• Gene Page
Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Gale Anne Hurd and Norman Reedus on the set of The Walking Dead, season four

Comic-Con International: San Diego is back in action this month, and producer Gale Anne Hurd celebrates the genre that has contributed to her success.

Legendary sci-fi writer and producer Gale Anne Hurd has been creating some of the most remarkable on-screen futuristic storytelling for three decades. And with this month’s 45th Annual Comic-Con International: San Diego, July 24-27 at the San Diego Convention Center, she tries to remember her first such attendance, guessing “after The Terminator, before Terminator 2.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s and her brainchild, The Terminator, and while she’s worked on plenty of projects since, including The Abyss, Armageddon and AMC’s The Walking Dead, the old robo-soldier holds a special place in her heart.

Hurd recalls a time when sci-fi films were the industry’s B- and C-grade ­material — and when the genre’s fans “felt like this almost secret society” due to meeting at conventions in cramped hotel lobbies. Now, comic and sci-fi films are the industry’s tentpoles, and this month’s Comic-Con has exploded in kind. “It’s become cool to be a geek,” Hurd says. “As fans put it, they are us!”

Much of The Terminator’s staying power is thanks to Hurd’s touch: tough women, prescient thoughts on the future and normal people in extraordinary circumstances. She continues that streak as executive producer for wildly popular The Walking Dead. And with more serialized TV shows carrying sci-fi’s torch, she has faith in its future — and in many more giant, costume-filled convention halls to celebrate it.



Don’t have Comic-Con tickets? Don’t despair. “It’s just as much fun roaming San Diego’s streets,” Hurd says, and the Con veteran should know, so be sure to make time for the following public, geeky events while in San Diego. (Costumes optional.)

Jared Oppie/University of Advancing Technology
Hop-Con 2.0: July 23, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Southern California’s largest microbrewery kicks Comic-Con off with delicious, limited-edition, geek-themed beers.

w00tstock: July 24, Balboa Theatre
Stars of MythBusters, The Big Bang Theory and more come together for a night of nerdy comedy and live music.

San Diego Symphony: July 24-26,
Embarcadero Marina Park South A full orchestra reimagines everything from video game tunes to the scores of Tim Burton’s films.

The Walking Dead Escape: July 25-26, Petco Park
What if zombies were real? Find out by taking part in this intense, real-life chase between survivors and “walkers.”