Comic-Con Guide for First-Time Attendees

by     Posted 2 years, 128 days ago

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The 2012 San Diego Comic-Con is only seventeen days away, and bits and pieces of the schedules have already begun to leak out.  While we probably won’t know the full schedule until next week, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve never attended the madhouse before.  For those who are going to Comic-Con for the first time, I have come to offer you some friendly advice.  I’ve provided these primers in the past, but I like to keep them updated with new tips I’ve learned over my past four Comic-Cons.  This primer isn’t designed around what specific panels you should and shouldn’t see, but rather a way to make sure your Comic-Con experience is a fun and memorable one.

Hit the jump for my various pieces of Comic-Con advice.  The 2012 San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 12 – 15th; Preview Night is on Wednesday, July 11th.

comic-con-hall-hHow Hall H and Other Panel Rooms Work

Comic-Con does not empty the rooms after each panel.  Let me repeat: Comic-Con does not empty the rooms after each panel.  What this means is that once you’re in the room, you’re in.  No one will kick you out.  If you’re outside, then you’re ability to get in is contingent on how many people leave after a panel.  This is where things get tricky.

Say you want to see the panel for Iron Man 3 in Hall H, but the panel is near the end of the day.  Guess what: Hall H holds 6,500 people and there are more than 6,500 people who want to see that panel.  If you want to guarantee yourself a seat, then you can’t show up an hour before the Iron Man 3 panel.  You have to show up at the beginning of the day before the first panel even begins.  Otherwise, you roll the dice and take your chances.  Maybe you’ll get in, or maybe you’ll be standing in a line for hours on end for nothing.  Also, there’s no point in saving seats for people who didn’t come in with you.  You can save them a place in line (within reason; don’t save a place for twenty people), but if you’re inside and they’re at some random place outside and The Walking Dead is about to take the stage, your buddy probably isn’t going to make it.

This system is how all the panel rooms function.  If you absolutely have to see a panel, then be prepared to wake up super-early and get in line before the conventional hall doors even open.

comic-con-hall-h-lineLearn to Stop Worrying and Love the Line

So let’s say you’re committed to waiting.  You’ll wake up early, you’ll get in line, and spend hours on end waiting in line and through panels you don’t care about just so you can see the approximately hour-long panel for Breaking Bad (I would not blame you for this behavior; if I weren’t covering Hall H, I would join you).  But remember this: panels come and go.  They’re salesmanship.  You can get a first look, be entertained by the celebrities, and maybe even ask them a question during a Q&A (more on this later), but it’s only a fraction of your time.  The majority of your time is the line.

And the line isn’t the worst thing ever.  If you’re waiting in line for a panel room, you can sit down, chat with friends, or even better, make new friends.  Nerds get a bad rap for being anti-social, but the person next to you in line might be really cool.  Strike up a conversation, share what you’re excited to see, see if you’re both part of the same fandom, and so forth.  You’re more than welcome to break out a book or a video game or what have you (but read on for why you should be careful about the electronics), and you probably will when you’re waiting for hours in line.  But you’ll have a better time if you take some time out to chat with someone.  Seeing the panel you’re excited for is all well and good, but it’s only a fraction of the full experience.

comic-con-exhibitor-hall-floorBe Sure You Know What You’re in Line For

Yes, making friends and chilling in line isn’t so bad and can even be fun in its own way.  But there are many lines at Comic-Con, they can criss-cross, they bend around corners, and it’s possible you could end up waiting for hours in a line that’s not for the thing you care about.  This problem doesn’t affect people waiting for Hall H because that line is strictly outdoors and clearly between the end of the convention center and the Hilton Bayfront hotel.  You can’t miss it.

But you can miss a hell of a lot of other lines, especially on the exhibitors’ floor.  All of the major booths are crammed together, and even if you ask someone who is standing in the line, they might say “I think this is for…”  Even they’re not 100% sure.  Missing a free poster or a t-shirt or some such nonsense will be a bummer, but it won’t ruin your day.  However, you would be justifiably peeved if you stood in line (remember; exhibitors’ floor is mostly standing) to get a Breaking Bad poster autographed only to find out you were in line for something else.  Being in the wrong line for the exhibitors’ floor is tough, but not getting into the panel you want can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.

