*Scream* Can you believe it? The San Diego Comic-Con is only 1 month away! For some, this brings excitement and enthusiasm. For others, this realization is starting a panic attack that won’t be over for till Sunday afternoon of Comic-Con. You know Con season has kicked in when you are blabbing it to anyone who will listen (and some that are not). A month sounds like a long time but it will go by faster than the Flash. In this final month of preparations, here is my top 10 list to help you get ready for the big show:
Make another check of all your plans. If you canceled badges/Hotel, make sure they have been returned $ to your credit card and you’re cleared away. Double check that your current badges/hotel reservations are confirmed. These are the two most important elements of your trip so don’t overlook them.
More and more companies are releasing their Comic-Con Exclusives for this year’s show. San Diego offers the largest collection of Exclusives than any other convention- no where else in the galaxy will you find a more wretched hive of geekiness and villainy. Whether you are a toy enthusiast or casual fan, this will be heaven for you (and hell on your wallet). AwesomeToyBlog has a great list to help you see the latest Exclusive treasures. Some of these will be harder to get than others, so make sure to account for it in your schedule planning. Follow Shawn aka: @The_Con_Fluence for more Exclusives info.
3. Outside Events
One of the biggest aspects that separates Comic-Con from the rest of the shows, are the amazing events, parties, and other smaller conventions that occur in the Gaslamp. In recent years, the quality and quantity have grown offering all kinds of nerdy options after hours at SDCC. These are great places to meet new friends and recap the day’s experience . Some of these events will range from the very specific like the SherlockDCC party to the general hang out like the Defective Geek Fan Mixer. Either way, you want to have a good idea of what’s going on what night so you can plan. Some are paid events so you want to make your purchases ASAP. Check out the Unofficial Comic-Con Blog for a great calendar of what’s going on. Follow @OutsideComicCon for more up to date news.
4. Sign up!
For some events you not only need to purchase tickets in advance but need to pick a time slot to participate. For instance, you might need to choose what day to survive the zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead Escape. Or you may want to participate in the mini-con of Nerd HQ. In the past years, Nerd HQ has offered some great panels like Firefly and Doctor Who, but seats are very limited. You may also want to volunteer at Nerd HQ as well. For those sick and twisted individuals that want to add more mileage on your feet, there is a great Star Wars themed run that leads up to the show called Course for the Force. Much more happening but time/tickets are limited so don’t wait.
This is the make it or break it time for cosplayers. Besides time to build your costume, you need to account for shipping time for parts or materials ordered online. If you are an experienced cosplayer, you don’t need any advice from me. However, if you are new to the costume play, then make sure your outfit is done about a week before Comic-Con. You want to have time to play-test it for durability and comfort. One of the most important things you can do is assemble a ‘survival kit’ containing sewing thread, tape, glue, safety pins, etc, all in a handy pouch. You can ruin your cosplay experience with a blown seam or popped button. If you want to participate in the SDCC Masquerade on Saturday night, read up on details. There are plenty of great cosplayers to follow like @YayaHan @VampyBitMe and @Vamp
6. APP-ly yourself
Back in the early years of Comic-Con, all you had to help you was the Program Book, a compass, and a hunch. Now ‘con-going’ has changed because of the million Apps available for your smartphone. Whether it’s Zap-Kapow’s Guide to Comics or Autograph This, there are many Apps out there to make sure you are not caught unprepared. Check out my post on what Apps to download.
The best way to prepare for SDCC is to make a check list. A good place to start is my recently posted: The Ultimate Checklist for SDCC. General rule of thumb: ‘Bring half of what you think you need and twice as much money” 🙂
8. Nerd wear
You should be circling in on your outer geekery for the week of Comic-Con. San Diego weather will vary from very hot to mildly cool. Keep in mind that regardless of the outside temperature, the panel rooms like Hall H are kept very cool. At the beginning of the day, it is like a meat locker in rooms like Ballroom 20. So you may want to have a nerdy light hoodie packed in your bag. Even though you aren’t doing cosplay, SDCC is the ‘Project Runway’ of the nerd world and a chance for you to express yourself. One of the best ‘brick & mortar’ stores to get nerd themed Tees, hoodies, and accessories is Hot Topics. A couple of my favorite online stores are Superhero Stuff and Stylin Online. Remember, it will take a couple of weeks to get your nerd swag in the mail so order right away!