It’s been a long year and the Comic-Con battle has been a hard one- and Avenging is not easy. The past 10 months have been filled with many ups and downs and twists and turns. With badges, hotels, and parking mostly down, we can concentrate on the battle plan going into San Diego. In just two months, we’ll be heading into the battlefield of SDCC- so let’s review this checklist to make sure you will be ready:
1. JARVIS, make a list…
Too bad we each don’t have our personal JARVIS to take care of all the details leading up to the con. The best way to think of Comic-Con is like going camping. You wouldn’t want to be stuck camping without matches or batteries, so make sure not to forget anything essential. Start making a master list of all the things to order, buy, pack, or create. I know, this sounds kinda basic but it’s the fundamental of a great con experience.
2. Check the Tower
This is probably the most important step in preparing for Comic-Con. Make sure that all your receipts and reservations are in order. First and foremost, make sure you have your SDCC badge confirmation (the one with the barcode) with your correct name and info. If you have hotel reservations through Travel Planners, you should have two nights charged to your credit card already. If not, something is wrong. Same thing with your Ace Parking reservation. Put all your key e-mails in a clearly labeled folder and take screen caps of them. I’ve heard of too many horror stories of fans losing their e-mail just days before the show- and it’s hard to get a hold of anyone to get it resolved that week. Also, make sure to print out copies for redundancy and put them in an obvious place. Remember, you will need to show an ID in order to pick up your badge so make sure your everything is valid and current.
3. Your Arc Reactor
One of the most valuable commodities during Comic-Con is power. The days are long and electrical outlets or charging stations are far and few between. Overly congested networks cause phones and devices to spool for much longer periods of time. Sending up a simple tweet can take exponentially longer time causing your battery to drain much quicker (not to mention posting a photo). One of the most important purchases you can make is an external battery. Whether it’s an extended charging case or a battery dock, you will be surprised how quickly you will need it each day. There are tons to choose from out there but my personal favorites are from Mophie.
4. Infinity Stones
If you are new to San Diego Comic-Con or to con culture in general, one term you’ll be seeing more of is the word ‘Exclusives’. Typically only offered at larger cons, Exclusives are toys and collectibles that are first offered to the public at the show. Offered in limited amount, the Exclusives are the ‘brass ring’ for toy hobbiest and con enthusiasts. Check out my recent Tip of the Day posts further explaining SDCC Exclusives and how to get them. Also, check out my page highlighting my favorites being offered for 2014.
5. Avengers, suit up!
If you plan on going to San Diego in costume, two months out is not too early to be working on your costume. If you are going to commission an artist to help make a costume for you, then you should be well into that process by now. This is also the best time to order online any items that are essential and hard to make like shoes or boots. Some skilled cosplayers can put together an ensemble within a week but if you are new to this world, give yourself as much time as you can. Remember, cosplay doesn’t have to be big but a sincere, committed effort goes a long way.
6. The Parties
Another aspect that makes Comic-Con so awesome are all the offsite events going on during and after hours. Over the next two months, you will start hearing about multiple fan meet ups, mini-cons, concerts, promotions, and special events. Some are paid, some are free, some are small, and some are huge. These extracurricular activities have become some of my favorite parts of the show over the past few years. From the Her Universe Fashion Show to The Walking Dead Escape to the Nerdist Podcast, there is plenty to see and do outside of the convention center. Make sure to check my list of Offsite Events and buy tickets early!
Since this is the super bowl of nerdom, you gotta get your nerd swag on by carefully selecting your tees for the week. Everyone will be wearing every shirt you can possibly imagine and this is a great way to express your fandom. Because of the awesomeness of the internet, there are more options than ever to help assemble your wardrobe for San Diego. A few of my favorite shops are GeekyU, Five Finger Tees, RedBubble, Jack of All Trades, and SnorgTees.
Since none of us have Tony Stark money, creating a budget now for Comic-Con is key. You don’t have to spend a lot to have a great time but you do have a plan a bit. In an upcoming episode of the SDCC Survival Guide with Shout! Factory, I will be addressing this very thing- so hang tight.
9. Team up!
Social media has probably been the best invention to impact Comic-Con in the past few years. Not only is it a great way to meet other like-minded fans but it’s the best way to get news, tips, and tricks from con veterans from all around the world. Even if you are not big into Twitter, it would be good to create a ‘list’ of a few accounts to help you prepare for the show. Some suggestions (but certainly not all): @TheNerdyGirlie @EnglishmanSDCC @SDCCNerdsAttack @FriendsOfCCI. Represent!
Even Avengers need help too! Comic-Con International’s very own Toucan Blog will have a lot of great tips and announcements so you will want to check that regularly.