The Best Panels Aren’t Necessarily in the Biggest Rooms

There are tons of panels going on all across the convention center, but most of them are in tiny rooms that hold maybe around 100 to 200 people.  But because so many people are burning up their day to check out the major panels, they might miss some gems that are elsewhere.  One year, I found my way into an awesome panel where female writers like Marti Noxon and Felicia Day talked about their experiences in the business and the challenges they face.  Another time, I easily got into the panel for the (sadly unrealized) animated adaptation of The Goon.  Since David Fincher was a producer on the film, he showed up for the panel.  Fincher didn’t go to Hall H or any other major room that year.  He showed up in a small room to talk about a project that could have used some more attention.

Keep your program guide on you at all times and hold on to a contingency plan.

comic-con-hall-h-robert-pattinsonRules for the Q&A

Some panels, and most of the ones in the major rooms, will hold a question-and-answer session near the end of the presentation.  This can be the most cringe-worthy part of any presentation because people don’t think before they speak.  This isn’t a criticism.  I absolutely understand getting star struck, wanting to take the opportunity to speak with a famous person you admire, and not having a good question to back it up.  Here’s a tip: if you’re question begins with “Was it fun…” don’t ask it.  You’re going to be in front of a lot of people, and the crowd will let you know when you’ve asked a good question (or when you’re an adorable child).  You have more than enough time to think of a good question, so come up with one.  And if you’re dead-set on asking your question, make sure you know where that line is (in Hall H, the line is to the far left side of the room), and get as close to it as possible so you’re ready to go when they start inviting people up to ask questions.

One final note: be sure your question is a question.  Telling a celebrity, “I think you’re really hot,” is not a question.

Be Respectful of Other Fandoms

I used to hate Twihards.  I really did.  Their screeching cheers shatter my eardrums, and they take up a huge amount of space in Hall H for a single panel (Comic-Con fixed this problem in recent years by having Twilight go first thing on Thursday morning).  But then I realized that while I may find Twilight itself despicable, the fans are harmless (except for the eardrum thing) and they have as much right to love their property as any other fandom.  Even if they ask statement-questions, and you’re uncomfortable for the next minute or so, this discomfort will pass.  No one is excited for every single property, but that doesn’t mean you have to snipe at things other people really care about.

junk-food-nachosBring Healthy Food or Get Fast-Acting Diabetes

I honestly have no idea why Comic-Con is intent on shoving junk food down the mouths of its attendees.  It’s not that I oppose junk food being on sale.  Junk food is delicious.  However, it shouldn’t be the only option for hungry people who are stuck in Hall H (you can’t leave Hall H unless you’re willing to go back to the end of the line, but there’s an adjacent room that serves food; bathrooms are also adjacent to the hall).  Doesn’t the catering company make more money by offering lettuce wraps and pre-made salads?  I assume someone made this suggestion and then was promptly taken out back and shot.  The food is also pricey (they know there’s nothing you can do about it), so your best solution is to bring in some protein bars, or pre-made sandwiches, or anything that isn’t pizza, hot dogs, potato chips, nachos, cookies, soda, and bottled water.  Honest to God: that’s all they sell and have ever sold in all the years I’ve been there.

Do You Really Need to Buy That?

Let me say up front that I’m not trying to stop exhibitors from making money.  I know Comic-Con is a huge part of their yearly sales.  But speaking as a consumer, I want you to think through your purchases.  When you’re surrounded by so much merchandise, there’s a greater temptation to impulse shop.  There’s an even greater impulse when you’re handed your free gigantic swag bag when you pick up your badge (they’ve given the bag away for free the past couple years, and I imagine they’ll do the same this year) and now you have a desire to fill the bag.  So you’re walking around with this gigantic swag bag with money burning a hole in your pocket and you think, “What am I going to do?  Not buy all these 50% off trade paperback comics?”

comic-con-bagHowever, you’re going to have to carry that weight around all day, and that’s in addition to all the free swag you pick up.  And are you really getting a good deal?  If you find a rare comic or something that will complete your collection, go for it.  If there’s an exclusive toy or figure, go for it.  If it’s a trade paperback, you can probably find it cheaper on Amazon.  A lot of the merchandise on the floor can be found online for a comparable or cheaper price.

