewsgroup on Instagram.

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Comic-Con 2018: Why ‘Supernatural’ fans serenaded a cardboard Jared Padalecki in a San Diego bar

Jules Wilkinson walked in front of the Analog Bar in the Gaslamp Quarter, greeting friends and fellow fans of “Supernatural” as they arrived for the Comic-Con 2018 party she’s now thrown three different times in San Diego for the die-hard following of the CW show.

“I was coming to Comic-Con and I couldn’t believe that ‘Supernatural,’ one of the biggest fandoms in the world, didn’t have a party,” says Wilkinson, a women’s healthcare worker, writer and comedian who lives in Melbourne, Australia. “So I said, ‘Let’s have a party,’ and we started to plan one.”

  • Author Britta Lundin, left, hugs Jane Hightower, of Bellflower, after she won Lundin’s book “Ship It” in a raffle as Michelle DÕAngelo, of San Diego, at right, celebrates finding the last raffle winner during the Supernatural fan party at Analog bar at Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cardboard cutouts of Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Misha Collins as Castiel and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, from left, at the Supernatural fan party hosted by supernaturalwiki.com founder Jules Wilkinson at Analog Bar during Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Host Jules Wilkinson announces birthday cake to fellow fans of the show to celebrate Supernatural star Jared Padalecki’s birthday during the Supernatural fan party at Analog bar during Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Fans of the show Supernatural gather for a fan party at Analog bar during Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jules Wilkinson, host of the Supernatural fan party at Analog bar, prepares to lead the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Supernatural star Jared Padalecki, seen here in a cardboard cutout, during Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Raffle items sit on a table during the Supernatural fan party at Analog bar at Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Host Jules Wilkinson calls out raffle numbers during the Supernatural fan party at Analog bar at Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jules Wilkinson, host of the Supernatural fan party at Analog bar, prepares to lead the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Supernatural star Jared Padalecki, seen here in a cardboard cutout, during Comic Con 2018 in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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The bar was packed with fans like Pablo Machado, a college student from Guadalajara, Mexico, who said that while the show is terrific, the sense of community among its fans is even more of an appeal to him.

“It’s a very appealing feeling,” Machado said. “I don’t know what this fandom will do when it ends. It will be mass hysteria.”

He was kidding, we think, but so far there’s no end in sight for the story of two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively, who travel the country in a ’67 Impala hunting ghosts and demons and other things that go bump in the night.

While at least one supporting actress from the show was somewhere in the party, Ruth Connell, who plays Rowena MacLeod, the mother of Crowley the King of Hell, the life-sized cardboard cutouts of stars Padalecki, Ackles and Misha Collins had their own place of honor. Padalecki’s cardboard doppelganger even had a large chocolate cake placed before him, or it, and a crowd of fans singing happy birthday to it, or him, in honor of his 36th birthday on Thursday.

Aron Brown of Los Angeles said she only recently got into the show, after friends who’ve long been into it finally convinced her to try it.

“People talk about it like they’re people they know,” she said of the way “Supernatural” mixes relatable characters with magical elements. “It feels like people you know.”

“Supernatural” has lasted 13 seasons and is approaching 300 episodes — first on the WB and now the CW network — and its longevity is part of the reason for the strength of its fandom, Wilkinson said. But its fans have also engaged with it in ways that followers of other shows do not, writing fan fiction, creating fan art and being rewarded by the strong social media presence of its stars.

“It has a lot of mythology, and everything from pop culture to religion, which seems to translate well around the world,” she said. “But at its heart it’s about building a family.  Fandom is often a family of choice. The characters find their family, and that’s true in the fandom as well.”

Tickets for the party included dinner of mahi mahi tacos, sliders, jalapeño macaroni and cheese and vegan Asian salad. Dessert was apple cobbler and Padalecki’s birthday cake – it’s not like he was there to eat it.

Raffle tickets were sold to raise money for charity, with prizes that included the “Supernatural” edition of Monopoly and personally autographed copies of Britta Lundin’s new YA novel “Ship It,” a story that fits neatly into the world of this specific show and fandoms at large, Lundin said.

“Supernatural” is a perfect mix of fantastic action and feelings, said Lundin, of Los Angeles, who when not writing YA novels is a writer on the CW series “Riverdale.”

“In the same episode you’ll have a character fighting ghosts and also crying about his father,” she said. ‘And that’s an intoxicating mix.”

That 150 or so people showed up to celebrate their mutual love of the show is all Wilkinson says she really needs.

“I always say fandom is my fandom,” she said. “It’s about these people. It’s know I can throw a party and people will meet and become friends.”

