The Comic-Con Museum Long-Range Comprehensive Plan provides a foundation and framework for fulfilling the Museum’s mission, vision and values. It is based on input from a wide range of experts, fans and community stakeholders. A synopsis of the Plan is included below.
We are excited to share our vision for the Museum as we move forward with plans to fully open the physical space in San Diego’s Balboa Park in 2021. The renderings and other visuals highlighted on this page reflect the fully realized plans for the Museum and its space, however the renovations shown will be phased in from 2021 to 2024.
The first phase of renovations, planned for completion in 2021, will focus on the development of an Education Center to support lifelong learning through the integration of comics and popular art forms.
Long-Range Comprehensive Plan Executive Summary
The new Comic-Con Museum will be a place where audiences can connect with the magic of Comic-Con year-round.
It will be a place where a diverse community comes together to enjoy, share and learn about comics and related popular art forms.
Featuring a dynamic collection of experiences the Museum will cultivate the imagination, connect audiences with the joy of creativity and showcase the passion and enthusiasm of fans and creators alike.
Traditionally a museum’s scope is an opportunity to outline the boundaries of its interest in a given subject matter.
Because it is the ambition of the Comic-Con Museum to be a participatory museum of popular culture, the role of defining the scope of collections and exhibits actually rests within the larger community.
This allows the definition of pop culture to evolve in response to emerging trends, as part of a dialogue between audience and institution.
Programming will become the Museum’s principle mechanism for engagement with the San Diego area education ecosystem and will be the engine that fulfills the Museum’s commitment to lifelong learning.
It also will create an experience that is dynamic enough to respond to changing interests and emerging industry trends.
An Online Museum
The Online Museum will bring to life elements of our mission for those who might not be able to travel to San Diego, and provide an additive pre- or post-visit experience for those who can.
A New Kind of Participatory Space
Fan Sourcing will be one of the things that defines the Comic-Con Museum, separating it from other museums that exist in the pop culture space.
It will produce a more accessible museum, and a more dynamic space that is responsive to current emerging interests and enthusiasms.
A Museum by Day: A Dynamic, Educational Destination
- A unique immersive environment for tourists, families and students
- Regularly rotating exhibits
- Hands-on activities and workshops
A Museum by Night: A Unique Social Experience
- Pop culture community hub
- Dynamic space for special events
- A place to eat, drink, create and play
- Interactive movie nights, music, classes, gaming and more
Museum at Large: Virtually Accessible, Anywhere in the World
- Live streams of Museum programs
- Digital extensions of Museum education programming
- Engagement with global fan community to shape Museum content and programming
Capturing the fun and excitement of pop culture in our programs instills a life-long passion for learning by creating avenues for self-expression and social development. Areas of emphasis include:
- Literacy & Language Arts: Improving literacy rates using comics and graphic novels to inspire a life-long love of reading
- Visual and Performing Arts: Encouraging creative development and self-expression through project-based learning opportunities
- STEAM: Inspiring the next generation of innovators through subjects such as science, technology, engineering, art and math including robotics, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
- Career Readiness: Equipping learners with knowledge and skills that can be applied to the creative industries that represent one in ten of all jobs in California
Many of the education activities listed below will be connected to the Museum’s Education Center, which is the focus of the Museum’s first phase of renovations:
- Field Trips: A core way for students to experience the Museum. Supporting the field trip will be curriculum offered online so that learning extends beyond the day of the visit
- Student Labs: Programs run by the education staff at the Museum, designed to connect with the four areas of programmatic emphasis
- Family Education Events: Family focused education programs as pop-ups connected with special events or park-wide celebrations
- Graphic Novel Book Clubs: The Museum will support the existing network of Comic-Con Graphic Novel Book Clubs
- Panel Programs & Distinguished Lectures: A series of programs where industry professionals, fans and creators are invited to discuss their work, art and experiences in pop culture
- Summer Camp and Mini-Camps: Non-residential offerings that feature science and art activities for youth and adults
Programmatic Areas of Emphasis
Film & Television
Graphic Novels, Comics, Manga, Comix
Books & Novels
Toys & Collectibles
Animation & Anime
Video Games, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality
On the Mezzanine Level, the Museum’s 6,000 square foot Education Center will employ the depth and breadth of pop culture including comics, science fiction, television, art, movies, mass media, fashion, technology and more to advance a love of learning rooted in standards-based education and 21st century skills. The Education Center renovations are planned for completion by the grand opening in 2021.
With four flexible galleries, the Museum’s Main Level will feature a continually refreshed year-round schedule of top-quality exhibits, panels, art shows, multimedia installations, experiential cinema and more. Renovation of the Atrium is planned for completion by the Museum's grand opening in 2021.
The façade of the Comic-Con Museum and surrounding outdoor spaces will become canvases for communicating the sense of adventure, enterprise and imagination that define Comic-Con. During the day, creative and colorful banners will adorn the building; at night, it will come alive in dazzling illumination. Improved landscaping will highlight the building’s rich 85-year-old history and provide inviting seating areas for visitors to gather or for special events. Major renovations to the exterior of the building are planned for completion by 2024.
As the primary welcome area, the Lobby will reinforce a sense of arrival by creating an exciting, branded entry experience. A newly constructed dividing wall will interrupt sightlines to the large-scale activities in the Atrium accentuating the visitor’s sense of interest and anticipation. Major renovations to the Lobby are projected to be complete by 2024.
The Mezzanine will be home to three art galleries, the main of which wraps around the upper level. Frequently rotated and featuring selections from prolific artists, visitors can experience the bold, colorful graphic world of comics and pop culture. The addition of the two new art galleries above the Lobby is projected to be complete by 2024.
Located on the Mezzanine, The Levels will create open yet intimate spaces for visitors to meet and enjoy the Comic-Con Museum. It will be a flexible area for both spontaneous and programmed social gatherings ranging from tabletop gaming to a quiet place to sketch, from book clubs to special event seating and everything in between. Our goal is to design a space that invites visitors to hang out, socialize and explore. The addition of The Levels is planned to be complete by 2024.