And here’s one more question for you to consider. How do you plan on getting your stuff back?  You can either leave room in your luggage, check a bag through (which means you’ll probably pay a bag shipping fee), or you can ship it.  There’s a FedEx shipping center inside the convention center, and there’s a UPS store inside the Hilton Bayfront (you don’t need to be a guest to use it).  Still, these costs add up, so just remember that there are hidden costs behind every “deal”.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

This was the biggest lesson I learned from my first Comic-Con and I continue to pass this lesson on to others.  You will spend a lot of time at Comic-Con in lines.  You’ll be sitting in them but you’ll also be standing in them, especially if it’s on the exhibitors’ floor.  Additionally, there’s all the walking around you’ll be doing, so comfortable shoes are your savior in this environment.  I will never forget the agony I was in and my desire to steal a motorized scooter from an old woman.

Also, wear open-toed shoes at your own risk.  You may think it goes great with your Kid Icarus costume, but Kid Icarus looks a lot less heroic as he’s crumpled on the ground clutching his crushed toes (However, this may simply be the life of a devoted cosplayer, environmental hazards be damned).

power-strip-surge-protectorStay Charged

It should come as no surprise that open electrical outlets are in short supply in the San Diego Convention Center.  You know how long your electric device lasts, and taking that into account, make sure you begin the day with your phone, laptop, etc. fully charged.  Additionally, you may want to bring a spare battery.  Going back to the whole “new friends advice”, bring a power strip and you’ll be the most popular guy at the Con.

Don’t Be a Dick

This piece of advice seems obvious.  You may be saying, “I’m not a dick!  I would never behave dickishly!  I majored in “Not-Being-a-Dickology” at the University of Fictional Universities!”  This may all be true, but Comic-Con can be stressful and your priorities may get fucked up.  So let me make something perfectly clear:

Being annoyed doesn’t give you license to be an ass-hole.

There seems to be this notion in American culture that any inconvenience is an unforgivable slight.  Yes, there are rude people in this world.  If someone brazenly cuts you in line while you’re waiting to get food, getting in their face isn’t going to make them change their ways.  It’s going to escalate the matter, and now you’re part of the problem.  And sometimes, people aren’t even trying to be rude.  Someone who didn’t cut may get to the front of the line, and change their mind about what they want to order.  Now you have to wait the grand total of one more minute to make your order.  Granted, people should know what they want by the time they reach the counter, but it’s no reason to groan audibly or snap at someone.

If you don’t get the last comic book, you can probably find it online.  If you don’t get the exclusive toy, then remember you didn’t buy a badge and wait in line just so you could own a single toy.  If you don’t get an autograph from a celebrity you admire, remember it’s just a signature on a piece of paper.  Not owning something is no cause to get upset (losing something you bought is cause to get somewhat upset).

tim-eric-shirtAnd speaking of ownership, do not claw and bite and act like a savage to get swag like t-shirts and bags.  You already own shirts and bags, and it’s not like these ones are magical.  This free shirt is like any other shirt you already know: it was made by cheap labor and will cloth you.  The end.  Plenty of booths on the exhibitors floor have sturdy canvas bags, especially if you buy something (Pick up something from the Dark Horse booth and you’ll be okay).

Have fun.

Remember why you came to Comic-Con, and realize there’s so much to see and do, and you can have a good time.  I’m stuck in Hall H covering Twilight because that’s my job, and even I have fun at Comic-Con because I get to hang out with friends.  And keep in mind that there’s plenty to do beyond the convention center.  You didn’t buy an expensive badge to sit around and mope.  You came to have a good time, so have a good time.

