HONEST TALK: Comic-Con International is not about reality, it's true. Fantasy looms large and wondrous in all that the galaxy's most famous pop culture convention does, and that includes covering bunches of movies and TV shows and comic books and everything fictional and genre-riffic. Still, we have to get a little real for a moment, just a bit, and engage in some honest dialogue. Here it goes: If you wear a costume to the San Diego summertime spectacular, chances are you've worked on that costume for a bit, preparing it for your big convention trip, and the disappointment of only wearing it to the convention for a day or two can be a little high. Which is why you must -- must -- find other spots to wear it to, around the town, during the convention, when you're apt to see Harley Quinn or The Hulk blocks or even miles away from the San Diego Convention Center. Thank goodness there are a number of events happening that, while they aren't affiliated with Comic-Con directly, still have plenty of genre de vivre (which is almost like joie de vivre, but with a costume-y vibe). The annual Heroes Brew Fest is one such hopsy happening, and it has good at its heart: Raising funds for the Warrior Foundation -- Freedom Station, which is dedicated to "serving military heroes in transition."
SATURDAY, JULY 11... is the date, and the location is the vista-pretty Loma Club. The "Brew Fest" part of the name informs you that this will be about mucho craft beer, which San Diego knows something (aka a whole bunch) about, and the "Heroes" part recommends you arrive in full regalia as your favorite protector of Gotham or Metropolis or whatever city your go-to gal or guy keeps an eye on. There are several costume contests going on during the festival, including group costumes and best super villain, so you don't need to think too traditionally (although it is kind of a gas to show up and see a dozen other people in your same duds). And lest you're worried you'll miss the Saturday night Masquerade back at Comic-Con, fear not, fearless leader: This is an afternoon soiree. That's super, for sure. Just make sure you don't get a sunburn lines if you're wearing an identity-hiding mask and that you can sip one of the 80 beers available through it, without dripping too much.