Its the most wonderful time of the year, when the usual Downtown crowd is outnumbered by the costumed-geek elite. If youre not a Comic-Con badge holder, there are still tons of parties going on around town that you can attend. For some, you need an invite. Here are a few that dont require you to be Kevin Smith to party.

On preview night (Wednesday, July 11), itll be hardcore gamers instead of dudes with faux-hawks standing in line outside Stingaree (454 Sixth Ave., Downtown) for the unveiling of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. See how the new video game works, then sweat it out on the dance floor.

Salute the rise of geek culture at W00tstock 4.0, where nerd heroes Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Adam Savage (MythBusters) and comedy-music makers Paul and Storm will put on an energetic variety show. Therell be comedy, readings, short films, music and special guests like The Doubleclicks and Rob Reid. It goes down at the Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown) on Thursday, July 12.

Love the Comedy Central show Workaholics? Go down to Float at the Hard Rock Hotel (207 Fifth Ave., Downtown) and hang with the stars of the show for a 2-to-5 p.m. happy hour on Friday, July 13. Its first come, first served, so make sure to get there early.

If youre feeling like the odd man out while all your friends hang outside Hall H for two hours waiting for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II panel, LOUNGEsix (616 J St.) at Hotel Solamar will throw an Odd Ball party at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 14. Therell be rooftop cocktails, movies screened and plenty of people watching throughout the night. You can wear your Team Edward shirt if you want.

Happy Conning!

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