It’s Comic-Con week. In less than three days, 130,000+ fans — along with capes, masks, and prop weapons– will completely take over San Diego ready to get their pop culture on. SDCC has come a long way since it was founded as Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970 with 100 attendees.
Now, SDCC has become a showcase for studios, A-listers, and professional cosplayers, and there are more than 100 attendees trying to spruce up their costumes in the bathroom alone. The Con can be fun, overwhelming, exciting, and crazy all at once, and more likely than not, you will go through at least a few of the five stages of grief.
Here are some tips to stay sane(ish).
Believe it or not, SDCC is better exercise than Pokémon Go. From Wednesday through Sunday, you will be on your feet, running between panels and signings and events in and outside the convention center. So even though those five-inch stilettos make your legs look fabulous, the blisters aren’t worth it. Comfortable footwear, or at least a backup pair of shoes, is key. Other essentials include:
- Water and snacks: Stay hydrated and keep the blood sugar up. Otherwise, you’re going to be stuck eating food from the concession stands. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but four straight days of eating hot dogs isn’t ideal, unless you’re Kobayashi training for an eating contest.
- Anti-bacterial everything: Nerd flu is a real thing. You’re going to come into close, very close, contact with thousands of people. Hand sanitizer — lots of it — is your friend. Also, don’t be gross; make sure you wash your hands too.
- Band-aids: Because you don’t want to get a paper cut and then have blood ruin some limited edition comic book you just paid $500 for. Also, you’ll need them for the blisters you’ve developed for not listening to our footwear advice. Side benefit: they can come in handy if your costume needs a quick patch.
- Painkillers: To dull the pain of the thousands of screaming fans or sensory overload on the show floor, or to help ease the pain after a hard night of partying.
- Phone Charger: Always be charging. If Chris Pratt photobombs your Snapchat but your phone dies, did it really happen?
- Sharpie: Autograph opportunities can come up when you least expect it. Just don’t ask anyone in the bathroom to sign anything. Boundaries, people.
Love the Line
Crowds and lines – you can’t avoid them, so learn to love them. You will have to wait. A lot. But everyone else will as well, so get ready to make the best type of friends, line friends. People camp out outside, on the ground, just to get into the Hall H panels. Sometimes people get in lines not even knowing what they’re waiting for, just to avoid FOMO. SDCC is basically a giant human experiment in patience.
One tip for getting through crowds — learn from the youngest Stark: Zig. Zag. RIP, Rickon.
The biggest panels of the show are held here – Marvel, Warner Bros. are headlining their biggest releases. There are over 130,000 people attending SDCC and Hall H only holds 6,500, so you do the math. Hall H isn’t the be-all, end-all of panels though — there are plenty of great panels going on all throughout the weekend. But if you really want to get into Hall H, you’re going to have to line up early and wait it out. Be respectful of others: we don’t want to repeat the eye-stabbing incident of 2010.
You’ll need something to carry all your collectibles and toys and what’s-its, and luckily the official Warner Bros. bag you get when you check in is large enough to carry a small child. This year’s collectible bags have 18 different versions and are augmented reality enabled if you have the blippar app. If you are opting for something smaller, make sure you go with something that is hands-free so you can grab all that hot sauce in your bag, swag.
Have a Plan
You are probably not going to be able to see everything when you want to. Figure out your must-sees, Plan Bs, and Plan C through Zs. Study the program and map so you know the best route to get from place to place. Don’t forget that there is a whole world outside the walls of the Convention Center that includes interactive experiences, screenings, activities, parties, and a little thing called fresh air.
Here are some of our picks:
And If All Else Fails
Read more tips here: