Welcome to another post by ME, The Casual Geek, I am getting back into the swing of things. Comic Con season has begun for me. Like many, I have been CONSUMING information regarding San Diego Comic Con 2016. So much of what I have heard from people that have gone in the past are blah, blah, all you will do is wait in line, blah, blah, be prepared to spend all this money, and such. Well there is so much more to this colossal event. After watching a great video about free swag and the importance of experiences over just spending money at SDCC. I made up bingo cards of different things to look for and created a simple game for my fiance and I to play while we are there for the two days. Perfect for 1-10 people. Please feel free to use any of these cards for yourself! They ten cards are a mix of about 55 different items I thought would be fun. I know some are common place, but give me suggestions and I will make more.
Let me know what you think!
- First one to get 5 in a row wins (Duh). Photo or Physical evidence is needed to get the square. (We are playing that you need to be in at least 50% of the cosplay pictures)
- Only one person can claim the same “item” (I.E. two people don’t get credit for the exact same person cosplaying as Mexican Batman). Flip a coin to see who gets credit.
- Have Fun with the catagories! Here are some of my ideas
- Hearts Desire – Freebie, but has to be something you like
- WTF Costume – A Cosplayer that you have no idea where it comes from
- Booth Employee – Must have company logo (will break a tie if said employee is in costume)
- Cosplay in a wheel chair – There are some GREAT costumes where people have tricked out their chairs.
For the first time goer, it can seem very daunting when you attend you first comic con. It was very much for me. I’ll give you a little background. I went to one or two “comic cons” when I was a little kid when they were really just comic themed swap meets. Nothing like it is today. My first comic show as an adult wasn’t until 2014 here in Texas. It was at the Irving Convention Center and I had NO IDEA what to expect. Since then, I have gone to shows across the country of varying sizes from small intimate ones in hotel conferences rooms to one of the largest in the world. I have learned a lot since the beginning. This is really a “if I knew then what I know now” letter.
One of the biggest draws to conventions is meeting people. From A list to D list celebs will be there. Two things that people often forget are that for the most part they are just normal people who are just as happy that you enjoy their work as you are and that they are also there to work. Have a normal conversation with them but like I said, they are there to work. One of the most shocking things to me when I went to try and meet Steven Amell is that he charged $50 for an autograph. There is a small group of guests that you can just go up to and shake their hand at no cost. Most of the time though, guests who don’t charge for just meeting will charge a nominal fee if you just want to take a quick selfie with them. The best advice I can give is if you don’t want to pay for a signature or take a picture is ask one of the staff there if you have to pay to meet. Most guests are so nice and there are certain guests that will talk with fans for minutes, regardless of line size.
I have fallen victim to this more times than I would like to admit but conventions can get expensive quick and there is so much to do while you are there. The best advice I can give is figure out what you want to do there. Are you looking for a certain item? Do you want to get a photo opportunity/signature with a guest? Are you going to catch all the panels? Figure out what you want. I am a strong supporter of paying with cash only so I don’t go wild on the shopping side and planning my trip before I even set foot at the convention. Most cons have pretty up to date websites that announce their schedule at least a week in advance. Take a look at what excites you and draw up a little schedule. This may sound silly but you don’t want to schedule a photo op or waiting in line while the panel is going on. If you are going with someone, scheduling also helps out the other person by ensuring that everyone gets to see what they want. Also, bring snacks and a water bottle. These are life savers.
YES!! So many times over, YES! This is by far my favorite activity (second is hunting for comic signatures) to do. Based on the guests and what fandom interests you, you can learn about upcoming info on shows, behind the scenes details, and see the humor of celebs. I strongly encourage going. Bits of advice, most panel rooms will have a finite amount of seats and very rarely do they allow standing room. This being the case, you may have to stand in line for seats based on how big the panel is. Most places empty the previous panel but it is always good to check the conventions room clearing policy on their website. Panels are so much fun.
You will see people dressing up as their favorite characters all over the place. Some are very elaborate with many working parts, other people may just have a simple mask that they made or bought that day. In my experience, there is no bad cosplay and people are enthusiastic to show off their character interpretation. That being said, feel free to ask them if you can take a picture of them or with them but do not just try and take a picture without consent. As the tagline goes: “Cosplay is not Consent”.
I wanted to share something with people that I find very helpful. I like to collect comics and have a respectable collection (nothing that would cause eye-popping, but I think it is very respectable). I know some people collect movies, games, and others prefer music. Well as you may know, keeping track of all of them can be a pain in the butt. Some people have everything jotted down in a book (we have all seen them in the store) or they keep an excel spreadsheet with all the information. That is good and well, but what if you leave your book or cannot remember if you have something or not? I have a terrible memory and I have fallen prey more than once of getting excited about finding a comic, taking it home, and discovering I already had a copy. It is the worst but I found a solution!
My friend Fabio, an ardent Batman fan, introduced me to an app called CLZ Comics. This was a game changer for me as a comic book collector. The basic premise is that you put in all of your collection, you can scan the barcodes or type in the title and the app will pull up the comic and store it in a database that is right there at your fingertips. The app auto-fills all the details including the people involved in creating the comic, a short premise of that issue, and a nice copy of the cover. Why it is so great is that you can search by artists, writers, titles, or characters and the results will pull up based on your criteria. Going to your next Con and want to see what parts of your collection an artist was involved in? Just search that name and POOF! Right there.
They also have similar apps for movies, music, and books. Based on the size of your collection, the prices vary between $1 and higher.
Click on the icon to check out their website and see if the app is right for you. ENJOY!