The Comic-Con Museum wants to be bigger than Comic-Con. Here’s what that means

A spider-man figure strikes a spidey pose attached to a wall of comic illustrations
An image from “Beyond Amazing: Spider-Man The Exhibition” at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego.
(Joseph Eley)

Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone who’s Spidey sense is tingling with the web-slinger’s induction into the Comic-Con Museum Hall of Fame. Like our own coverage of the 2022 edition of the annual San Diego shindig, though — from our critic’s favorite local restaurants to the rise of “Funkoville” — the Comic-Con Museum is about much more than what happens inside the convention center, or four days in July.

Read on as we learn more about the museum’s grand plan, catch up with “Only Murders in the Building” and offer two streaming recommendations — one contemporary, one classic — as you head into your weekend. And as always, send your TV or streaming movie recommendations to with your name and location. Submissions should be no longer than 200 words and are subject to editing for length and clarity.



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Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times

Four cartoon figures — a teen boy, a demon, a girl and a pug — in a group hug
A scene from “Dead End: Paranormal Park.”

Here it is: I have been waiting since 2014, when it was released on the web, for Hamish Steele’s “Dead End” to become a full-fledged series. That lively five-minute short featured Norma, Barney and a fez-wearing pug in a house with haunted internet; Steele subsequently expanded the premise through a pair of young adult graphic novels that in turn have provided the basis for “Dead End: Paranormal Park” (Netflix), set in a theme park where the “haunted house” is actually haunted: a portal to a demonic world, arranged in levels like in Dante. (Earth, the “neutral plane,” is known to demons as “the realm of memes.”) Steele’s quirky hand has been neatened for big-time streaming, but the characters, hired as park security guards, now have character: Barney is a trans teen who wants to get out of his parents’ house; Norma, who knows every detail about the park and its history, suffers from social anxiety; and Pugsley, looking more pug-like, winds up partially possessed, giving him the ability to talk. They are joined by Courtney, a little red demon who is unhappily stranded among humans and variously proves an enemy and an ally. As with most contemporary cartoons not strictly aimed at preschoolers, the humor can be sophisticated, and the series, which plays with horror tropes, can be genuinely scary — so consider your child’s, or your own, tolerance before opening. —Robert Lloyd

When we look back on great comic performers of the official Golden Age of Television, the names Lucy and Jackie and Phil and Milton and Sid spring quickly to mind; less well remembered is Danny Thomas, a highly successful nightclub comedian and singer, who in the very funny “The Danny Thomas Show,” now streaming on Prime Video, plays highly successful nightclub comedian and singer Danny Williams. The series ran long enough, from 1953 to 1963, to field two different titles (it was “Make Room for Daddy” for the first three seasons) and two different wives for Danny, Jean Hagen and Marjorie Lord, the latter bringing little Angela Cartwright (later of “Lost in Space”) into the mix. (She and TV brother Rusty Hamer are among my favorite television tykes, mouthy without being cute.) Thomas’ character is quick-tempered, sentimental, and never quite in charge; if there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s Daddy who learns it. Possibly the first Arab American TV star, Thomas (born Amos Muzyad Yaqoob Kairouz) integrates his Lebanese roots into the series. The supporting cast includes the great character actors Mary Wickes, Hans Conried, Sid Melton and Jesse White; big stars, among them Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Tony Bennett and Jimmy Durante, drop by as themselves. (All but the first three of 11 seasons — the Hagen years — are available to stream.) —Robert Lloyd

Catch up

Everything you need to know about the film or TV series everyone’s talking about

Four apartment building tenants standing at a door with a gift basket.
Selena Gomez, from left, Martin Short, Steve Martin and Zoe Margaret Colletti in “Only Murders in the Building” Season 2.
( Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

