CYaN San Diego Comic Con Survival Guide/Pack
San Diego Comic Con starts this Thursday (Wednesday if you are one of the lucky ones that got into the Preview Night) and still for many it will be their first time going to a convention, so I will try to help everyone on what you should and should not do when attending probably the biggest convention.
First, let’s start with what you should carry on you as you walk through the convention center.
Alright, I have heard two schools of this: one side says that you should not carry a backpack/messenger bag through the halls and then there is the side that says that you can. Personally, I say as long as you are weary of the bag and not knocking into people then you should be fine. Remember there are a lot of people around so do not go swinging that bag whether it be by your side or on your back.
Now what do I recommend to bring?
Any way you cut it, you will be waiting for long periods of time throughout the weekend. I recommend bringing a portable game system, an eReader, mp3 player, a regular book, and a trade paperback.
I still have my Nintendo DS “Fat” to this day, which will let the time fly by. I use an iPod Nano for all my music and audio books. Then I have my Kindle Fire for digital comics and other media. What all these have in common is that they have a finite life. Even if you alternate use, batteries will die. That is why I recommend a regular book and even a trade to make spark some conversation with other con-goers, my current choices include The Name of the Wind which Natalia has been writing about and for the trade I have been rereading the Lucifer series written by Mike Carey. Any way you cut it, this should be able to entertain you if you are stuck in Hall H or waiting for another panel.
Attending Comic Con usually means that for four days you are staying in a hotel and spending about twelve hours each day surrounded by people. No matter what you do, you should always take a shower and brush your teeth. Imagine the smell that would come around if everyone spent the four days just gathering their own stick. There was this guy I knew that stayed with my friends in their room, but for the entire weekend he did not shower for some reason. By the end of the weekend, no one wanted anything to do with this guy. SHOWER AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH EVERYDAY!
Yes, you will be on the convention floor for hours and might not want to interrupt something by going all the way back to the hotel room. Well, Colgate was nice enough to have these Wisp disposable toothbrushes. You do not need water or anything of that nature, just scrub. Anyone who is on the receiving end will thank you if you just step away to brush your teeth during the convention.
You should also just take care of yourself. Everyone is touching everything and not everyone is going to follow the general rules of hygiene. That is why you should bring hand sanitizer, just a little bottle will be fine. But you should wipe your hands every so often as you go through the trenches. Other personal care is completely optional; but you can bring along chap stick and other small items of the sort. I also bring a bottle of water and a granola bar or trail mix to help me through the day. Remember food is expensive, and you need to keep hydrated.
There are celebrities, awesome artists, and more walking around and signing throughout the weekend. I bring a small sketch book for when I get sketches from artists so I do not have to keep track of a lot of loose paper. I also bring a Sharpie for when anything needs to be signed. The last item I would recommend bringing is a charger. Outlets are pretty much nowhere but if you are lucky you can recharge that phone of yours so it will finish out the day.
San Diego Comic Con is four days of geek shopping, movie trailers, video games, comic book news, and a lot of events. You are going to want to go to everything, but trust me when I say: you can not. Look at the schedule and find your favorite panels and signing, then add at least an hour if not more to the front end of it just to be in line not to mention the time it may take to walk to where you want to be. If you just want to see all the major Hollywood highlights, just find a seat in Hall H and plant it there for the entire day. That is just the way it is.
But if you are patient and time out your schedule then you will be able to see a lot of things.
As far as swag goes, the only time you need to buy things right away are the exclusives (even then only if it is numbered to be only about a 5000 production run). If you want to do any other type of shopping, it is Sunday you want. On Sunday the panels and other events are light as everyone is packing up and going home. But always keep an eye on how many items are being sold, if you play this right then you can actually pay for the entire convention by selling off your swag. Even the free WB bags that they hand out can go for a bit of money.
Beyond all that, have fun and be safe. Hope you all enjoy Comic Con.