Back at it in the wee hours of the morning. The other Shortboxed crew have been waiting in the Hall H line since yesterday morning. I applaud them because they essentially lost all day Thursday of panel offerings, exclusive and autograph hunting, and shopping possibilities.
As a new editor to Shortboxed, I always knew that San Diego Comic-Con would be a big topic for us to write about, thus the SDCC Guides were born. But even though it is an exciting topic to write about in hopes our fearless readers would find value in them, this year’s SDCC is special because I’ll be returning to San Diego after not attending last year. And my return will be the inaugural visit of my 16-month year old son, Aiden Marcus. This won’t be his first comic book convention, but definitely his first time in San Diego and the awesomeness that is SDCC.
I’ve enjoyed attending the show in past years and hope that what I learned from those visits is applied to my future trips. The guides that I’ve posted are learnings from my SDCC trips so there were some heartache and stressful trips. But that’s the nature of the game and if there’s some tips and tricks to be taken out of my ramblings, then by all means, apply them to your own SDCC experience.
A big part of any convention are the fans. These attendees pay their money to enter the convention floor and wait excruciatingly long in lines to get into panels and such. They are the heartbeat of the convention since without them, there wouldn’t be a show. A part of this group leveled up, in a way, and started to embody their favorite characters by constructing intricate costumes at these conventions. These costume players, or cosplayers, have added another dimension to the convention-going experience. And in this guide, as we countdown to San Diego Comic-Con, we’ll discuss some tips on dealing with these physical interpretations of our favorite characters.
In Norse mythology (or simply just Thor continuity in many of our readers’ cases), Valhalla is where Asgardian warriors go to in the afterlife when they have died honorably in combat – it is their reward for a life well-lived. Hall H is Valhalla for San Diego Comic-Con geeks.
We battle all night, fighting off hoards of line cutters, the growl of hunger pains, the shiver of the pre-dawn sky and the sister of death herself, sleep. For those that survive the long, grueling night, they are gifted with entering the majestic Hall H.
Many have heard horror stories about camping out for Hall H – all the questions and confusion about when and where to line up, what time you can enter, who’s allowed in and out, something about wrist bands and an unofficial line, and so on. Once you do figure out when and where the line starts (we don’t even know ourselves, and we likely won’t find out until the actual con itself), the next important thing to do is figure out how to make your overnight campout pleasant enough so it doesn’t feel like you’re sieging a castle for six months.
For the past 5 visits to San Diego Comic-Con, I’ve focused on leaving San Diego with not only memorable experiences but also something physical that I can be proud of. SDCC exclusives fall into this category but if you’re like me, my wallet isn’t as deep as some peoples. So another thing that I enjoy hunting is autographs.
Autographs have always been a fun memorabilia item that is synonymous with conventions and the like. But I’ve had the lucky opportunity to have left San Diego in recent years with several autographs from people I consider geek celebrities. One of my favorite moments was at Nerd HQ’s inaugural year that allowed me to get Alison Haislip, Olivia Munn, Danny Pudi, Jorge Garcia, Alessandra Torresani, Joshua Gomez, and Zachary Levi‘s autographs after a super awesome panel. You can imagine that I was giddy with happiness when I met these actors and snapped a picture with Alison Haislip and Olivia Munn was the icing on the cake!
There’s no way around it – human beings are filthy, germ-spreading animals. We use our hands to touch everything, we sneeze and cough in public, and some of us simply have bad hygiene habits. All of this gets cranked up at comic book conventions like SDCC. Imagine 130,000 germ factories all squeezed into one place, side-by-side, for four and a half days and you’ll begin to see the importance of taking preventive measures.
At a mega-con like San Diego Comic-Con, everyone is too busy and too stressed to think about personal hygiene and proper manners, so it’s up to you as an attendee to make sure you don’t catch or spread any germs, otherwise known as “con crud.” It happens to the best of us, no matter how extreme your measures are, because there’s nothing you can really do if the person sitting next to you in Hall H sneezes on your face and you have to spend the next 8 hours pressed up next to them.
Thankfully, over the years I’ve learned some best practices to at least lower the chances of catching con crud. I personally follow each of these rules myself, so they’ve been through many real-world tests: