5 Tips for Surviving Comic-Con

     July 17, 2009

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Yes, we know why it sucks but we’re going anyway.  Everyone bought their passes months ago along with their hotel rooms and airfare.  We’re stuck with each other so the best we can do is figure out how to survive the madness that is the San Diego Comic Convention of ’09.  Yes, I suppose it is fun to watch panels featuring your favorite stars of your favorite TV shows and get sneak peeks at films you can’t wait to see.  And maybe you spent the last few months crafting a perfect replica of a “Battlestar Galactica” uniform, you can’t wait to show it off.  There is certainly enjoyment to be had at the Con but here are five tips to help you get through the more stressful moments. Hit the jump to find out how you’re going to make it out alive (or at least with a slightly more enjoyable time).

1. DO NOT Go It Alone

As I mentioned last year, there is no panel, no screening, no event that is going to mean anything to you in five years.  Everything Comic-Con offers is, in the grand-scale of a lifetime, very short-term gratification.  With the exception of “Tron” and a few others, everything shown off at this year’s Con will already be released by the time the next one rolls around by which time you’ll be foaming at the mouth for whatever’s upcoming for 2011.

So what makes this a meaningful experience is friends.  These are the people you’ll be making memories with and will help make the time fly by in lines and you can point out and laugh at the morbidly obese gentleman who thought he could pull off the Slave Leia Bikini.  You will then all decide that you’re about to collectively throw up your $14 hot pretzels.  There’s also the option of trying to make new friends but since we’re all complete social retards I seriously doubt that is going to happen.

merrell_jungle_moc_comic-con_shoe_01.jpg2. Put On Your Walking Shoes

I learned this lesson the hard way last year.  Doc Martens will last forever but you have to take them to a cobbler when they’re clearly broken apart otherwise you are asking for a world of hurt.  It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but think about how much walking you do on an average day and you may soon realize that your steel-toe boots, while fashionable, may not be up for the task.  I know you’re trying to save up some cash for that 1/6th High-Quality Chewbacca Replica but spending a little on some quality walking shoes will make sure your feet will actually make it to the booth where they’re selling the 1/6th High-Quality Chewbacca Replica.

And while I really don’t feel like protecting the feet of stupid people, I’m going to be a nice guy and remind you that fidelity to your costume is all well and good until you’re in the emergency room because the guy with the twenty-pound combat boots crushed all your hobbit toes.

3. Commit to the Room

One of the great tragedies of Comic-Con is the inability to move from panel to panel.  You can get away with it for the smaller stuff, but if you want to see a panel that’s in Hall H or Ballroom 20 or anything that’s major and has a large fanbase, you have to get there at the beginning of the day, no matter what time that panel starts because they do not clear the rooms.  Yes, Hall H has adjacent bathrooms and overpriced food vendors so there’s no need to freak out, but if you want to see the “Avatar” panel at 3 PM on Thursday, you still need to get there super-early even if all the Twilight fan-girls have vacated their seats.

And I’ll be the first to agree that it sucks.  If you’re stuck in a room sitting through panels you don’t care about, you’re not on the exhibitor’s floor and you’re not getting into see other panels.  But if you want to be the first to see new footage from Awesome Upcoming Movie/TV Show X, you gotta make the sacrifice.

oversized_comic-con_swag_bag_01.jpg4. Prepare for Swag

If you nabbed an oversized-bag and poster-holding tube from last year’s Con, I hope you held on to them because it sucks standing in line for the crap to hold your other crap.  You’ll be picking up freebies left and right.  In some cases, you’ll be elbowing a small child in the face for that last limited edition Star Trek poster (that bitch should have watched where she was stepping).  If you have a large, muscular friend who is good at pushing other people out of the way, he or she is now your BEST friend.  Free shit is the mana of Comic-Con and while there are plenty of goodies you can purchase with money (you know, the money you didn’t spend on airfare and hotels and the passes), anything that is free is welcome.  You can sort out what’s worth holding on to and what’s worth trashing/ trying to pawn on eBay later.

5. Know How to Wait

I cannot stress how much time you will most likely be spending in a line.  That’s why the friends-thing I mentioned as the first tip is so important.  But for the socially retarded/proud loners out there, have some diversions.  Also remember that some diversions require battery power so you may want to keep your chargers handy, especially for your phone.  It’s great Twittering every five minutes* until you realize you need to make an important phone call.  And keep in mind that you can fill up on as much swag and books and portable videogame consoles as you like BUT there’s only about an inch and a half worth of space between the rows of chairs in the panel rooms.

Comic-Con can be stressful but remember that it’s supposed to be fun.  Unless you’re press (WE ARE THE ONES WHO DESERVE YOUR PITY), you basically chose to be here and there’s no reason for you to fly thousands of miles and spend hundreds of dollars to have a shitty and stressful time.  Hopefully these tips can help alleviate the stress.

I’ll see you at the Con!**

*I’ll be amazed if the service survives during Comic-Con.  Iran, please don’t do anything revolutionary from July 23rd through the 26th.  The world needs to know that the “Avatar” footage was the shit and that “Twilight” fangirls are teh ghey.

**I won’t be hard to miss.  I’ll be the one sobbing uncontrollably and having a complete nervous breakdown.  I may also be wearing a hat.

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