Today is Comic Con 2011, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned from my previous two visits at the con. The first time I went to the comic con two years ago, it was an incredibly awesome experience. I was a complete newbie to it all and I found myself really enjoying myself like a small, giddy child would. I would never forget that first time. The experience was made all the more worthwhile because I was walking the floor with my best friend and former Marvel/DC Comics illustrator and inker extraordinaire, Hector Collazo. Meeting his former big name colleagues (illustrators, colorists, writers, inkers and editors) like Steve Scott, Jim Shooter, Michael Golden, Walt Simonson (the absolute highlight of the day for me!) and Bill Sienkiewicz (another great!) made the day a once in a lifetime event.
The following year I went to the convention as a creator/writer for Excel Comics after being set up as a “professional” by Chi Wang (editor-in-chief and creator – a fantastic artist/colorist in his own right). Joined by Hector and Chi, I had an even better time last year! I knew what to expect and came to the convention prepared. I met more artists, vendors and celebrities this time around. On the third day of the convention (Sunday), I brought along my then 8-year old daughter (it was her first time) and had a blast with her. Even that experience taught me a lot: bring extra cash for her and avoid the long lines to any theater presentation. That Walking Dead experience was brutal! I will NOT subject her to that again.
This year’s participation at the Comic Con will be equally exciting. I aim to do some more networking, purchase a lot of crap, meet more artists and attend some really informative and entertaining panels. I have everything worked out so I hope to have an even better time this time around.
My friend Steve Bunche wrote a post on his excellent blog, The Vault of Buncheness, giving great tips on what to do (and not do) at this year’s Comic Con. I thought it was an excellent idea so after commenting on his post, I thought that I should take those very same comments and use it to create my own post. After reading his blog, jump onto this one and see additional recommendations I’ve suggested. Have fun!
- Bring food WITH you inside. A sandwich from Subway’s or your own homemade fare should do nicely. The food inside is overpriced (Soda was $4.50!!!) and the walk outside Jacob Javitz Center to a local eatery could be very long (aside the fact that all places in the immediate vicinity will be crowded). Why miss out on the fun just because you’re starving?
- Get a schedule (and a map) early when you enter the convention. If there’s a particular panel or screening you want to be a part of, find out the time/location and definitely go ahead of time. The lines are grueling!
- Bring a rubber band for your posters and artwork. I didn’t have one of those fancy tubes I constantly saw people walking around with. It makes carrying around your favorite piece of art that much easier.
- Bring a large enough backpack to carry all your bounty. A sling bag or shoulder bag just won’t cut it. After a couple of hours, my shoulder started to bother me. You can choose to carry your stuff on the many colorful bags vendor may give you but they’re flimsy at times and easily gives you away as a geek when you walk the streets or take mass transit after the con (c’mon, show your pride!).
- Download the NY Comic Con app for the iPhone (don’t know if it’s available for Droid, someone please confirm). It’s really neat and gives you up to date info on panels, artists, guest speakers, screenings, vendors, etc.
- Be open to meeting new people. Last year my friend and I struck up many good conversations with people waiting on line with us. Right off the bat, no matter where we are at the convention, we all have something in common: we’re geeks!
- I would love to know the crime statistics at the convention (if there are any – geeks don’t typically steal from each other) but it can get super crowded and tight while walking on those floors. Keep wallets and other valuables really tucked away, preferably in the front pockets near your sensitive nether-regions.
- On Sunday kids under 12 go for FREE (one child per guest)!
- Wi-Fi is NOT free and reception was spotty for me (shitty AT&T) last year. Don’t depend on it.
- And PLEASE shower the morning of and…
- for the love of God, wear deodorant!