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Comic-Con kicks off with preview night

SAN DIEGO — Comic-Con International, the annual celebration of the popular arts, conducted its annual preview night at the San Diego Convention Center Wednesday evening.

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At the 6 p.m. event, Warner Bros. screened its upcoming television series, led this year by an exclusive pilot showing of “Deception.” The series stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as a scandal-plagued magician who becomes the FBI’s first consulting illusionist. “Deception” is scheduled to premiere in October on ABC.

Attendees also watched video presentations of the Superman spinoff “Krypton” and “Black Lightning,” based on the DC Comics character. A new one-hour episode of “Teen Titans Go!” will also be shown.

Another Comic-Con event, a 4 p.m. workshop for teachers, was held at the Central Library. Educators learned how to incorporate comics into their lessons. The workshop was led by Peter Carlson of Green Dot Public Schools, Antero Garcia of Stanford University and Susan Kirtley of Portland State University.

The main convention opens Thursday at 10 a.m. and is expected to bring 130,000 attendees through Sunday. Besides the convention center and library, programs will also be held at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, the Horton Grand Theatre, and the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina.

With wall-to-wall people at Comic-Con venues and the adjacent Gaslamp Quarter, organizers strongly suggest using public transportation.

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A free shuttle bus service will begin operating Wednesday from 3 p.m. to midnight, stopping at 63 locations in downtown, Mission Valley, Harbor Island and Shelter Island. The buses will run 24 hours a day beginning Thursday at 4:30 a.m., through Sunday evening.

The Metropolitan Transit System announced that Green Line trolleys will run every 7 and 1/2 minutes between Qualcomm Stadium and the 12th and Imperial Transit Center between Thursday and Sunday. Blue and Orange line trains will increase in frequency during peak travel times, according to the MTS.

The transit agency said passengers can use its new Compass Cloud mobile app to purchase ride tickets in advance. The MTS also has 22 bus routes with downtown stops.

The North County Transit District said it will operate a special northbound Coaster train for preview night attendees. The train will depart downtown San Diego at 8:12 p.m., and arrive in Oceanside at 9:15 p.m. Another late train will be added for Saturday night.

The NCTD’s partnership with Amtrak, which allows passengers paying Coaster fares to ride Amtrak trains up to Oceanside, will not be in effect Wednesday through Sunday.