The second season of “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) doesn’t exactly hinge on the whodunit — indeed, as Times TV critic Robert Lloyd perceived in his review and showrunner John Hoffman admitted to staff writer Yvonne Villarreal, the true crime comedy‘s sophomore run is built as much around who’s trying to frame our three heroes for the murder of Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell) as it is the crime itself. This time around, the series emerges as a Matryoshka doll of New York backstories and B plots worthy of “Seinfeld,” often with the same admixture of zany and mundane. Oliver (Martin Short) tries to improve his fraught relationship with his son; Charles (Steve Martin) restarts his acting career; and Mabel (Selena Gomez) forges art-world connections ... all while slipping into secret passageways at the Arconia to sniff out a killer. If not (yet) as compulsively watchable as its Emmy-nominated first season, “Only Murders” has nonetheless succeeded in doing what any comedy (or mystery) that hopes to survive long in the age of peak TV must: make us care enough about the characters that the laughs always feel earned and solving the crime is gravy. (Another bonus: Zoe Margaret Colletti as Charles’ surrogate daughter Lucy, a girl so deeply, hilariously Gen Z she leaves Mabel, and me, feeling old.) —Matt Brennan

Guest spot

A weekly chat with actors, writers, directors and more about what they’re working on — and what they’re watching

Comic image of Spider-Man on a wall
An image from “Beyond Amazing: Spider-Man The Exhibition” at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego.
(Joseph Eley)

Anyone who has dealt with Comic-Con International directly has, at some point, spoken to or received an email from David Glanzer. As the chief communications and strategy officer, he is the spokesperson, historian, champion and face of Comic-Con’s corporate and media presence.

It was no small thing when the Comic-Con Museum officially opened to the public last year, expanding the convention’s reach and educational imprint and keeping the event’s promotion of pop culture alive throughout the year. Glanzer and the Comic-Con board helped guide the launch of the museum, and Comic-Con 2022 will be the first where the summer event and the museum coexist. Screen Gab caught up with Glanzer ahead of this year’s Con, which runs through Sunday, about its symbiotic relationship with the museum and what’s ahead for the project. —Jevon Phillips

I believe this is the first in-person Comic-Con with a fully open/functioning Comic-Con Museum. How will Comic-Con and the museum work together during the convention?

Yes, this is true. The museum did have some activities and panel presentations in the past, but we are now fully open.
There will be a shuttle from the convention to the museum and, of course, there is Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing — The Exhibition” currently at the museum along with other exhibits and presentations. I think one thing we really wanted to be able to do with a brick-and-mortar establishment is to continue what occurs at Comic-Con each summer for four and a half days year round. The museum allows us this opportunity. This gives us the opportunity to do deep dives in so many areas of popular art.


Spider-Man was just inducted into the museum’s Hall of Fame. What’s the criteria to get in?

We also have Wonder Woman, making this the fourth inductee. I wouldn’t say there is specific criteria per se, however the award highlights the value and influence of iconic characters that have made contributions of significant impact on comics and popular art in general. Where many awards are presented to individuals who have created great works, the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame honors the actual creations, or, basically, the characters themselves.

What would be an ideal or dream exhibit/exhibitor that the museum would try to land?

The truth is there are far too many choices. If you’re a comics fan, then it could be anything from original art, sketches, tools. If you’re a fan of film, it could be scripts, costumes, props, one-of-a-kind memorabilia. If you’re a fan of the written word, it could be original manuscripts. And the list goes on. I think one thing to take note of is that while we are the Comic-Con Museum, we toyed with calling our endeavor the Comic-Con Center for Popular Art. This, we thought, might convey that comics and all popular art will be open for study and celebration. And that is still our desire and we are meeting that goal. However, I think “Comic-Con Museum” probably rolls off the tongue a little easier.

What’s next

Listings coordinator Matt Cooper highlights the TV shows and streaming movies to keep an eye on

Fri., July 22


“Anything’s Possible” (Prime Video): A trans girl crushes on a cisgender classmate in this 2022 coming-of-age tale directed by “Pose’s” Billy Porter.

“Best Foot Forward” (Apple TV+): A plucky middle schooler doesn’t let having a prosthetic leg hold him back in this new family-friendly sitcom.

“The Gray Man” (Netflix): Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans go mano a mano in the Russo brothers’ globetrotting 2022 espionage thriller. Regé-Jean Page and Ana De Armas also star.

“Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher” (Prime Video): This 2022 bio-drama recalls the legendary 19th century British boxer. Matt Hookings and Russell Crowe star.

“Secret Celebrity Renovation” (CBS, 8 p.m.): More local heroes are gifted with home makeovers as the series returns.

Sat., July 23

“Christmas in Toyland” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A corporate number-cruncher hooks up with a hunky toy store manager in this holiday romance.


“Black Love” (OWN, 10 p.m.): This relationship-themed reality series returns for a sixth and final season.

Sun., July 24

“Who Do You Think You Are?” (NBC, 7 p.m.): “The West Wing’s” Allison Janney shakes her family tree in this new episode.

“Great White Battleground” (Discovery, 8 p.m.): Sink your teeth into a new “Shark Week” with this new special.

“Hider in My House” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): So that’s who keeps turning up the thermostat in this new thriller.

“The Great Food Truck Race” (Food Network, 9 p.m.): The competition rolls into San Diego in the season finale.

Mon., July 25

“Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted Showdown” (National Geographic, 8 p.m.): The celebrity chef cooks up a new iteration of his foodie travelogue.

“Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.): Oscar winner Natalie Portman gets back to nature in the season premiere.


“POV” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): The inhabitants of a remote fishing village in Greenland grapple with dreams deferred in the 2021 documentary “Winter’s Yearning.”

Tue., July 26

“Never Seen Again” (Paramount+): This docuseries that tracks missing-persons cases returns for a second season.

“Santa Evita” (Hulu): What became of former Argentine first lady Eva Perón’s corpse? That remains to be seen in this imported drama series.

“Street Food: USA” (Netflix): They’d better not be out of bacon-wrapped hot dogs is all I’m saying about this new special.

“MH370: Mystery of the Lost Flight” (History, 8 p.m.): This docuspecial revisits the still-unsolved disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner in 2014.


Wed., July 27

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (Disney+): The show must go on for a third season.

“Light & Magic” (Disney+): Go behind the scenes at Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects house George Lucas built, with this new series.

“The Most Hated Man on the Internet” (Netflix): An infamous purveyor of revenge porn gets his comeuppance in this three-part docuseries.

“Wellington Paranormal” (The CW, 9 and 9:30 p.m.): The mockumentary-style series scares up a fourth season.

“We Met in Virtual Reality” (HBO, 9 p.m.): People who found companionship and community in VR environments share their stories in this new documentary.

Thu., July 28


“Carl Weber’s The Family Business” (BET+): The soapy drama is back with new episodes.

“Harley Quinn” (HBO Max): The Joker’s ex-GF (Kaley Cuoco) is up to no good in Gotham City as the animated series returns.

“House Party” (HBO Max): Tonight they’re gonna party like it’s 1990 in this remake of the hit comedy that starred hip-hop duo Kid ’n Play.

“Keep Breathing” (Netflix): A New York lawyer (“Vida’s” Melissa Barrera) finds herself stranded in the Canadian wilderness in this new survival drama.

“Lollapalooza in Chicago” (Hulu; also Friday-Sunday): Metallica, Dashboard Confessional and J-Hope from BTS are among the slated performers in livestream coverage of the music festival in the Windy City.

“Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” (HBO Max): The sins of the parents are visited upon their daughters in this update of the teen-themed 2010-17 mystery drama.

“The Resort” (Peacock): A couple on vacay in Mexico stumble upon a mystery in this four-part thriller. With Cristin Milioti and “The Good Place’s” William Jackson Harper.