It’s almost here. It’s a week away, in fact, so here I am with TDF’s yearly Get Yourself Ready for SDCC post! This year, I’m going to focus on taking care of yourself and having a good time at Comic Con.
Chat with people in line. If you’re anything like me (so introverted that you’re bordering on being a hermit), being in big crowds is uncomfortable. I tend to clam up when I’m stuck in line, and that’s something I try to work on every year. Just remember: all those people you’re in line with? They like that same thing you like; otherwise they wouldn’t be in that line with you. So be open to chatting with your line neighbors!
REST. It’s tempting to go full-tilt all four and a half days because there’s so much to see and do, and you don’t want to miss any of it. But if you don’t rest and eat properly, you’re going to be miserable by Saturday morning. If you need a quiet place to sit and relax, head up to the Mezzanine level. You can find quiet halls up there where you can get some rest. You can also head out onto the steps in the back of the Convention Center to get some sun and fresh air (but if you’re ghostly like me, remember your sunscreen!).
Drink water and eat food! If you can, bring your own sandwiches and snacks. The food sold at the convention center is expensive and not terribly good for you. There are lots of restaurants in the Gaslamp and within walking distance, but sometimes you just want to park your ass on the floor and eat something between sessions, so if you can bring food, do it. Also, bring your own water bottle. You can refill it for free at the water fountains, and you don’t have to pay upwards of $3 for a bottle from the snack bars.
Wash your hands and bring hand sanitizer! There will be 130,000 people touching everything at the convention center. Chances are, you will catch the con crud and end up miserable. So bring some hand sanitizer and wash your hands as often as you can to stay healthy.
Handy Stuff to Bring:
- a large, sturdy backpack (Trust me, those giant bags they give you when you pick up your pass are not good for carrying your swag around)
- comfy shoes (I wore a fitbit last year, and I walked about 7 miles a day each day of SDCC. You want shoes that won’t murder your feet.)
- art carrier if you’re planning to buy prints (You don’t want to bend up your nice new art prints, so bring an art carrier. you can pick up heavy paperboard ones at Michaels for relatively cheap. Poster tubes are okay for posters, but many prints are on heavier paper and will get wonky in a tube.)
- phone charger (The convention center does have free wifi, but with so many people using it and so many people on the cellular networks, your phone will be searching for a signal most of the day. Bring a charger so you can juice up while you’re taking a break.)
- deodorant (You laugh, but especially if you’re cosplaying, you’re gonna end up swampy and kinda gross. I keep a travel deodorant in my bag just in case.)
And one last word of advice about convention etiquette: ask cosplayers before snapping photos if they’re not already posing for other photographers. Even then, make sure it’s okay if you take a photo. NEVER take photos of cosplayers when they’re eating or resting or in the bathroom, for god’s sake, were you raised in a barn? If a cosplayer declines to pose for a photo, don’t pester her, follow her, or take a photo anyway, because that makes you an asshole. Last year I watched a guy follow a Catwoman cosplayer around, bugging her even though she had repeatedly said she didn’t want to pose for a photo. Don’t be that guy.
Not that I expect TDF readers to be assholes to cosplayers, but it’s good to get this information out there as widely as possible. And remember: COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. Just because someone is in a sexy costume does not mean they’re asking to have their ass grabbed. And just because someone is in a sexy costume does not mean you get to make judgmental comments about their body or their sexuality or anything else. Don’t be an asshole to cosplayers. They’re doing it because they love that character and want to have fun. Don’t crap on someone else’s fun. Compliment their costume, even if it’s not the greatest. Make someone’s day instead of making fun of them.
Okay? Okay! So, who all is going to SDCC this year? I’ll be there all four days as well as preview night, so say hi if you see me!