Once a year, for four days, a large gathering of Avengers lovers, Hobbit enthusiasts, casual Big Bang Theory watchers, and general comic fans amass at comic conventions in August. While the San Diego Comic Convention- colloquially known as Comic Con- is the most famous con, Illinois and many other states hold their own. You don’t have to be well-versed in every DC or Marvel comic in order to enjoy yourself. Every casual lover of superhero movies and BBC tv shows is welcome. With a little advice from dear old me, you can make your Comic Con experience one to remember for years to come.
- Ask before you take a photo: At the convention you will run into cosplayers, people who dress in the costume of a tv or manga character. Most cosplayers love taking photos, and they can pose in character if you give them warning. Others prefer not to have their photo taken or are too exhausted to take one when you ask. When a cosplayer is eating, it’s polite to wait until after they finish their meal. Additionally, do not take photos of the art unless told otherwise.
- Don’t haggle: The term “struggling artist” is real. If you want a deal on artwork, wait until Sunday when most artists are selling their goods at a discounted rate. Swipe an artist’s business card if you don’t have enough cash at the moment and look through their online shop at home.
- Be polite at panels: Panels are an excellent place to learn about the animation industry and meet new artists. Don’t talk through a panel as you’ll disturb people there to learn.
What to Pack
- A backpack or shoulder bag: While most artists provide a plastic bag for you to carry your purchases, the best approach is bringing your own bag. Preferably one that leaves your hands free, like a cross body style.
- Cash: Most vendors refuse credit cards, and the nearest ATM might be outside the convention hall. By bringing cash you can limit the amount of money you spend, so spending doesn’t skyrocket.
- Ticket: If you can, pre-order your ticket online and print it out. Tickets cost an additional $5 at the door.
- A water bottle and snack: A slice of pizza alone can cost you $5 inside the convention. If you forget fuel, leave the convention hall and search for a restaurant nearby. With your wristlet or ticket, you can re-enter the convention.
- Camera: My favorite part of Comic Con is taking pictures of the exhibits (hello, beautiful Tardis replica) and cosplayers. My friend took a photo of myself and three Stormtroopers last summer, and I still love it.
- Phone and/or camera charger: One of the worst moments at Comic Con is when you see an amazing cosplay and your camera or phone has run out of charge. There are normally outlets ranging along the walls of the convention for those of us who run out of battery and are in desperate need.
What to Wear
Be comfy! Comic Con is not the time to test out your new four inch heels. Show your geek pride by wearing your V for Vendetta shirt!
Comic Con is an amazing experience solo or with friends. You will most likely walk away from the convention with unique artwork and a ton of memories to share. Check out the Comic Con website for details on the closest Comic Con and the guest stars.
By: Lisa Swanson | Images: 1, 2