Comic Con 2018 What You Need to Know

We all know that San Diego Comic Con is just around the corner, July 19th through July 22.  In just over a week, it will begin.  There are a few tips that we’ve gathered through the years that we’d like to share with everyone.

Pro-Tip, bring two back packs one with items you get from Comic Con, that one you drop off at your hotel or car, taking out the just what you’ll need. Then you have one to carry just the bare essentials, this one you will bring with you back to the convention center, and have room for more goodies..  Now what exactly should you have in your backpack at all times?  A refillable water bottle, a small med kit, with any medicines you require, lip balm, hand sanitizer, band-aids, and even a packet of moist towelettes will come in handy and fit in your zipper compartment.

Through the years I’ve found few things I bring from home can make life simpler from me, such as rubber bands for posters, zip lock sandwich bag, which will come in hand for all the small things you are given by vendors such as pins, coins etc.  That way you won’t have them floating around your bag.

While we are on the subject of sandwich bags, don’t forget snacks.  Protein bars, energy bars, and trail mix, are going to give you comfort while hanging out in a line.  Don’t forget to keep your energy up and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

A couple items to keep in the back of your bag: bags and boards, people will give you comics whether you want the or not.  The comic con quick guide, this will be the smaller of the two guides you receive, and you’ll be able to reference quickly.  I suggest bringing a highlighter and a pen to make notes.  There is an app, but the wifi isn’t the best sometimes and while much of this information is on the app, you may not be able to access it.

Sharpies, a couple different colors.  I recommend, black, silver or gold.  That way when you meet your favorite artist you have one on hand to get that special item signed.

Charged battery packs,  and cell phone chargers should also be in your backpack, as they don’t let people sit on the ground and plug in like they used to, so bringing the best battery pack, charged, is highly recommended.

These are just a few things I’ve found that have made my life easier; simply by carrying them in my backpack.

A great pair of shoes is a must. At least 2 pair. While most will want to wear a brand new shoe, I recommend wearing a shoe that you have broken in and you are comfortable wearing.  However you can never go wrong buying an insole.

In case I haven’t mentioned it, deodorant is a must.  Frequent showers will make con pleasant for you and for everyone else with you, or, not with you.

Know before you go.  Take a good look at the convention hall map, as well as the Gaslamp area map, which is easily accessible on google maps.  Have an idea how far you are, and time it accordingly.  There will be a lot of people in town.  If your hotel is on a shuttle route, know the pick up spots, and times.

At some point you will want to eat.  Prepare to retreat back into the Gaslamp.  With the amount of people in town it won’t be so easy to grab food as you might think.  Hence, a protein bar here might be quite helpful.  If you want more than just the hot dogs and the usual unhealthy food, I suggest walking over to the Hilton or the Marriot Marquis.  They both have a quick grab and go area with healthier selections.

Other restaurants in the immediate area are Mary Janes at the Hard Rock Cafe.  They always have something fun going on.  Further into the Gaslamp  there is the Werewolf, bar and grill which have great sliders.   There are a lot of food trucks, some offering free food, but here is my famous bonus tip: the Ralphs grocery store, thats is hidden in the middle the Gaslamp, seems to be the geekiest grocery store ever.  They sell groceries and know things.  For the week they have all kinds of hot and cold items ready to go, and much cheaper than dining in the Gaslamp.

Be Kind.  Don’t forget to ask if you are a fan of a cosplayer, always ask if it is okay to take a picture.  They will usually always say yes, but in the off chance they say no, they probably just did a 5 hour shoot and will be grateful that you asked.

Be polite and try not drink too much.  Don’t waste your comic con and the people who are hanging out with you, by getting drunk most of the time.  It’s hot, it’s humid.  Don’t get sick,  stay hydrated and have fun.

In my opinion this is the funnest event of the year.  Anything you do will be the best thing you do all year.  Have a back up to your back up. Or go into the convention and see what happens, what you can discover.  At worst you’ll leave with great pictures and good friends.  Keep an eye out for each other and have a good con.

Wondercon 2018 Day 2

Today was the second day of Wondercon at the Anaheim convention center.  This was my first day going as I was at the Roseanne premiere yesterday (I mean how could I miss that).  It was a con as usual, and being Saturday, it was busy.  Many a cosplayer lined the front of the building as well as the show floor.

I found this year to be a bit confusing even though I had a “map” in the guide book.  Many of the vendors were the same, some were new.  It seemed however as if they had moved vendors around a bit, and that’s okay.  Just try to remember where you saw that awesome item you wanted because you just might spend an hour trying to find it again.

I always like to spend time in the small press area.  It’s where I discover new comics, new stories and new characters to love. Or hate.   I do read some main stream comics, but I have always been a big supporter of small press.

Besides there being a lot of people there today, traffic and especially parking was a disaster.  Honestly the extra money I paid for a hotel for one night was totally worth getting around the parking debacle.  This happens every year.  This year though it seemed they had more roads closed off, routes re-routed.  The pedestrians weren’t being funneled by the police, so if you were driving and needed to turn, you had to wait for all 50+ people to walk across.  Remember we are also dealing with the Disney Crowd.

If you are coming tomorrow, remember, it closes earlier than it has been.  It closes at 5.  Come early.  If you see something, buy it.  Don’t pass it by if you an afford it.  Check out every booth.  I’ve found countless things I never would have found if I didn’t stop, have a chat and pick up a book, comic or toy.

Most importantly, have fun!

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Long Beach Comic Expo 2018

The Long Beach Comic Expo is an expo in its own category.  You never know what you will see or find there.  Year after year I’ve attended and each year I’m more impressed.   This year I attended all three days and I found some of the greatest comic books, met some great creative people and saw some out of this world cosplay.

These are just a handful of the cosplays I’ve seen and just had to snap a picture.  Conventions are where you will see the most interesting people, creative.  You can be whomever you want.  That is what keeps me coming back.

This year I found that the small press booths had a lot of excellent comics to read, which is at some times a nice break from the mainstream comics that everyone reads.

Each Expo or Comic Convention is an opportunity to enjoy and be who you are without feeling any judgement.  For that I am thankful, and I hope that each venue continues to grow and add different creative outlets to their shows.  I know so many people who enjoy them.  I’ve also introduced many people to these and they love it.  They had no idea that they weren’t alone in their love of Star Wars, or The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker.

We are everywhere.  We thank you for coming each year and look forward to Long Beach Comic Con which is September 8th to the 9th of 2018.  I’ll be there.  I’m more into the comic book, but I still have chances to see and experience things that I don’t in my day to day life.

If you get a chance to go to a convention or an expo or even to introduce someone to a new world, this is the way to do it.