Blood Drive

Comic-Con 2019 Blood Drive Avengers: Endgame T-shirt

Avengers: Endgame © MARVEL

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Make An Appointment Now to Give Blood at Comic-Con 2019!

Comic-Con’s Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns for its 43rd amazing year in 2019 with a 5-day drive.

Comic-Con’s blood drive is San Diego Blood Bank’s largest and longest-running event. Last year the drive collected 2,804 pints of blood over all 4 days of Comic-Con, our biggest year ever.

The growth of the 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 42 years 22,607 pints of blood have been donated by Comic-Con attendees! San Diego Blood Bank estimates that our 42-year total has saved more than 67,000 lives!

This year blood donors will receive a free Avengers: Endgame T-shirt (seen at left) and other goodies.

Plus, donors are also entered into daily drawings for many fantastic prizes donated by exhibitors, professionals, and staff. 


You don’t have to be present to win, but you must check either the prize board in the Sails Pavilion or at the Blood Drive Room for your winning ticket number.  

Winning numbers are drawn and posted three times a day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (at 12:00, 3:00, and 6:00), and twice on Sunday (1:00 and 4:00).  Wednesday donors’ ticket numbers will be rolled over into the Thursday drawings. Prizes are on display at the Blood Drive Booth in the Sails Pavilion. Come by and have a look and please be a part of this year's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive!

Hours and Appointments
The Blood Drive is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 9:00 AM–6:00 PM and Sunday 9:00 AM–3:30 PM

Appointments can be made onsite at the Blood Drive Booth in the Sails Pavilion or you can pre-register your appointment online, using one of these links:

Or just drop by the Hyatt ... the Blood Drive takes walk-ins too! You don’t even need a Comic-Con badge to donate, or to win a prize. 27 unbadged donors won prizes in the drawing last year.

The Blood Drive Donor Center is located in the Coronado Ballroom on the 4th floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel at 1 Market Place (corner of Market St. and Harbor Drive). Give the gift of life!


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 [who went onto be a VP at Dark Horse Comics before he retired] 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."