Thousands swarm Convention Center for Comic-Con opening day

SAN DIEGO – Tens of thousands of comic and pop culture fans flocked to the San Diego Convention Center Thursday for the opening day of Comic-Con International.

Among the celebrity draws Thursday were Bryan Cranston, Olivia Munn and Sterling K. Brown.

 

 

Cranston will take part in a "Breaking Bad" 10th anniversary celebration with fellow cast members Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and Bob Odenkirk, as well as showrunner Vince Gilligan. The panel is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in Hall H, the Convention Center's largest venue.

Odendirk and Gilligan will also participate in a panel on "Better Call Saul," which is the television series prequel to "Breaking Bad." That panel begins 3:30 p.m. in Hall H.

Munn and Brown, along with co-stars Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane, will take part in a panel on the upcoming "Predator" remake, set for release on Sept. 14. That panel takes place 10:30 a.m. in Hall H.

Earliest sessions begin at 10 a.m.; later ones run until around midnight. Topics vary wildly across movie, television, book, comic, video game toy and other popular art industries.

Apart from the Convention Center, convention venues include the Central Library, Hilton Bayfront Hotel, the Horton Grand Theatre and the Marriott Marquis.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other civic leaders kicked off the convention 8 a.m. at the Hilton Gaslamp.

More than 130,000 people are expected to attend Comic-Con, which typically generates over $143 million in economic activity for the region.

With streets sure to be crowded, many officials recommend avoiding cars during Comic-Con weekend.

Visitors can travel around downtown using dockless bikes, scooters or pedicabs. They can also use public transit to reach Comic-Con venues.

MTS trolleys on the Sycuan Green Line route will depart from stations toward the Convention Center at least every 15 minutes during the duration of Comic-Con, including from SDCCU Stadium, which will offer 5,000 free parking spots.

The UC San Diego Blue Line and Orange Line will run similar schedules, with departures lasting until at least midnight in many cases.

The North County Transit District will also operate a special northbound train from the Santa Fe Depot on Saturday at 9:15 p.m.