Katheryn Elizabeth dresses as a Harajuku girl. Photo by Chris Stone
Katheryn Elizabeth dresses as a Harajuku girl at Comic-Con last year. Hello Kitty is part of the show this year as the pop-culture convention returns to full strength. Photo by Chris Stone

You might have heard – Comic Con is here this San Diego weekend. Funny how no one ever talks about that sleepy little convention by the bay.

Rii-gght (and for you non-Con fans, scroll down. We’ve got ‘ya). For those whom the gods have blessed with badges, Marvel takes centerstage (meaning Hall H) at a time when, surprise, the Marvel Universe again has proven itself most worthy at the box office, with Thor: Love and Thunder.

Curious about the Con? Celebrities slated to appear this year include Keanu Reeves of the comic BRZRKR on Friday, Dwayne Johnson and Zachary Levi on Saturday and Simu Liu, of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, on Sunday.

Premieres include Green Lantern: Beware My Power, starring Aldis Hodge, on Friday, and a video preview of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, set to debut on Netflix in August.

For the badge poor, don’t forget – networks and production companies take over streets and venues around the San Diego Convention Center during the Con. Take a stroll to the Petco Park Interactive Zone, for encounters with Nintendo, the CBS show Ghosts and the Star Trek franchise. Not afraid of no stinkin’ zombies? Try the Hilton Gaslamp’s celebration of “The Walking Dead. And there’s much more, including events at Balboa Park’s Comic-Con Museum.

Want to chill and watch the cos players go by? The Gaslamp’s Barleymash is embracing Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong big-time this weekend with decor to fit the classic games. As far as the menu, try the Princess Peach cocktail with Grey Goose, peach bitters and cava, and the Goomba Burger, with a crispy potato cake, cheese and mushroom gravy.

Or there’s The Smoking Gun, which goes all in on Top Gun. The restaurant, also in the Gaslamp, calls it “Top Fun.”

Want to carry on and ignore the Con? How about the ponies?

Another San Diego icon, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s 2022 racing season, begins Friday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Granted, the first day of racing, including the Oceanside Stakes, is sold out. But try Saturday, for the San Clemente Stakes. Or Sunday, for the Cougar II Stakes. Be there by first post, 2 p.m. The season continues through Sept. 11.

Three shows come to town this weekend and you can watch or sing your own little heart out:

  • Comedian Tig Notaro brings her “Hello Again Tour” to Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $47.50.
  • North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista hosts The Chicks – who at times stoked controversy in country music with their progressive stances – at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets remain, starting at $40.
  • Also at the South Bay amphitheater – Encanto: The Sing-Along Film Concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Take the whole family to belt out favorites from Disney’s 2021 release. Tickets start at $29.50.