You’ll have an even better time if you follow me and my colleagues on Twitter since we’ll be bringing you non-stop Comic-Con coverage </shameless plug>:

Steve “Frosty” Weintraub: @colliderfrosty

Matt Goldberg: @MattGoldberg

Brendan Bettinger: @ColliderBrendan

Adam Chitwood: @adamchitwood

Dave Trumbore: @DrClawMD

Look for the complete schedules on Collider (they’ll probably be released sometime next week).  You can also bookmark this page for all of our Comic-Con coverage from now until the event begins.

And for other previous attendees, was there anything I missed?  Sound off in the comments section if you have other advice for first-timers.

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  • Cori

    A thing about the food. I’ve only had it once or twice in all my con going years because of a blistering headache. As far as I know, CCI (Comic Con International) does not control the food sold at the convention center. I believe that is all on San Diego Convention Center. They set the menu and the prices. It’s more of an issue to take up with them and not CCI.

    • Bill Graham

      As much as you are probably right about who chooses the food, I can guarantee that Comic-Con has the power to pressure the convention center to do as they please. If not for all events, at least for CC. You bitching at the convention center will hardly do anything. Con has the power to put pressure on the convention center. That’s the route I would go.

  • TwiFan

    Twilight fans are not the only ones that cheer for their panel. I’m really tired of you and other so called media professionals putting twi fans down for supporting the twi cast and the movie. Other fandoms are just excited and make tons of noise too. I won’t make a list of those fandoms because you already know the ones I’m talking about. Of course, you don’t want to mention that because it’s become such a habit to whine about anything Twilight related.

    Why don’t you write about attendees that follow twi fans around getting in our face screaming obscenties. They follow us around the convention center holding signs that read “Twilight sucks” “Twilighters Go Home” “Twilight is ruining the Con” and other things too vulgar to mention. I learned real fast not to wear anything with Twilight on it to avoid being followed throughout the convention center being harassed and heckled. It was shocking the Comic Con organization allowed this behavior but perhaps they never wanted us there either.

    This is the last year there will be a Twi panel so please allow the fans to support our movie and cast one last time in peace. We’ll all be gone next year and then the Con will apparently revert back to the magical place it was before Twilight invaded the sacred space.

    Oh and Matt if you don’t want to cover the Twi panel then be professional and allow someone do it that wants to be there.

    • psmith

      Not a Twilight fan or hater myself, so as a neutral party – I really think you missed the point.

      TwiFan: “I’m really tired of you and other so called media professionals putting twi fans down for supporting the twi cast and the movie.” Yes, I get that. But this specific article wasn’t really doing that, it was doing the opposite. Goldberg: “…while I may find Twilight itself despicable, the fans are harmless”.

      TwiFan: “Why don’t you write about attendees that follow twi fans around getting in our face screaming obscenties.” Well, he kind of did… Goldberg: “No one is excited for every single property, but that doesn’t mean you have to snipe at things other people really care about” and later “Don’t be a dick”.

      You may get a lot of hate in other articles, but surely Goldbergs comment “I used to hate Twihards“, with emphasis in the “USED” is more like an apology than a bashing, am I wrong? Don’t mean to be a know-it-all or something, just felt like defending the article as I actually think it was quite professionally written. And interesting.

  • Marie

    What about electronics?

    • Dave Trumbore

      A few things:

      I know Matt intended to mention this – make sure all of your gizmos are charged BEFORE you go stand in line all day. I bring a back up/portable charger for my cellphone because it’s the first thing to die. Phones, cameras, games, laptops, etc…do yourself a favor and charge it first, or you’ll be left scavenging for outlets.

      Bring extra batteries, chargers, cables, etc. Someone may be in need or, knock on wood, you might lose one of the above.

      Also, when panels show exclusive footage, they’ll always tell you to turn off your cameras/phones/etc before the screening. They’re bringing the video to the audience and don’t particularly enjoy having it pirated and broadcast. Normally, the Comic-Con footage gets online in a legitimate way pretty quickly.

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  • susan

    Two things that should be added to the part about sitting through panels that you don’t care about to see the panel you do care about: (1)this could be the panel that the people sitting around you have waited the whole con for, and (2), there could be people who didn’t get into this panel because you were panel-squating. So this really, really a good time to follow the rule, “do not be a dick”.

