The Ladies of Comicazi Convention Survival Guide

Despite that stunt Mother Nature pulled with snow on the first day of spring, I’m calling it: winter has passed.  It’s now time for us to get back into the world, mixing and mingling with like minded folk to celebrate stuff you love.  And thus, convention and show season is upon us!  The Boston area has already seen PAX, one of the bigger conventions for this area, and more are coming up fast and furious.  I haven’t been to a ton of conventions…thought I did survive the most recent RI Comic Con and many years ago, made it to the mega convention – San Diego Comic Con.  I love the excitement of conventions but do not love the crowds, nor the crowd related byproducts.  So, I’ve come up habits that help me to have fun, stay sane, and get what I want out of attending conventions.

Here goes……

  • Nourishment
    IMG_1506

    This is what people brought for Con lunch in colonial times. These days I would recommend PB&J, or maybe some ham.

    • Food is fuel and you’ve got a long day ahead of you, so have a good breakfast, especially if you are going to be lining up outside for some time before you even get to the convention floor.
    • Many Cons have food.  Super bad for you, super overpriced food.  Your hard-earned cash can be spent on something much better, so go old school and pack a brown bag lunch. Consider something simple and light like a sandwich and an apple. (Apples are durable, provide liquid and fiber and they are good for you.)

  • Hydrate!
    IMG_0507

    Unicorn tears are the ultimate in hydration, but can be quite a trial to obtain. Regular water works too, and is a bit more accessible.

    • Hydrate, you guys.  Finding the restroom may be a pain, but it’s better than the alternative which can leave you hot, dry, and possibly even lead to medical issues.
  • Know your crowd limits
    IMG_0525

    Crowds are tough on small people. You won’t like us when we are angry.

    • There are a lot of people (with varying hygiene levels) crammed into convention hall.  Hopefully you are somewhere that is aware of fire codes, but those may be a bit more generous than your personal limits.  When you feel the internal patience bar start to red-line, make your exit to a place where you can rest, regroup and get back to your personal space comfort zone.
  • Set a meeting place
    107_0767

    The one time I went to San Diego Comic Con, this Hellboy bust was the meeting place for me and and my pal J.

    • Going to cons with your friends is great fun!  Trying to move around a con as a large group with varying interests and priorities is an absolute nightmare.  So, when you arrive, set a meeting space and a time so you can split up.  Maybe check in every few hours or so.
    • Yes, we all have cell phones, but you can’t always rely on them then you are in a convention center with tons of other people also trying to find people via text.  In person check-ins also allow for better communication about a cool thing the others might not have seen yet.
  • Plan your day

    IMG_1197

    I love it when a plan comes together.

    • You don’t need to live and die by your plans, but if you put a little thought into it the more likely you will be to get to do everything you want. So, what panels do you want to attend? Who do you want to see?  If you are planning on attending a popular panel, get in line early!
    • If you have books to be signed maybe do that early if the option exists. The lines may be shorter.
  • Don’t over bundle…lots of people equals warmth, and lots of funk.
    IMG_1667

    Note to self: Do not cosplay the Tiny Doom winter variant at an August convention.

    • I don’t think this needs explanation.  But if it does, think layers.
  • Gather your gear
    image

    • Don’t forget the important stuff- phones, chargers, stuff you want signed, convention sketchbook, snacks, and cash.  Some of the longest convention lines I have ever seen are for the ATM.
    • Get a good bag, something that fits all your stuff but is not too bulky.  You don’t want to be smacking other attendees with your giant bag…or worse, knocking over merchandise that is now yours due to a “you broke it you bought it” policy.  I like messenger style bags.

So, there you have it.  Some tips to help you be ready to get the most out of your convention attending.  Hope it helps, and happy conning! I mean good con, er, convention attending!

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7 comments

    • tinydoom

      I know! That was amazing. There is no way you could do that these days. It was such a fun time…even if I did learn the hard way that no one in CA has jumper cables!

  1. Gary

    This post made me laugh (Tiny Doom in the penalty box), cry (thinking about walking behind someone and getting smacked in the face with the most foul body odor imaginable) and overall get excited for all this years conventions which for me start in three short weeks. Excellent tips.

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