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Blood Drive


Comic-Con's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns for its 40th big year in 2016! Our blood drive is San Diego Blood Bank's longest-running event: Last year we collected 1,265 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 Comic-Con has grown, so has our Blood Drive. Over the past 39 years, 16,652 pints of blood have been donated by Comic-Con attendees!

This year’s Blood Drive participants will get a free T-shirt, goodie bags, and a sampler from our friends at HarperCollins Publishers, sponsor of the Blood Drive.

Participants are also entered into daily drawings for many fantastic prizes donated by exhibitors. KEEP YOUR TICKET! Don’t mix it up with others! Winning numbers are posted at the Blood Drive Booth in the Convention Center Sails Pavilion at 6:30 PM each day (4:00 PM on Sunday). 

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 is located at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, in Grand Hall D (on the lobby level of the hotel). 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.
If you prefer, you can pre-register your appointment online: 

Click here to schedule an appointment for Thursday, July 21, 2016

Click here to schedule an appointment for Friday, July 22, 2016

Click here to schedule an appointment for Saturday, July 23, 2016

Click here to schedule an appointment for Sunday, July 24, 2016

After you've given blood, catch the Comic-Con Shuttle for a quick trip back to the Convention Center!


Robert A. Heinlein

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

Photo by Jackie Estrada

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

Photo by Jackie Estrada

- See more at:

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."