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Comic-Con 2018: See photos of Preview Night at SDCC in San Diego

Comic-Con International officially starts its 2018 run in San Diego on Thursday, July 19, but these photos show you what Preview Night is like on Wednesday, July 18, at the San Diego Convention Center.

  • Darth Vader greets fans attending Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Dressed as The Flash, Jeff Badger, of Des Moines, IA., takes a picture of a Flash figure as fans attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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  • Sculptor Sam Gao gives a live demonstration of his work as fans attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans walk by a DC Heroes in Crisis comic advertisement during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans at the front of the line for Preview Night take selfies as they wait to be let in during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans head down the escalator to attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans head down the escalator to attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Nicole Maston, of San Diego, spins the wheel at Oogie’s Tricks and Treats, celebrating 25 years of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, as fans attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Figurines for sale at the DC Comics booth during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Jackie Bulkowski, of San Diego, looks at statues for sale at the DC Comics booth as fans attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Miri Kurtz, of Denver, CO., takes pictures of one of the figures for sale at the Sideshow booth during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • An Okoye figure for sale at the Sideshow booth as fans attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Alex Ross works for sale as fans attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Makayla Thomas, 9, of San Diego, colors on a giant coloring board for the Steven Universe coloring book volume 1, available in September 2018, as fans attend Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Artist Karen Hallion signs her work for fans during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans look at figures for sale at the Sideshow booth during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Entertainment cards for fans to play with while waiting in line for Artist Katie Cook during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Anna Niebla, of San Diego, cosplays as Pennywise from Steven King’s IT, in the Gaslamp District during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Fans pose for pictures in the Gaslamp District on Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Workers put the finishing touches on the exterior of Purge City, for the USA Network television series of The Purge, during Preview Night during the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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Comic-Con 2018: The must-have item from Preview Night was found in the bathroom

Every year at Comic-Con International in San Diego there’s that one item that everyone is clamoring for. In year’s past it’s been a limited edition Funko Pop, a special print from that one show or an enamel pin. This year, the thing that many people were itching to take home with them wasn’t on the convention center floor but in the bathrooms.

@VancityReynolds I may not get your autograph at #SDCC But I will be getting an intimate one on one #deadpool2⁠ ⁠ session @deadpoolmovie @Comic_Con @SD_Comic_Con pic.twitter.com/CSHMEDML9f

— JMcDuffee (@SuRe_Sh0t) July 18, 2018

That’s right. The bathrooms.

We have arrived at @Comic_Con! #Deadpool2 #SDCC pic.twitter.com/QgZFU7qESw

— Beatriz Valenzuela (@BeatrizVNews) July 18, 2018

Con-goers making a quite pit stop were pleasantly surprised by toilet seat covers emblazoned with the face of Deadpool and the message, “This is all Fox could afford. Deadpool 2 dropping soon on Blu-ray and digital.”

The seat covers were so popular, fans could be seen grabbing them by the handful and stuffing them into their complimentary SDCC bags.

One convention center worker said she’d been replacing the protective tissue paper much more frequently than years past.

Photos of the covers began to show up on social media celebrating Fox’s ingenious marketing ploy.

And the winner of SDCC marketing is… Deadpool toilet seat covers. pic.twitter.com/RC5VvLY4zC

— Matt Moylan @ SDCC #4529 (@LilFormers) July 19, 2018

Best promo at San Diego Comic Con preview night: Deadpool toilet seat covers. People kept coming out of the bathroom giggling. Including us. #SDCC pic.twitter.com/rgLUb5kpF4

— Geeky Law Gal (@GeekyLawGal) July 19, 2018

Deadpool 2 promotional seat covers at sdcc. #SDCC #Deadpool2 pic.twitter.com/DTpUmoD9tm

— BeedySM (@SlaysStitches) July 19, 2018

 

As with most Comic-Con exclusives, this one ended up on eBay only hours after the convention floor opened on the Wednesday, July 18, for Preview Night.

One enterpeneur wanted $60, plus shipping and handling, for a cover signed by Deadpool co-creator, Rob Liefeld. Most however ran on average for about $15 to $20 a pop.

I’m deluged with this!! Signing these left and right on the street corner!!! https://t.co/WqR9jFM87N

— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) July 18, 2018

It’s unclear if the San Diego Convention Center was provided with enough seat covers to last the length of SDCC, but some women coming out of one of the bathrooms on preview night commented many of the stalls were without the coveted covers.

The first night of Comic-Con will officially kick off Thursday, July 19, and will run until Sunday, July 22.

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