    • Bill Graham

      We all have to play by the rules Con gives us. Panel-squatting is part of the game. It’s very unfortunate, and don’t think for a second I’d rather wait in line for hours to sit through random panels to get to the one I desire instead of simply queuing up an hour before.

      The system is broken. I’m not a dick if I just follow the rules. Get up early. The later panels are generally fairly easy to get into, even Hall H. It’s the ones early that are much more difficult to get into.

  • Dan Geer

    This is a wonderful article regarding convention etiquette and survival tips. I’ve never been to Comic-Con, but I’ve been to three Star Wars Celebration conventions and can say that, even though they aren’t nearly as huge as Comic-Con (they’re still huge though), the principles remain the same (save for the halls not necessarily being cleared out between panels. SW cons seem to require getting out, and then getting back in line for the next one for that hall if you want to see it).

    Generally speaking, though, SW Celebrations seem to be mostly well-behaved. I’ve only encountered a few incidences where people acted ridiculous. Something about that fandom, when gathered under one roof, seems to be of a more civilized age. Other cons could benifit by SW Celebrations’ example, although with bigger cons it understandably becomes more and more difficult.

  • Dan Geer

    Although, to add to my previous comment, since it is one fandom under one roof, I guess it is automatically a lot easier as far as dealing with other fandoms is concerned, because there aren’t any there. But still, people can get ridiculous around other people and waiting in long lines, and your article rings true for all geek cons.

  • gph-artist

    Matt, you forgot one major Q&A rule: DO NOT get to the mic and begin with, “I have a question…”

    Actually, I’ll add to that, (sadly geeks are notorious for this) don’t begin your question with a lead-in paragraph of b.s. so that you seem smarter… by the time you get to a question, the audience wants to kill you… Kevin Smith has a field day with this type at his panels.

    See you all at Comic Con… I’ll be in Artist’s Alley!

  • Daniele

    Hey! First time at Comic Con, always wanted to go because all of the series. I have always been a big Smallville fan, too bad that now that I can go, they will no longer be there. But I’m Kristen Stewart’s fan, and this is my last year in the US, so I really wanna try and see her over there. But I’m afraid of how the craziness might be with the twihards. How earlier should I be there to get a good seat for the Breaking Dawn panel, you know? I missed her at WonderCon, I just can’t believe myself…

    • Bill Graham

      Daniele, last year Twilight fans were camped out BEFORE the Con even started. Yes, BEFORE Preview night…. People are nutso for that. Remember, 6,500 people is a lot. But it does fill up rather fast. Also realize that all of the combined factors Matt mentioned will lead a lot of people waiting for other panels to avoid getting there extra early.

      Based on when you get there, I’d say head over immediately. I always like to keep an eye on lines before I jump in. Why waste my time sitting on my ass if I can go have a beer, come back and see if I need to sit down and wait it out? Just keep an eye on it. But if you have to resort to waking up early to get in line, I’d suggest being over there well before daylight.

  • Ron Davis

    How difficult is it to pick up the badges? Is this a simple process or will it be a hours long wait as well? Can you give some advice about how to plan for badge pickup?

    Thanks

    • Bill Graham

      Ron, the badge pickup is genuinely nuts. Imagine all of those fans DYING to get into those panels. Know what all of them need? BADGES. Preview night is relatively calm because they don’t allow nearly as many people to get those badges. Be prepared to wait. And wait some more. This will be your indoctrination into Con, the everlasting line!

      • rondavis

        Thanks for the reply Bill! I figure it will be nuts. What is your best guess for how long to wait in line? If the first thing you really want to see is at 1:00 pm, what time would you get in line for badge pickup and still think you have time to go stand in line for you that 1:00 panel?

      • Bill Graham

        To be quite honest, you aren’t going to get a very good answer from any of the writers from Collider here, like myself. We lineup in the press section, which was absurd two years ago. Last year and this year I will be arriving the night of Preview Night, so my badge will have already been picked up for me.

