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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Guide to San Diego Comic-Con by Lorrie Thomas

By. Lorrie M. Thomas
Hi geeks! Here is a quick how to guide on making it through the hardest and most intense experience of your life. It’s called surviving San Diego Comic-Con 2010. As a past attendee to this event I have five surefire tips that will make your trip a good one. So please take a few minutes to read the tips and prepare to get your geek on in style this year.
1. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row. This means that you have your plane tickets, hotel reservations and most important con passes ready. Do not show up at the con without spending money, they DO NOT take checks and very few are set up for debit cards unless it is for high-end purchases. Also, a quick note the ATMs at comic-con have very high fees to use them. If you want to pull out money do it before your arrive at the con. Have your con schedule ready and printed out and in your pocket or backpack. I know we all have iPods and iPads but a trusty piece of paper will save you every time. Trust me I know.
2. Backpack or bust. Pack and take a backpack with the following items: socks, mints, water, gum, snack food (I take granola bars and nuts), sketchbook, iPod, cell phone charger, first aid kit, hand sanitizer, notebook and pen, highlighters, comics that you want signed at the con, light jacket, sunglasses and any other item that you might need for the day. The backpack is your home away from home and will save you a lot of time and trouble. Also, make sure your backpack is light enough to carry all day and night and will be able to withstand any punishment. I carry a few plastic bags and rubber bands in the side pockets for emergency uses. Again, the backpack is your friend at a con.
3. How to stand in line. Don’t laugh at me this is very useful at a con. The rules are simple, get there early and getcomfortable. Bring a buddy and swap bathrooms breaks when needed and do not get out of line unless a emergency has been announced. This is your chance at seeing one of the panels that you have been dying to get into for months or see that cast from a fave TV show. I once stood in line for six hours just to get into the panel for Sci-Fi night and barely got in! So, prepare to wait and wait for geeky goodness when you stand in line. Also, don’t be a noob and talk loud and be rude to others while waiting. Have your comics ready to be signed if you are waiting for an artist/writer and do not have twenty copies of the book, if you do then you are being selfish and do not deserve to get your books signed. If standing in line to get an autograph, do not look like a fool and try to bargain with the person for a discount. If the sign says $20.00 buck then pay your money and smile for the camera.
4. How to attend a panel. I go to panels to get info and not hear about a topic that can be discussed in a forum or a tweet. Do not ask one of the big two editors that bring back character X,Z and Y. Do not ask a big two crossover and most of all do not make a fool of yourself and your fellow geeks with stupid questions that make us look like idiots. This harsh, I know but it’s that truth and I mean every word. Please, I beg you to ask good questions that will be listened to and answered by the panel. Give your question is a clear voice and do take time to thank the panel for taking your questions and please do not argue when you are not happy worth the answer given. Lastly, be respectful of other asking questions and when asked not to spill the beans on a certain bit of news, then do it. The information given in panels is often meant for the fan to gain a better understanding of a topic in question.
5. Walking the floor. Get a map and figure out where you want to go and do a sweep of the outer floor to see where things are setup. This will save you time and your feet will thank you later. Make sure you know how to get from the artist alley (It’s usually in the back) to back bins. The more you know before going in the better you will be. The indy alley and the people hawking product are susually grouped together and will be a good place to start when starting your walk after you get the basics down. The big tickets booths for the main publishers will be in the middle/front of the con and will be very busy so try to hit them late afternoon to avid crowds. The booth babes are there to get you to buy product and will lure you away from the main walking tour. Have fun with that and keep on walking, next go to the amine section and the gaming sections to pick up some free swag. The entire con is one large fish bowl of ads and swag. You can walk the entire floor and end with bags, stickers, posters and all sorts of cool stuff to put into your poster tube to take home.
So, I hope that this helps with making this year’s San Diego Comic-con a good one and most of all haev fun.

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