So here’s a great chance for those without tickets to take in the flavor of the Comicon: the History Channel’s Cross-Country Cookout is located across the street from the Convention Center, is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday (they might close early on Sunday) and doesn’t require a Comicon badge.
They’ll be giving away free samples of barbecue from the semi-truck trailer cooker, plus local favorites Hodad’s and Phil’s Barbecue will be on hand for more complete dining options. The area is set up with picnic tables, games and autograph areas. No, the guys from Pawn Stars won’t be by, but Mankind Comic writers will be there signing autographs: Marv Wolfman, 3-4 p.m. Thursday; Bill Sienkiewicz and Dennis Calero from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Thursday; and Dennis Calero and Nathan Edmondson from 2-3 p.m. on Thursday.
The location is the block bounded by J and Island, 1st and 2nd avenues. It’s adjacent to the Convention Center/First Avenue trolley station, so you can skip the parking and traffic and ride the trolley downtown. Or, the No. 11 bus stops a block away if you want to ride from Hillcrest.
The Cross-Country Cookout is making nine stops this summer, having started back in May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s made stops at Nashville, Washington, D.C., New York City and Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. From here it goes to Las Vegas (outside the Pawn Stars shop) and Cheyanne, Wyo.’s Frontier Days.
Last year was the first year that the Con spilled over outside the Convention Center into this area, with a half-dozen food trucks circling and a South Park exhibit. This year there’s another event on the lot, but more about that later.
It’s taken them two days to set up, with the last ingredient, the firewood, delivered Wednesday afternoon. If you’re in the area, just follow the aroma.