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Comic-Con Summary and Advice

First off, I must give my thanks to honeyfields and parakkum; without both of their unique skills Comic-Con would have been an impossibly overwhelming experience rather than the manageably overwhelming experience it has been the past two years. parakkum served as the war-hardened veteran with the encyclopedic knowledge of all things comics. Who's where, what's cool, where's this were all questions I repeatedly asked and had answered. Honeyfields served as the charmer: she'd approach the booth first and strike up a long conversation with the artist/author, by the end of which we'd both have great sketches (though usually hers are a bit better :) ).

Now that I have completed my second trip, our game plan has been further tested, implemented, and tweaked. This game plan pretty much summarizes how I spent everyday at the con, and it worked fairly well for me. I offer this as advice to all those who plan to attend future Comic-Cons.

Setup: 0. Pre-register. It's cheaper and you don't want to have to stand in the non-pre-registered line 1. Stop at grocery store and pick up small snacks. Don't want to feel choose between hunger and a panel you want to see. I prefer balance bar and Red Bull. 2. Show up Preview Night to pickup badges. Line may be long there, but it's even worse the day of.

Daily plan: 1. Arrive at convention center early, park underneath ($8). Parking at the Convention Center means you can dump the quickly accumulating (and heavy) stack of books and schwag. An alternative is to reserve a hotel adjacent to the convention center about 4 months in advance. 2. Go to the Gaslamp and have a nice Irish breakfast, including a pint of Guinness and at least three cups of coffee. We went to Hennessey's on weekdays and The Field on weekends, as The Field is preferred but is only open for breakfast on weekends. A big breakfast is really, really important. Con food sucks and is expensive, and a lot of the cool stuff you might want to do will usually happen from 11-12 or 1-2, which doesn't leave any time to go out to the Gaslamp. If you have a huge, carb-heavy (e.g. potatoes) breakfast, then you will probably be able to rally through all the way to dinner with perhaps a snack here or there. 3. Walk the convention floor. Usually I did this in the morning because I didn't care about the early morning panels. If there was good schwag that I knew about, I usually tried to pick up in this time slot. I would also try to get some sketches in this time period, though many of the artists don't show up until 11. 4. Skip lunch, because we had big breakfast 5. Go to panels/get sketches, sometimes both at the same time. It's often a lot easier to get an autograph/sketch by catching the artist leaving a panel. I got my Jeff Smith sketch this way this year (his line was waaay long at his booth) and a picture with Stan Lee, and I got Jim Lee's autograph this way last year. 6. Go eat dinner in the Gaslamp 7. Come back for evening stuff (e.g. Masquerade, movies, etc...)

Other miscellaneous advice: * if you go to one of the movie sessions and you get one of those tickets for schwag, figure out what room the schwag is in and leave early during the Q&A session to go get it, avoiding the huge flood that occurs. Alternatively, just wait two hours after the session and go fetch it then. It took a painful Incredibles line to figure this out. I got some cool Sky Captain shirts and a Grudge hat with no line at all. * SMS allows you to use your phone even when you're at a panel. honeyfields refused to text me back, so I would text her and then she would leave me voice mail, which worked well and I didn't have to annoy people by talking on the phone inside the room (multiple people did this). * Stan Sakai is really nice, you should visit him.

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on July 25, 2004 10:42 AM.

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