We can now add another year of San Diego Comic-Con to the record books, it brought everything a nerd like me could hope for from a four-day celebration of geek culture. There was cosplay (oh boy was there cosplay), trailers, exciting experiences, authors & artists. In all honesty, it was a lot. Especially for a reclusive, anti-social girl like myself. But that doesn’t mean I’d ever pass up an opportunity to walk around in a costume and immerse myself in people watching with my fellow nerds.
For anyone who missed Comic-Con, has never “Conned”, or just wants to learn a little more, here’s a little guide to surviving Comic-Con & recap of my experience this year!
COMIC-CON for Newbies
What exactly is Comic-Con?
San Diego Comic-Con is like New York Fashion week for nerds. Fellow cosplayers go to show off their fancy outfits and bystanders go to take in all of the “fashion” and excitement. In addition to people (or droid) watching, there are a ton of panels, trailers, posters, action figures & experiences you can see/buy.
Comic-Con is a celebration of geek culture. You can just let your freak flag fly. Basically anything goes. There are tons of “geek niches” from Star Wars to Anime and everything in between, but everyone comes together to celebrate their “geek culture”. You can see wizards & witches, cartoon characters, zombies, spaceships & superheroes, all intermingling.
It’s also a major hub for publishing companies to share sneak peeks of new movies and TV shows. You can walk through the halls and see limited edition action figures, classic comic books and movie props on display. Basically, whatever geeky things you’re into, there’s a home for it at SDCC.
How do you get tickets?
Here’s where it gets tricky. It’s not easy and takes a bit of planning. There are a few ways to get in though. A few tips:
- Sign up for a Comic-Con Member ID. To register for or purchase a badge, you have to have a valid and confirmed member ID.
- You can then use the Member ID to login to the online registration system when badge sales begin.
- Once you’re able to log on, you can purchase a badge, complete a press, professional, trade professional, or volunteer application.
- Comic-Con International doesn’t sell “tickets”, so don’t risk buying them from a third party.
- A Comic-Con International badge is required for entry to any Comic-Con event.
- Badges are sold during two events: Returning Registration and Open Registration.
- You can follow Comic-Con’s Facebook, Twitter, and bookmark Toucan – The official blog of Comic-Con and WonderCon – for badge sale date and time announcements.
What should I do at Comic-Con?
You’ve got 4 days to jam pack as much as possible in. There are tons of panels, parties & demonstrations. So I recommend mapping out the things that are time sensitive first. If you want to go to a panel, plan on waiting in line for a few hours. And make sure you get in line early! Lines generally take 2+ hours!
I recommend giving yourself plenty of time to walk around the convention. There are tons and tons and tons of booths. But don’t forget that there are also exhibits and events outside of the convention center! Even if you’re not attending the convention, there is a lot of stuff to see and experience.
Remember: there’s so much to do that you’ll most likely have to miss something to attend something else. Don’t stress about it.
What should I wear?
Literally my favorite part about this blog post. You have to decide, are you going to dress up or wear normal clothes? I’ve done both! A lot of times, I like to cosplay for a day or two and then wear normal clothes on Sunday to walk around.
If you’re going to cosplay, make sure you start prepping your costume well in advance of the convention. The options are literally limitless.
If you’re going to wear normal clothes, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes and clothing. You’ll be walking around a lot. Don’t forget to bring a light jacket (it can get chilly in the AC) and a backpack in case you buy anything! You can add a little flare with some geek chic accessories like:
- Kylo Ren Earrings
- Your Favorite Superhero Shirt
- Comfy Mermaid Leggings
- Vans x Peanuts Cartoon Sneakers
I also HIGHLY recommend bringing a phone charger. I recommend THIS ONE because you can charge two phones at the same time!
Where should I stay?
One of the most important things to take into consideration is where you’re going to stay. Hotels book up FAST & get crazy expensive. If you get a badge, Comic-Con will email you a “sneak peek” at the hotels in their block of rates and shuttle availability. If you book through them, you can get a discount. Hotels sell out in a matter of minutes, so another option is to book on your own and not risk it!
You can also use HomeAway for better deals renting rooms from people, apartments nearby or even a house a little ways away!
My hotel recommendations for the area:
- Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Gaslamp/Convention Center
- Hilton San Diego Bayfront
- Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
- Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
- San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina
What can I buy?
Don’t forget to budget for purchases! It’s easy to go overboard with your spending when you’re in the moment. There so many awesome things to buy, you’ll want to buy it all. Walk through and get an idea of the things you want so that you can deliberate and make a smart decision that stays within your budget.
Our Comic-Con Experience
I feel like pictures are the best way to describe our experience. Tony & I met up with our friend Ryan Downey (our annual tour guide). I obvi decided to dress up. I put on my Female Han Solo Costume, that I made completely from scratch a few years ago. Complete with holster & blaster. Our friend Ryan was dressed up as Oliver Queen / The Arrow / Green Arrow. Tony opted not to put on his Storm Trooper costumer because it was about 90 degrees out!
We had so much fun (as you can tell in the pictures) taking pictures with other cosplayers and official booth figures! The Star Wars booth has always been and will always be a highlight. Not only did I get to take pics with all of my favorite characters, we got a little sneak peek at some new memorabilia coming out and upcoming movies! I also loved being able to stop by the Anovos booth to see all of their new costumes. I REALLY want to buy THE FORCE AWAKENS: Rey Jakku Premier Costume Ensemble!
We also hung out with our friends from Stern Pinball and got to check out/play their new Star Wars Pinball machine! Tell me it wouldn’t be the perfect addition to our game room!?
Anyways, enough of my rambling… check out all of the pictures and let me know what you’d want to dress up as next year!
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