Blood Drive

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Comic-Con International 2014 Blood Drive HBO True Blood T-shirt

This year's SDCC Blood Drive T-shirt, free to all participants courtesy of HBO True Blood.

Comic-Con International's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive 2014

Comic-Con's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns for its 38th big year in 2014! Our blood drive is San Diego Blood Bank's longest-running event: last year we collected 1,497 pints of blood over the four-day convention.

The growth of our blood drive over the years has been phenomenal. The Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive began at San Diego Comic-Con back in 1977. That first year, 148 pints of blood were collected, and as the convention has grown so has our blood drive. Over the past 37 years, we’ve collected 13,985 pints of blood from Comic-Con attendees!

You can be a part of this year's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive. The Blood Drive is open from 9:00 AM–6:00 PM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 10:00 AM–3:30 PM on Sunday. The Blood Drive location has changed this year: it’s now located at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, in the America's Cup, Regatta, and Nautical rooms (on the 4th floor of the tower closest to the Convention Center). The Hyatt is located at 1 Market Place, on Harbor Drive (the same street as the Convention Center), at the corner of Market and Harbor. If you’re registering onsite at Comic-Con, please go to the Blood Drive booth near the Freebie Table in the Sails Pavilion, upstairs at the Convention Center. After you've given blood, catch the Comic-Con Shuttle for a quick trip back to the Convention Center!

In addition to receiving a goodie bag, HBO’s True Blood will be providing bandages, t-shirts, water bottles, and band aids to participants.

People who give blood are also entered into daily drawings for fantastic prizes, which are donated by Comic-Con exhibitors. Winners are posted at the Blood Drive sign-up booth at 6:30 PM each day (4:00 PM on Sunday) in the Sails Pavilion.

Schedule Your Appointment In Advance!

Click on a link below to schedule an appointment, or sign up onsite at the Blood Drive booth (upstairs in the Sails Pavilion near the Freebie Table). It only takes about 45 minutes of your Comic-Con day to save a life or two!

Thursday, July 24: Schedule an appointment

Friday, July 25: Schedule an appointment

Saturday, July 26: Schedule an appointment

Sunday, July 27: Schedule an appointment

 

Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein at San Diego Comic-Con in 1977.

Photo by Jackie Estrada

- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/wca/blood-drive#sthash.Q7wmU9tZ.dpuf

Robert A. Heinlein at San Diego Comic-Con in 1977.

Photo by Jackie Estrada

- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/wca/blood-drive#sthash.Q7wmU9tZ.dpuf

Robert A. Heinlein at Comic-Con in 1977

Photo by Jackie Estrada

A Brief History of Comic-Con International's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive

For science fiction fans, few names were as stellar as Robert A. Heinlein. From Star Ship Troopers to Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein was the dean of SF writers. Unfortunately, he rarely attended conventions, so his readers had few opportunities to meet the master in person.

Then in the early 1970s, Heinlein had a life-threatening illness and needed many pints of a rare blood type. He felt he owed his life to the donors, so when asked to be a guest at the 1976 World Con in his hometown of Kansas City, he agreed-but with one specific stipulation: that he would only sign autographs for people who donated blood.

Thus longtime Comic-Con committee member Jackie Estrada approached the author with an offer to hold a blood drive in San Diego if he would consent to being a guest. He agreed, and in 1977 Heinlein came to Comic-Con. He and his wife, Ginny, had a great time and Heinlein even drew a picture for the Sunday morning Art Auction.

"David Scroggy [now a Vice President at Dark Horse Comics] was the first blood drive coordinator," recalls Estrada. "We also had Theodore Sturgeon there signing his book, Some of Your Blood, which he gave to all of the blood donors. We also had entertainment for the people while they were [donating blood]. I remember that Leslie Cabarga played the piano, C. C. Beck played the guitar. It was a very fun event and Robert was delighted. We've had the blood drive every year since."