1 Comic craze
Comic-book mania is sweeping San Diego, making the climate just right for adults to tap into their inner kiddo for the megapop-culture convention Comic-Con's four-day romp. Aside from granting every nerd socialite status, the Con is appealing to the masses with enough festivities to bring out everyone's Kanye West party ethic. Forgo sleep and instead dedicate yourself to finding the freshest costume duds for strutting at bashes like the Museum of Photographic Arts' Con edition of POP Thursdays, a costume contest and cocktail party happening at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12.
To kick off MOPA's regular after-dark event, enjoy street food provided by Alchemy in South Park—they'll be out front of the museum dishing up tacos. Once inside, sip craft cocktails slung by the restaurant's spirits-wizards, and ogle models as they undergo a live body-painting transformation that'll be an homage to comic art. If skin isn't your thing, check out a screening of Sin City in the museum's theater. DJ Gabe Vega will also be in the house, spinnin' it up, and the museum's gallery will be open for perusal.
Among all the visual-art activities to take in, stop at the comic-book cover-portrait-studio area; each guest gets to take home their photograph, provided by Skin Tight Body Art. On top of snapping action-figure pics and creating a Lichtenstein comic pattern on one of the models for guests to behold, Briana Chaney's art troupe, San Diego Body Art Playground, will have three months' worth of photographs revealing the private painting sessions of fantasy-inspired body art.
"The No. 1 question people ask is, Can you paint me?'" Chaney says. "It's so stimulating to paint live. Everyone loves it." $10 admission, $8 for students.
2 Say si' to cerveza
San Diego has some great breweries; there's no denying that. But if you're tired of the same IPAs and feel like taking your liver and taste buds on an exploration far away from the chaos of Comic-Con, there's the Baja Beer Fest. More than 40 Baja breweries will be pouring their wares on Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14. Local bands will provide entertainment, and there'll be delicious street food for sale to help soak up the alcohol. It goes down on Avenida Revolución between Seventh and Eighth streets in downtown Tijuana starting at 1 p.m. on both days. We recommend that you park your car at the border, walk across and cab it to the location for about $5. Admission is $5.
3 'Toon it up
When it comes to live readings, you usually think heady poetry, some beatnik sitting on a stool breathily over-emphasizing his words to fabricate profundity. That's exactly what you won't get with The Crazy Rattlesnake Treehouse Gang, a live, projector-enhanced reading of comics and graphic novels from eight independent cartoonists and animators. On the bill: Mad magazine contributor Phil McAndrew, Yo Gabba Gabba animators Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson and IDW Publishing artist Tom Neely. Ideal for geeks without Comic-Con passes, the free performance—presented by the omnipresent live-literature organization So Say We All—starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 12, on Space 4 Art's outdoor stage (325 15th St. in East Village).