A Geek’s Guide To Comic Con
Let’s talk comic con! Better yet, let’s create a geek’s guide to comic con and rejoice in all of the geeky bliss.
Pick Your Convention
Choose your own adventure! Look up the cons in your area or cons you’re willing to travel to. The major comic conventions out there include; San Diego Comic Con International, New York Comic Con, WonderCon, and Emerald City Comic Con to name a few. A lot of cities have been hosting their own conventions or expos on a smaller scale but still just as fun and typically easier to get tickets to.
Buy tickets (passes, autograph/photo ops) in advance and as close to the release date if possible as comic conventions are growing in popularity. Take San Diego for example, they are one of the hardest cons to ever get into unless you already bought the next year’s passes at the previous con or wait in a virtual queue which can take hours or potentially crash. Follow the cons social media for announcements and release dates.
Make a Plan
With a limited amount of days, multiple panels, autograph/photo ops, meet-ups, and vendor shopping, there’s a lot to see and miss. The best way to manage your time and hit all your must-dos is to make a list. Check out the comic conventions website, and look for a program schedule and vendor/show floor map. Figure out which panels you want to attend and be sure to give yourself some time before the panel starts to get a seat. Some panels depending on the convention you’re at will line up hours before the panel’s start time. Check your favorite artist’s social media to see if they will have a booth at the con you’re attending and what area they’ll be located in.
What to Wear
Do you plan on cosplaying? if so, have a plan and do some research. Does your cosplay adhere to the cons policy? Will you be comfortable all day walking around and in crowded areas? Do you plan on changing throughout the day? Will you be able to easily use the restroom or do you need a friend’s assistance?
Don’t feel like cosplaying? That’s ok! Wear something you’re comfortable in. My favorite go-to is a t-shirt with my favorite fandom on it and some jeans. If you’re still unsure you can always search hashtags from previous cons, you’ll see plenty of show floor pictures and what people decided to wear.
Although food choices at convention halls have gotten better over the years they are still pricey and limited. Bring a few snacks in your backpack or bag along with a water bottle you can refill at the drinking fountains. You can always search the food vendors the convention hall has beforehand on their website. Depending on the conventions you go to, food trucks can also be an option and typically within walking distance outside of the convention center.
What to Bring
- Portable charger – don’t want to miss taking pictures of all the awesomeness
- Art tube – don’t want the precious prints you buy to get destroyed
- Pen & Paper – always a good idea
- Expect to collect business cards so have a place to store them
- Snacks – as mentioned above
- Cash – most vendors will accept cards but wifi connections in convention centers are typically horrible and can slow the card process way down
Woo hoo! I’m so excited for you and this is just the planning phase. I hope you’re excited too! Comic Con is so much fun, you’ll never want to leave.
Besides the panels, there are the exhibitors and artist alley to explore. My plan of action is to always do a loop of the floor and make a note of things I liked and want to buy, this helps me stick to a budget and not go crazy or broke on the first day. If you see something you plan on buying, but are waiting until the last day or end of the day, don’t! Far too often I see people say they’ll come back later only to find that item is sold out. Check with the vendor, that if you purchase the item if you can come back for it later, or if they have extra stock of it, if you decide to wait on purchasing the item.
Don’t expect huge discounts by waiting on the last day to buy things. Some huge vendors may give discounts because they don’t want to haul a huge supply back but for most, the product they have is how they make a living. If you find something you really like but don’t have the funds to get it then grab a business card and see if you can purchase the item later and have it shipped to you.
The most important aspect of the day is to have fun! You’re surrounded by a bunch of geeks who love fandoms just as much as you do. Strike up conversations while waiting in lines for panels or special guest opportunities, and you may make some new friends. So let’s talk about it, what are your favorite things you look forward to at comic con? comment below!