Various Ramblings

It was a fun but exhausting weekend. Of course the big deal was Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. I did just a few mobile blogs for Comic Book Resources who had fantastic coast to coast coverage of the event. Check out all the great shots and posts here. I had planned to stop at several stores but my cat got sick at the last minute so I kept it low key this year. I’ll be posting about my specific experiences along with a few other of the girls from GEN later in the week.

Big and exciting news for me – I’m going to San Diego Comic Con this year! I’ve never been and things finally aligned this year so that I could go. It’s July 22-26 and I got my plane ticket this past week so it’s official. I can’t wait! So what I’m looking for now is advice from anyone who’s gone in the past. I’ve obviously been to conventions before but never one of this size or scope. What were your experiences like? Where would you suggest to eat? Hang out? Let me know!

I saw Wolverine this weekend as well. I enjoyed it and will hopefully have my review up tomorrow for you guys to read about. Who else saw it? What did you think?

8 Responses to “Various Ramblings”

  1. Thank you so much for all your advice everyone! I will be there for preview night so hopefully I can see a lot then.

    Rick, that’s basically what Free Comic Book Day is except it’s not just any comics. Publishers put out specific books for the occasion. Some stores make a big event out of it by having creators in-store and other stuff.

  2. There is so much to say (since last year was my first year)…Let me sum it up by saying this: The place is HUGE the lines are LONG it’s like the NYCC times 10! The word on the floor is that preview night was just as busy as all the other nights and some parts of the floor are just impassable. The weather was nice and some people camped out just to get into the “big panel room” (which, as I found out on sunday was only accessible from the outside). there is a giant free table(s) section upstairs, and the after parties were pretty nice (if you manage to get on a press list you might get invited to special sreenings). At the doors there were day-schedules which had up to the date info on the ongoings of that paticular day. there are free shuttle buses to and from the con and alot of places (to eat and what not) are close to the con. The one thing that impressed me above all was that the whole city was involved for the con. Unlike NY, all establishments had signs welcoming con-goers and there were banners hanging from the light posts as well as cars just driving around the area promoting stuff (such as the second “Lost Boys” movie and the 3rd “Joyride” (I wonder what happened to that movie…)
    Any questions feel free to ask!

  3. tjwsports says:

    Start gathering any leftover patience that you have and store it in a box for the con. You will need it. You will wait in a lot of lines, but believe me it is worth. Comic-Con is truly nerd nirvana.

    Be sure to pre-register and if possible pick up your badge on Wednesday before preview night.

    Preview night is the best time to walk the floor. There are no panels or other activities going on and its a good time to get your bearings.

    If you are into panels, take some time to familiarize yourself with the schedule and have a plan. If your interests are varied, you will have to make choices. When Lord of the Rings was big, its panel was always up against the Star Wars panel to help with the crowds.

    If there is a panel you really want to attend, it’s not a bad idea to slip into the one before it.

    The Marvel and DC panels where they announce what’s coming up are fun, but all that information will be on the internet in short order. I’d suggest sitting in on the golden and silver and bronze age panels hosted by Mark Evanier instead. Great stories from the people who made comics great.

    Carry a want list and make out a budget. I dare you to stick to it. Be sure to look around before dropping a lot of dough on an item. Unless it is truly rare or a one of kind item —original art — chances are someone in the building might have it for less.

    Go to the ATM machine prior to getting on site.

    Some do take cards, but it’s easier to haggle with cash

    Make purchases late in the day for 2 reasons. First, its less time you have to carry the item around and second, sometimes you can get a better deal closer to closing time.

    Wear comfortable clothes.

    If you are buying sketches or art, or posters consider how you are going to protect it at the show. Some have sketch books. i generally take a mailing cylinder.

    Food on site is expensive. Consider eating a large breakfast that will carry you through the until your evening meal.

    Don’t be shy when approaching Con guests, but do be polite, courteous and patient.

