Last year after watching G4′s coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2011, I made a vow to myself and Jon (@JonnyQball79) that we would get to Comic-Con in 2012. That we did. It was our very first time at SDCC, and it was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. Here are the top five things we learned as con n00bs:
- Wear comfortable shoes with lots of padding: We had on our fashion Nikes. You know the flat sole ones that used to be athletic shoes in the 80s before everyone got over the shin splints? Yeah, those. They were okay, but they weren’t very good at all and our feet killed us. It was painful to walk. We walked for hours looking at all the cool stuff for sale on the floor. So don’t think that you won’t do that much walking. Next time, I’ll invest in some really good running shoes with lots of shock absorption and all that good stuff. The Convention Center is MASSIVE.
- There aren’t as many people in costumes as you would think: After watching G4 and Spike all these years, you would think that it’s nothing but people in costume at Comic-Con. That would be incorrect. Matter of fact, it was mostly people in regular old street clothes walking around. I myself had on Captain America gear. That did the trick just fine. If you want to wear a costume, do it. But you won’t die if you don’t. Oh, and make sure you order that costume MONTHS before. I probably won’t cosplay next year either. Too uncomfortable in that heat.
- You don’t really need tickets to Comic-Con to have fun: If we can’t get tickets next year, then we have already decided to go anyway. You can kick it outside the con and take people’s pictures. But what’s even more cool, is that Comic-Con has gotten so commercial; so massive that there are plenty of hosts and swag outside the con. SEGA took over a restaurant and turned it into a daytime nightclub where you could play Colonial Marines. Sonic the Hedgehog was in full effect. The Youtube lounge hosted Stan Lee’s soiree. Block 16 hosted Nerd HQ by day and then Lucky’s hosted Zachary Levi‘s Afterparty. Some places looked like they literally changed their names for the con from whatever they are normally to be marketed by other companies. There were haunted houses, people giving out free swag outside, block parties, the whole nine. The weather was ON POINT too, so got out and be seen. We might add an extra day JUST to hang out outside of the con.
- Make sure you look good: You will see celebrities and industry folks all over the place, and you never know who you might rub elbows with. While standing in line for a club (we didn’t get it because it turns out it was industry) Jason Ritter and Kevin Sorbo showed up with their entourage. Later on, Alexander Skarsgard apparently showed up. That was the party to be at I guess. We saw lots of nice looking people there, at least physically, even if their faces were a little busted. But that’s all that matters, right? There was lots of skin from guys and girls. I saw dudes walking in their underwear. Don’t be that guy or girl who is hating life because you didn’t get right before coming.
- Panels are only good if you are there for a long time: Look, I didn’t make it to any panels because I was only there for two days. I did not have the time to blow one of my two days on a panel, especially since the last time I took a vacation was years ago. If I go to a panel, it will be during the four day with preview night situation where I have seen all there is to do and bought all I wanted. Those lines for Hall H and the Indigo Ballroom (Hilton) are NO joke. It looked like an entire military installation was having a pass and review. Hell naw!
- Look Ballerific or Intriguing: You will get a whole lot done if you look like a shotcaller, baller, high roller, or just stand out positively. You don’t even have to spend lots of money. JUST look the part. Now, you’ve got your hair and nails done (ladies AND guys–nice, clean hands and fingernails go a long way), clothes are right… Invest in something that will make you stand out because those folks at the door might take a liking to you. One guy who was very sweet, but bold as hell considering my old man was in front of me, asked me about the mega-lollipop I was sucking. He asked me where I got it. I said I bought it in Washington. Now he’s intrigued. ”You bought that all the way from Washington just to suck it here?” I said, yup! He introduces himself, and shakes my hand (his hands were soft… See what I mean!) and says if I need anything, to come see him. We won’t get into the banter about me still sucking the lollipop when I left Nerd HQ and me taking my time when it comes to sucking lollipops! That will go in our “Tales from the Con” series…
With all of those lessons, we are armed for next year and we’ll be good. And you most definitely want to follow your faves on Twitter next year. There was so much going on and Twitter was on it.