Last week I offered tips for surviving Comic-Con, or any other con you might be going to. As the event gets closer – just a week away now! – I’ve got a few more tips on getting you ready.
Plan ahead. The full schedule is available so you can print it out and figure out where you want to be each day. Keep in mind that panels in the Ballroom and Hall H can fill up way ahead of time, so if you really really have to see “Glee”, get there at least an hour before it starts to get in line. Two hours might be better, since a lot of people get into those rooms early in the day and stay for everything.
They don’t clear the room before a panel, so if only 1000 of the 4000 people in the room leave, that means only 1000 of the people in line will get in. Yes, that sounds like a lot, but you’ll be amazed at how huge the lines can get for the really popular panels.
Or don’t plan. Just go. Sometimes the most exciting things are the ones you don’t expect at all, like wandering through the exhibition hall and seeing Seth Green walk by, just checking out the booths. Or standing in a hallway in line and seeing a favorite celeb stroll past on their way to something they want to see. Just keep your eyes open.
Make the most of technology. Comic-Con? Yeah, there’s an app for that. If paper schedules aren’t your style you can go to their website, create your own personal schedule and then export it to your phone.
Don’t just rely on the official schedule. Comic-Con will tell you who’s appearing on panels and in their official autograph area, but a lot of the booths also have celebrities do signings, and those aren’t always listed anywhere. (This is where keeping your eyes open helps. I almost walked right by Leonard Nimoy without noticing him.)
If you have a favorite artist or actor or writer who you think might be there, check their own website or follow them on Twitter to get their schedule. Dark Horse Comics, BBC America, DC comics and other booths should also have their own schedules.
See what’s happening outside the convention center. Studios and agencies rent out bars, movie theaters and other venues to host parties, screenings and “happenings” in the neighborhood, so keep an eye out for free events.
If you missed it, here are my posts from Comic-Con 2009, including my photo shoot with Nathan Fillion, panels for “Chuck”, “Burn Notice”, “Psych” and other favorite shows, and one of the greatest thrills of my life, David Tennant’s two appearances. Pause. Swoon.
Let the geek games begin!