    And even if you disregard all this advice, you’re still going to have a great time because Comic-Con, particularly your first, is always a blast.

  4. ABoyNamedArt says:

    Piggy-backing off Sean’s comments:

    1) Definitely true. Part of me is actually relieved to only be going Thursday and Sunday because of this.
    4) There’s also a few restaurants in Horton Plaza (BIG mall up the street) and off the Gaslamp path that won’t drain your wallet that much.
    6) Also a good call. I’d add extra deodorant to the list — there’s a lot of sweaty people circling the halls.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A few days before the con the schedule is posted on the website. You can plan your days around the panels and things you want to see. If you are going for all four days the preview night on Wed. is helpful. I usually try and see as much of the con floor then so I can attend the panels. Last year alot of the rooms were filled earlier than in years past. The scheduling is usually pretty good about not scheduling comic themed panels that overlap. But if you are into more that one subject you will have some choices to make regarding your time. Hall H (The largest room )has become a nightmare. If you don’t camp out in the room all day or line up for hours you may want to avoid it. If you choose to attend anything in Hall H you will be sacrificing alot of other panels and happenigs.
    I have been to other cons and nothing can prepare you for the crowds.

  6. I have never heard of the “Freek Comic Book Day.” Is it just a day where you go to a comic book store and they give you free comics. I am not a huge comic reader but that is awesome and I would take part in that.

    I too enjoyed Wolverine and I don’t really understand all the flack it is getting. I mean it wasn’t perfect but it was a hell of a lot of fun.

  7. Sean says:

    Greetings from your myspace list. The best advice I can give about San Diego is the con is what you make of it.

    I’ve not been much of a panel guy, so I can’t help you on tips to get into Hall H, but I can provide some basics.

    1) Saturday is the worst crowd-wise (a given at any show) with Friday a close second. If you are going to wade into the studio/toy company area of the floor without feeling like you’ve been in a mosh pit, hit them Thursday and Sunday.

    2) “Elite Security” (aka “the red shirts”) is useless. If you have a question on how to find a panel room and the event guide isn’t clear, track down a volunteer.

    3) There’s worst convention center food, but at SD you have the mediocre/high priced/long line trifecta. I used to suggest a little Gyro stand run by a local Greek resturant in the corner of Hall A but it wasn’t there last year and no signs of life at the actual resturant when I passed it. If you’re staying around Broadway you might get a deli sandwich at Ralph’s to keep in your bag. If you want to get out in the fresh air, There’s a little market/deli at the back of the Embassy Suites and there’s a ton of choices at Seaport Village behind the Hyatt. The Gaslamp area is great, but will be a zoo at times and service is slowed at the various places as a result. Seaport Village is still kind of a secret at con time.

    4) If you do plan to head into the Gaslamp of an evening, check out for the resturant guide. They do the “$” symbols for what you can expect to pay at various places. I can tell you Dick’s Last Resort will be packed as it’s pretty inexpensive. If you get a chance, head up to Little Italy and try Filippi’s Pizza. Best I’ve ever had.

    5) Not sure what you want your night plans to look like. There’s always parties and the official events like Masquerade and the Eisners. The Thursday CBLDF party is always a biggie. The SD Dr. Sketchy group tries to schedule their monthly event during con weekend. And there’s always the Hyatt bar where you’ll see anyone and everyone eventually.

    6) Water bottle, hand sanitizer, Airborne tablets/packets. Don’t leave the hotel room without them.

    Hope that helps. You might check the myspace San Diego con groups and see what suggestions they have.

  8. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what people have to offer in the way of SDCC advice. Last year was my first year and I wasn’t too sure of what to expect or what to do. I am very excited about this year.

    I’m also glad you liked Wolverine. I too thought it was enjoyable. There were a couple of parts that I found disappointing (Gambit and the terrible CG) but overall I thought it was fun. I guess I’ll try to be patient and wait for your review to see what you thought in more detail. ;)