Entertainment & Events

How to Prepare for Your First Comic-Con

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In 1970, San Diego hosted its first mini-convention in the U.S. Grant Hotel with only 145 people attending. Since then, it has grown an event for over 130,000 people at the San Diego Convention Center with many notable artists, comic book creators, and other famous names in the entertainment industry. Given its notable reputation, it’s no surprise many people visit the convention to see for themselves. For those who have never gone before, read these tips on how to prepare for your first Comic-Con.

Yes, There Will Be Lines

The most obvious part of Comic-Con is the huge crowd. Whether it’s for a special panel or unique booth, there will be many people there—and there will be many long lines. It’s estimated the San Diego attracts over 135,000 attendees over four days! That leaves little time for everyone to see who they want to see. Understand that you will face lines during your trip. That’s why you should have a plan (and a backup plan) just in case. This is crucial whether traveling alone or with friends. Have something in mind to better handle the massive crowds.

Bring Some Money

Food, merchandise, tickets, and everything else for sale in Comic-Con isn’t free. Bring money along with you—whether cash or card. There are many booths and vendors at this convention, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. However, realize that it’s easy to overspend. Keep a budget with money set aside for certain items or clothing. Otherwise, keep an open mind and get yourself something unique to remember your first time.

Dress Up

Don’t feel silly—many people will dress up in cosplay from their favorite movie, show, comic book, or anime. Keep an open mind and respect everyone’s choices. Don’t forget, you must also respect other people’s privacy in their costumes. That goes for pictures, autographs, or even talking with them. Start off friendly and engaging, then ask if you can take a picture with them. Otherwise think about it: would you want someone taking your picture without your permission? For your cosplay, there are lots of tips online for designing your costume. Just be sure to order the right fabric so that you’re comfortable during the whole event.

Take Pictures

On that note, take lots of pictures of yourself, special guests, and—with their permission—other people whose costumes impress you. With the San Diego Comic-Con, many special guests attend to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. Some past guests included author Ray Bradbury, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and comic book legend Stan Lee!

Have Fun

Above all else, enjoy it. Comic-Con only happens once a year and is a great outlet for fans of many genres and subcultures. Keep an open mind and see for yourself why this event garners so much annual hype. Just remember that this is your first time at this convention and it can be overwhelming. Still, no matter who you go with, you’ll see it’s an exciting, fun atmosphere that you’ll want to revisit. Even if you don’t, you’ll have stories to tell and experiences to remember.

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