        Do you arrive preview night? Judging by your comment, sounds like you arrive on Thursday, which means you will have a pretty big line because that will be the first day for most people to be on site. I’d say it will take at LEAST an hour and a half of standing in line to get your badge. Guestimate what kind of line you expect at the panel of your choice. The doors do open at a set time, but I’m not sure if they will have badge pickup working before opening. I’d hope so.

      • Ron Davis

        Bill, thanks again for answering my question. I arrive on Wednesday afternoon but my understanding of the badge pickup was that I couldn’t pick up my badge until the day the badge is good for. I’ll re read it and if I can pick it up Wednesday I most certainly will. (I have badges for Thursday and Sunday. Wasn’t lucky enough to get 4 days this time around.)

      • Bill Graham

        Yea, see, like I said, we aren’t good people to ask about badges because we get the 4-day plus preview nights. And if you want to come next year for all 4 days, I’d suggest pre-registering AT the Con. I think 4-day badgeholders get to register first, which might be why you got stuck with the odd split of days.

  • Alex

    Marti Noxon will also be at Austin Film Festival, October 18-25!

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  • Stinky

    Better advice: don’t go.

    Comic-Con has turned into an industry wide ass-kiss event that is elbowing out common fans in lieu of fanboy bloggers trying to beef up their site. No offense, Collider.

    All the info is posted online instantly. The videos (if not pirated) will be online within a week.

    Standing in line nuts to butts for an hour hoping to get meaningless pieces of promotional swag that gets shoved in the giant bag o’ crap and thrown away on Monday isn’t exactly worth it.

    Go to the beach. At the very least, hit a few bars downtown. I’ll be the drunk one heckling you from afar.

    • Bill Graham

      There are two factors here.

      Yes, the size and ass-kissery is huge. It’s borderline too much. OK, maybe it is too much. And yes, some of the information will be online shortly thereafter. However, this is the mega event for nearly every property showing up. They bring their A-game. The parties, the events, the panels, the swag, all of it is leaps and bounds above most other conventions.

      People like Steven Spielberg don’t show up just anywhere. They show up at Con. And there are many more, big or small. So, if you want all of that experience, this is the place to have it, IMO.

      And while there are a lot of blogs there, there are many more fans. BIG fans. This is a gathering and celebration of that. Try not to get swept under by all the stupid fluff. HAVE FUN. Enjoy your time. Check out panels for things that aren’t crowded but turn out really cool.

      You can sit in Hall H and get blitzed by promotional junk, but some people REALLY dig that. Good for them.

  • jenn

    first timer going this year and i found this really helpful. i went to the wizard con in philly in may june to prepare myself and i found everyone (from the twihards, to the jedis, to the trekies, to the WWE fans) really polite and helpful. Thanks again for the tips!

  • joan

    First timer going but I was only able to get Thursday tickets. I plan on picking up my badges Wednesday evening. If I already have my badge, how early should I get to the center on Thursday morning? Also, I missed prepaid parking. How far will I have to park?
    Thanks,

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  • David Williams

    This is my second year, though last year we only go Sunday tickets, so we went and were able to get Fri. & Sat. for this year. My goal was to see some things in Hall H, but realistically it sounds impossible. I have to get my badge Friday morning and by the time I get to the line up I’m assuming thousands will already be there. I think, unless a miracle occurs, this will be by last year.

    • Bill Graham

      In my experience, you can get into Hall H relatively easy once the line shuffles in and the first few big panels filter out. The hardest part is getting in for an early panel, or if the day is just batshit. I’ve literally WALKED into Hall H on a Saturday afternoon two years ago (2010), which was maybe the biggest year of the Con in terms of sheer magnitude.

      Hall H will be extra packed this year because of high-draw TV shows moving over from Ballroom 20, but I wouldn’t fret too much. Just get in line when you can and I have a very strong inclination you will get in for the big stuff towards the end of the day.

  • Chris

    Another first-timer here! Thank you for the tips. I’m no stranger to waiting in line for hours (e.g. the recent Calgary Expo), but even this still sounds intimidating.

