By: Michael Worthan
It’s about that time where the larger Cons are starting up again after what seems like a minor lull, something like the eye of the storm before San Diego Comic Con, and then it all starts up again and we get Long Beach Comic Con, Stan Lee’s Comikaze, Wonder Con, APE, and so many more here in California. At this time a lot of people are putting up “How to Survive” articles for SDCC and honestly I did give it a thought, but what I realized was the way I survived was through learning. I am 32 and have been going to SDCC since I was 18, I remember years back when my buddies and I were able to walk up to the window for SDCC and buy tickets. Yes you read that right, we waited in a short line and bought tickets for Comic Con, walked right in after the purchase too, no massive lines or ridiculous security checks to see if your name matched your badge. That’s how old I am, and still when I do press at SDCC, I’ve been doing press junkets for the better part of 10 years, I am one of the younger guys there and when I’m not I gladly lend advice to the new kids and offer whatever supplies I can spare if they are out.
If you happen to need a “How To Survive SDCC” from me here are some rules:
Hall H is not worth it, I don’t care who is doing what if you have a temperament, get annoyed at lines, or simply don’t want to waste an entire day standing around to maybe possibly get into a panel don’t go. I have been to Hall H a number of times in my tenure as a press and attendee fella and never have I been blown away by anything that goes on in there. And now that a lot of places aren’t playing clips because things get leaked before they even play them it becomes even more of a not worth it scenario, also I’m 32 my days of camping on hard concrete to maybe see something is done.
If/When you meet a celebrity act like they are a person, smile, shake their hand, and even gush a tiny bit. Don’t rush them, scream, or act like they owe you if they turn down a picture, which in my experience is almost never. These folks love that you watch their shows, we are the reason they have the careers they do, so don’t be a dick.
Pace yourself and wear comfy clothes and this includes shoes. Take it from a man who loves to look nice and match, a t-shirt, cabbie hat, and jeans or shorts along with my most worn in shoes (clean as they are they are still beat to hell) have become my go to look for SDCC and Press Panels alike. It’s hot, you’re going to walk a lot, and it’s going to smell a bit funky. Be comfy, you are there to enjoy yourself so enjoy yourself please.
Cosplayers are people, they owe you nothing, don’t be a pervert, don’t be an asshole, ASK to take pictures, talk to them for a second, compliment their hard work. Those are all decent, human things to do.
And finally, Comic Con, all Cons really, are where we can get together with our nerd brethren and enjoy what we love. Despite the trolls online, and all the hate people tend to put out Comic Con can easily be the most enjoyable place in the world for us. I say have fun but don’t push yourself, understand it’s crowded and when you feel that it is too much walk as far away from the Con as you are willing to, usually my buddies and I go to Fridays a couple miles down, and grab some food and beer. Giving yourself that breather and then rejoining the fun makes all the difference in the world.