Saturday, July 17, 2010

Comic-Con Tips

With Comic-Con next week, I figured I should post some of the tips I've picked up from attending over 20 of these shows over 30 years:

  • Plan as much as possible. This is easier than ever before: The Comic-Con website ( not only features the entire schedule (including autographs and anime presentations) online before the show, but it features a link to the Sched website which allows you to put together a custom program of the stuff you're interested in and export it to platforms such as Google calendar.
  • When planning the events you will attend, bear in mind that the con center is large; the hallways will be crowded; and that some may be one-way only. It may take a while to get where you're going.
  • Bear in mind that most rooms will not clear the audience before the next panel. If you're going to a panel that you know will be crowded, you may want to situate yourself in the room for an earlier program. Try not to be obnoxious about it -- don't sit in the front row of an event you're not interested in and take a loud, snoring nap.
  • There will likely be lines in which you'll have to wait. Bring something to amuse yourself over a long period -- like, say, a book or comics to read.
  • If you can, bring some nonperishable food so that you don't have to miss the panel you want while you have lunch. That will also save you from the choice of eating expensive mediocre con food or wasting a long time heading into the Gaslamp District to a restaurant.
  • Think comfortable and light. Comfortable clothes and shoes. Light bags. If necessary, use the bag check at the con. Anything you carry will get heavier as the day goes on.
  • If you start freaking out from the crowds, try exiting the back part of the con center and strolling down to the bay.
  • If you're with a group, try to arrange a central place to meet. The con generally won't do pages. Texts are useful.
  • Bathe, use deodorant, brush your teeth, and change your clothes. The life you save may be your own.
  • Take some time to enjoy the night life and restaurants around the con center.
  • Instead of driving out of San Diego immediately after the con, you may want to stick around and have dinner and a movie. You'll miss the traffic, and the overall time you spend may be the same as it would have been if you hit the freeway right after the con closes.
  • Have fun!

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