Salinas Valley Comic Con 2018

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Salinas Valley Comic Con 2018

December 15, 2018 - December 16, 2018

$5 - $50

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated! We had a wonderful event! See you next year!

Organized by the National Steinbeck Center in partnership with the Salinas Public Library, as well as Salinas area artists, authors, and volunteers, Salinas Valley Comic Con is a celebration of local comics, graphic novels, zines, storytelling, gaming, pop culture and more!

Convention Mission

The Salinas Valley Comic Con is hosted by the National Steinbeck Center in partnership with the Salinas Public Library as outreach to the Salinas community. Together, we are devoted to exploring comics as an exciting, boundary-pushing form of literature. We hope to foster a sense of togetherness through storytelling and through different mediums such as literature, graphic art, movies, games, and costuming. We hope our community comes together to learn, read, create and have fun. This event endeavors to make a space for artists and writers, gamers and students. Lettuce read together, Salinas.


Event Hours

Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 10am-4pm

Event Map & Schedule


Hartnell College Student Center
411 Central Ave, Salinas, CA 93901     






Why does the National Steinbeck Center throw a comic convention?

In 1952, John Steinbeck himself noted that comic strips were pretty important.  When he wrote the introduction to cartoonist Al Capp’s “The World of Li’l Abner” – one of the most popular and widely read comic strips at the time he noted, “Well, one of the symptoms or diagnostics of literature should be, it seems to me, that it is read, that it amuses, moves, instructs, changes and criticizes people.” He went on to describe Al Capp by saying, “I think Capp may very possibly be the best writer in the world today.”

Comics are exciting, they are visual, they perforate boundaries of language, culture, religion, abilities and experiences. Apart from being fun, comics ultimately help people learn reading and critical thinking skills. Without getting all nerdy on you, we want people to love to read, create, and think, just as Steinbeck did.

Why is it at Hartnell College?

We held the Salinas Valley Comic Con at the National Steinbeck Center for two years, but as the event grew, we ran out of space. So we moved a few blocks over to Hartnell College.

Where can I park?

You can park in Parking Structure #1 on Hartnell’s campus for free. Find it here.

Where do I get my ticket?

You can purchase tickets online through Eventbrite, here.

You can also buy them the day of at the door while supplies last.

If you’re lucky, there are opportunities to win tickets from our partner organizations, The Salinas Public Library, The Northridge Mall, or Santa Cruz Gamers to name a few. Check out all of our guests to see if they will be doing any giveaways, too!

Can I come in costume?

Yes, and we encourage it! You could even win a prize by competing in our contest! Guidelines for costuming can be found here.

What else can I bring?

You can bring strollers, backpacks (subject to checking), costume gear, snacks, cash, credit card, your cell phone, its charger, a camera, your friends, your mom, your dad, your great aunt Gertie, your respect and dignity, your sense of adventure, your creative thinking cap and a voracious appetite to devour new comics, books and art.

DON’T BRING: Weapons, smoking devices, illegal or illicit clothing or gear, alcohol, fire creating devices, pets other than certified service animals, bad attitudes, anything gang affiliated, zombies, folding chairs, tents, or ice luges.  Any questions, contact anyone from the National Steinbeck Center. Guidelines on rules & regulations here.

Is there food for sale?

There are vending machines at the Student Center. There will also be food trucks that are handling all of their own food sales. Come hungry!

I want to be a vendor, how do I do that?

Check out the Vendor Page and read our Vendor Packet for all the deets.

What about money?

We can process ticket sales via cash or card. Most vendors take both types of payment as well. However, we advise that you bring cash incase some cannot. If you forget, there is an ATM in the Student Center.

Can I participate in a workshop or panel?

Yes, of course! We want you to get involved! Our workshops are free, the hosts are patient, knowledgeable, and talented. They will help you cultivate a new skill and make something you can be proud of. Workshops are catered to beginners and novices. They are designed so all ages are able to participate. Be sure to arrive early, as spots in workshops are limited.

Can I take photos or videos?

Please do! Don’t forget to tag us #salinasvalleycomiccon #lettucereadtogether #salinascomiccon

However, please ask permission before photographing anyone in a costume or not. Costumes don’t always mean consent!

If you are taking photos for press, publication, or anything other than personal use, please contact our Marketing Coordinator Eric Mora before the convention.

I have a question I don’t see here! 

We like questions! Email Tara Spada, Event Coordinator, or call 831-775-4728


Purchase Tickets From Eventbrite Here!

Tickets will also be for sale at the door each day while supplies last. Prices at the door are the same as online.

Children Under 5 Years Old  Free!
One Day Youth Ticket (6-12 years old) $5.00
One Day Student/Senior/Military Discount (with valid ID) $10.00
One Day General Admission $12.00
General Weekend Pass (both days for one person) $20.00
One Day Family Pass (2 general 2 youth tickets for either Sat or Sun) $30.00
Family Weekend Pass (2 general 2 youth tickets for both days) $50.00

The proceeds from this event go to event costs and educational programming at the National Steinbeck Center & Library


John Steinbeck’s favorite hero was King Arthur and his roundtable knights. If John were around to visit the convention, we think he would dress up as Arthur and look a little something like this:

In the spirt of storytelling through many mediums, we want you to spin us a story with a costume. Come to the Salinas Valley Comic Con in your best, most creative, insanely imaginative, wild, wacky, zany, and proud costume! It could be from your favorite book, comic, movie, game, or show. Team up with a partner or group. Dress up your kiddos. Think outside the box. Show us how nerdy the Salinas Valley can be!

Be sure to register to compete in our costume contest on Saturday, December 15th at 4:00 PM!

(Extra points go to the best Steinbeck look-alike, Steinbeck character look-alike, or our dear departed, Stan Lee)

Full details including registration, schedule, and rules can be found here.


Everyone knows that volunteers are the real heroes at events! If you would like to volunteer your time at SVCC18, please read the following documents and then fill out the online Volunteer Form. It’s a great way to fuel those service hour requirements!


Want to promote your business while being part of a great event?  Propose a sponsorship in the form of advertisement, sponsoring a program, in-kind donations, or trades. Include a description and estimation of value. This kind of sponsorship is subject to approval by the Salinas Valley Comic Con planning committee.

Contact Tara Spada, Events Coordinator by emailing your proposal or question to, 831-775-4728


See what people are saying about us, here!

Past Event Photos

↓Want to see more? Check out our photo gallery from past years below ↓