ART OF THE CON
Look here, if you don't have a badge or just have an "I can't even" attitude toward Comic-Con, don't fret. There are actually some great Con-inspired art shows happening this week that don't involve a Kevin Smith appearance or waiting-in-line experience that resembles Disneyland.
First, it's worth it to check out the already-opened Super Freaks at the downtown Sparks Gallery (530 Sixth Ave.) and, if you have the means to get there, the My Hero: Contemporary Art & Superhero Action exhibition at the California Center for the Arts (340 N. Escondido Blvd.) in Escondido. Both offer fresh, humorous, and in the case of Super Freaks, demented takes on the superhero narrative. Check sparksgallery.com and artcenter.org for business hours.
On Thursday, July 21, Bluefoot Bar & Lounge (3404 30th St.) in North Park is hosting a Pabst Blue Ribbon-sponsored art show called Cool Blue Comic-Con from 7 p.m. to midnight. The show will feature more than a dozen local artists' takes on PBR's iconic "Cool Blue" character. The night will also include free giveaways, an open breakdancing competition and live art from Nick McPherson and Dave Weidetz (aka MR.DVICE). bluefootsd.com
On Friday, July 22, the downtown location of the Museum of Contemporary Art (1100 and 1001 Kettner Blvd.) has four new exhibitions opening. We'd recommend them all, but Papel Chicano Dos seems particularly topical since it showcases works-on-paper from Chicano artists that were culled from the impressive collection of Cheech Marin. Names include the likes of Carlos Almaraz, Wenceslao Quiroz and Carlos Donjuan. MCASD is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. all weekend. mcasd.org
Finally, on Saturday, July 23, head to Barrio Logan for the annual Chicano Con and Heroes vs. Villains art show. Held from 2 to 11 p.m., Chicano Con at Border X Brewing (2181 Logan Ave.) includes an art show, costume contests, kid-friendly activities and, naturally, specials on beer. Starting at 5 p.m. next door, the massive Heroes vs. Villains exhibition at La Bodega Gallery (2196 Logan Ave.) will showcase comic book and fantasy-inspired works from nearly 100 local artists. Check out each venue's respective Facebook page for more info.
Would you be more stoked to hit the beach instead of a convention center? Would you rather wear a wetsuit than a Chewbacca costume? Then you may want to head to the Oceanside Pier (The Strand, near Pier View Way and N. Pacific St.) for Supergirl Pro, the world's largest female surfing competition. This free event will feature the biggest names in women's surfing, with more than 100 surfers competing for a spot on the world championship tour. There will be a festival village with a variety of activities, including autograph booths, a celebrity surf invitational, a half-pipe competition and more. There will also be live music from nine different artists, including Daya and Cody Simpson. The competition starts daily at 8 a.m., from Friday, July 22, to Sunday, July 24. supergirlpro.com
CROSS-ZINE THE BORDER
Given that we're primarily a print publication, our opinion may be a little biased, but here it is: print is and always will be the forefront of subversive, innovative and world-changing thought. There's no better example of this than zines—handcrafted literature wherein musings and manifestos on music, culture, politics and social movements can be passed from person to person. The Tijuana Zine Fest, which goes down Saturday, July 23, at 2 p.m., will celebrate the enduring art form on a grand scale by featuring more than 60 zinesters. Comic artists, photographers, self-care promoters, writers and DIY aficionados will all be in attendance. Addmission is free, and the location is Estación Federal (Larroque 273, Empleados Federales, 22010), a newly renovated space where the old McDonald's used to be—basically a five-minute walk across the border. tijuanazinefest.com