    I’m hoping that I can at least get into Hall H for the ParaNorman Panel on Friday, and then just sit through until the end of Game of Thrones. What time would you recommend, at the earliest, to get in line?

  • Lacey

    What about bathrooms? If you stay in on room all day for panels are there bathrooms in all the rooms. I heard there is in hall h but what about ballroom20. This is my first and I want to stay in ballroom 20 for several panels in one day.

    • RobinInSeoul

      For Ballroom 20, you can get a ticket from the door monitor which will allow you to get back in the room. Also, there’s a water fountain, so bring your bottle!

      • Bill Graham

        That is partially correct. You can get a pass to get back in Ballroom 20 and the other, but they will hand out panel specific passes. Which means, you have to come back BEFORE that panel ends. Otherwise it’s back in line. So you can’t leave for three hours and come back.

  • Christine

    This year will be my first time at Comic-Con – my first convention at all, really, so thanks for this very helpful article! I have another question about queuing: The article mentioned that queuing for Hall H is strictly outdoors. Does that mean I have to be prepared to queue in the sun? I was thinking about the Hobbit on Saturday, starting at 2:30. The weather forecast currently says this will be a very hot day, so I was curious, should I bring sunscreen, a hat, a parasol or whatever? ;) Or is it in the shade anyway? (I also have very little idea what Californian weather is like this time of the year, since I’m from Austria and the last time I visited was in September)

    • Bill Graham

      They have shade covering the line outside of Hall H now. So no worries there. Also, I’m not sure what your definition of “hot” is, but a high of 74 sounds pretty darn nice to me.

  • Kailey D.

    Hi! This is my first year going to Comic-Con. I believe I read that you can pick up badges on Sunday starting at 8:30. The Panel I want to make is the Merlin panel at 10:30 in Room 6BCF. Do you think I will have enough time to get my badge and make it to the panel? Also, how many people can fit in Room 6BCF? Thanks!

  • caroline Borges

    this will be my first comic con, I am starting in Brazil on next Sunday with five friends. My question to the team collider is: the Internet, it is possible to have a sign inside the Convention Center. Wi-Fi is available?

    • Bill Graham

      Wifi is definitely available and free. But realize this: approximately 60% of the people there will be utilizing some sort of online device. And 99.9% of the people will have that capability.

      This does two things.

      1. Bogs down the wifi. At times it can crawl. Sometimes you get a solid connection and it will just DROP.

      2. Bogs down the cell reception. I’ve had times where I will get a SLEW of texts out of nowhere. Sometimes I can’t make a call. Sometimes I can’t send a text. Hall H is especially bad.

  • Kim

    This is my first year going to the Con and, for as excited as I am, I am also nervous that I won’t get into the panels that I want. I already know that I need to line up early and I am all set to do that but as far as what specific times that means I’m not sure. So… two questions

    1) What time does the convention center open in the morning?
    2) On Thursday the first panel in a room is at 2:15 pm. so exactly what time would the doors to this room open? Early in the morning or right before the panel? Any ideas?

    Please help, I don’t want Comic Con to be a sucky experience for me.

    • Bill Graham

      The Comic-Con website is incredibly helpful for stuff like this.

      1. The convention center opens at 9:30AM on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 6:30pm for Preview Night on Wednesday.

      2. The early morning panels start filling in fairly early. What they want is the max amount of people to fill that room. They also keep track of how many enter. Be prepared to see five people allowed into a near capacity room at a time when you get close to the entrance. I’ve been 25 people shy of getting into a room I NEEDED to get into. It sucks.

      So, likely an hour early. Maybe more. Depends on capacity.

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  • Tom Davies

    Hi,

    Its my first Con this year which I am so excited for, but I also have a few questions I hope you don’t mind me asking.
    (1) What time do you need to be at the convention centre to get in line to get in?
    (2) And also what time you need to get into que for the first panel of the day?
    (3) How do you find out about the signed poster giveaways or the signings?
    (4) And with these signings and giveaways how long before it starts should you get there?

    thanks so much for your help!

    Tom

  • Harley

    Does Comic Con Have Free Wifi……it was probably in the article but im to lazy to read

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