Comic-Con Preparation

What To Do Before You Arrive At Comic-Con

Attending a comic book convention can be like going on an adventure. You never know what trouble you are going to be getting into and you can save yourself a lot of headache by planning ahead and preparing for your trip.

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Room and Board

Room and board can be a very large expense of your trip. If you are looking to save some cash, check out the surrounding are of the convention and look for lower tier hotels in the area. You might even consider youth hostels or similar places that offer very cheap nightly rates. If you really want to save, you might hit up Facebook to see if any of your friends in the area will put you up for a night or two. This can add extra travel time to your day, but if cash is low can definitely make a long shot a reality in the budget department.

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Transportation

Getting to and from the convention is a key aspect of enjoying every minute that the doors are open. If you are driving there than this solves itself, but you might need to fly and rent a car or take mass transit. Look at the convention center's webpage or contact them directly and they should be able to point you in the right direction for easy transportation access to and from the convention. If you are flying then you will need to consider storage space for con items you acquire. Consider taking an empty suitcase to check in or a suitcase in a suitcase to take one down and have the larger one as a spare for the trip back.

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Parking

For some conventions, parking is the true nightmare. Many convention centers have their own parking, but might also have odd hours that lock at a certain time. Knowing ahead of time will help you out of getting stuck or keep you from driving around and around looking for that perfect spot. Just know that parking will cost you money at just about any large convention. You can get away with paying around $5 at the Wizard World Portland Comic Con, but at the New York Comic Con you can expect to pay as much as $50 per day. This is just one more expense to add into the mix and may make you change your mind from taking the train or a cab from the airport rather than renting a car.

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Food

This is one that you just can't avoid. You need to eat! While it is getting easier and easier to get quick food at cons, it can also cost a huge amount of money each and every day. Consider hitting the local market upon arrival and getting some supplies for a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich which will last for some time in a pocket or backpack. Other quick and easy travel food like granola bars or trail mix would fit this bill as well. This will save a lot of time looking for lunch and save a ton of money as well.

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To Cosplay or Not To Cosplay

Hellboy. Aaron Albert

If you are going to cosplay at the convention, then you surely want a gameplan in mind. Cosplaying at a con is an event in and off itself and will garner you a lot of attention from other fans. They will ask to take your picture and pose with you endlessly. If you are OK with that then sure, bring that costume. If you just want to attend the show and do other things then you might want to reconsider or plan on just wearing it on certain days or times. Whatever you do, get it ready far in advance and try it out to make sure it can last the rigors of con life.

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Map of Events

Most comic book conventions have multiple panels and events going on at the same time. You should really plan out ahead of time what panels you hope to attend and figure out when you need to be where. There are some panels that you will need to camp out hours ahead of time such as the big movie panels at comic-con. There were people days ahead of time to see the latest Twilight panel at CCI. Doing so made it so that they couldn't go and see much else at the convention. That might not be a big deal for some, but I would want to take in as much as I could and would not want to go for just one panel. Having at least a rough outline of the events you want to attend can save you big headaches at the convention.

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Con Exclusives

Wizard World Portland Walking Dead Cover. Wizard World

Many comic-con's have con-exclusives such as the Wizard World Portland Comic Con which had a special free issue of Walking Dead #1 to all attendees. Some booths offer items as well to first few hundred visitors which can send con goers into a zombie like panic trying to beat out the others to get that one of a kind action figure. These con exclusives can be worth huge amounts of money such as the NYCC Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern LEGO minis that recently sold for over one thousand dollars.

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Weather

Oregon Convention Center. Aaron Albert
If you attended the Wizard World Portland Comic Con, then be sure to bring an umbrella. If you attend the San Diego Comic Con International, then be sure to bring sun screen. It would be very wise to check the weather in the area for that particular con. A long ways out you can start with a history search to see what the weather was like historically during that time. The week of, be sure to check the local news for an updated weather forecast as this can help you with any unexpected surprises.