Win a trip to Vegas at McFadden's

22 JULY 2014

If you've ever done a bar crawl around the Gaslamp, you probably wound up at McFadden's at some point. Usually the charm of places like this is being swallowed up by a dark and malty non-Comic-Con world for a few hours. But apparently even they have the SDCC spirit and will be throwing various Con-themed activities.

Doors will open at 11 am each day with an exclusive SDCC menu highlighting "Irish fare" for $6 or less. I've eaten their late night bar food and it was tasty in the way that all hot junk food is at midnight. So put this on your list of cheap eats.

  • Wednesday night is Nerdioke 2014. $3 Miller/Coors and $3 Three Olives Vodka drinks to make the karaoke sound better.
  • Thursday night is 90's night with a SLIMED competition and moonshoes and a special performance from "an infamous boy band." I don't know any of these references so hopefully you do.
  • Friday night is the bar's 1st Annual "ComicCossies" Cosplay Awards. Cash prizes will be award in categories including: best comic, best cartoon. best TV show, best anime and best superhero. The grand winner gets an all-expense paid trip to Vegas. That is a WAY better prize than any of these other cosplay contests are giving out. Suddenly McFadden's looks like the destination of choice for cosplayers.
  • Saturday has a Birds of Play performance as Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. You're also invited to dress up in your best and sexiest villain cosplay - then the zombies will come out in the Zombie Apocalypse Beer after Beer party. (I'd be remiss if I didn't note this is the same night as Zombie Walk and Zombie Prom - so you could have quite the night with one costume.)
 And finally, if you're Comic-Con aristocracy, you can contact the Director of Marketing and Sales for "reservations, bottle service and guest list considerations for free cover and exclusive drink specials." I know you were wondering.

The buzziest Comic-Con panels so far

21 JULY 2014

Now that pretty much everything has been announced, it's clear that some panels are stirring up more interest than others. Let's examine them.

We'll start with the obvious: Marvel and DC's Gotham premiere in Hall H. Campers everywhere, especially for Saturday.

NASA's Next Giant Leap. I wanted this to be MY panel but it looks like 1 out of  3 attendees is going to line up for this. Buzz Aldrin, Seth Green, interplanetary travel - who wouldn't want to go? (Hopefully a lot of you, because I'm selfish.)

People keep mentioning the End Bullying! panel but I can't tell if that's because they're bemused by it or they're actually going to go.

But I do know many people will go to the Robert Kirkman/Norman Reedus panel. Also the Rulers of the Realm panel with Lev Grossman, Diana Gabaldon and George RR Martin.

Image Expo and Image panels. As if the 30 second Expo sellout didn't signal enough interest, I hear people talk about Image like they used to talk about Vertigo. Non-nerd girls in my social circles know the name Fiona Staples. Saga is the new comic book for people who don't read comics. People seem very intrigued by Wytches.

American Horror Story. People have been waiting 2 years for this to show up.

The sneak peek of the Showrunners Documentary Film in the Horton Theatre with JJ Abrams, Ronald Moore, Damon Lindelof, Joss Whedon and others (they're in the film, to be clear) seems to be hotly anticipated.

Sin City 2 anything. I'll admit to being surprised that attendee interest is this intense. But everyone I know is frothing over it.

The Women Who Kick Ass panel with Tatiana Maslany, Maisie Williams, Katey Sagal and Natalie Dormer has a lot of people excited.

Halo seems to be generating a lot of coverage but most people I know are looking forward to Smash Bros.

Batman's 75th Anniversary. I'm giving this a half-buzz award. Yes, we've all heard about the big 75 all summer, and I've seen these panels get a lot of coverage, but I'm not hearing many actual attendees talk about it. I'm sure they'll be well-attended, I'm just not sure they're inspiring the same fever as the others. The Batman '66 panel (show, not comic) seems to be drawing more fans.

Heroes of Star Wars Rebels is causing more interest than I expected.

All outside events anywhere. Nerd HQ takes the cake for this, naturally, but the zipline, GOT experience, Petco Park anything, all seem to be causing more excitement than most of the panels. Maybe people really are over the whole line issue and are throwing their attention elsewhere.

As for celebrities, I haven't noticed one individual superstar causing a frenzy (like, say, Angelina Jolie did some years ago.) Probably that speaks to the multitude of celebrities in attendance, rather than a lack of caliber.

What are you anticipating?

Let's speculate baselessly on pre-registration

21 JULY 2014

So Toucan's tip of the day is to save your badge for 2015 pre-registration. This is the third time we've heard it in recent weeks, which makes me think they're running out of material to post. But because we're all obsessed with pre-registration, let's parse their words and read between the lines.

First, remember that their earlier email instructed that kids turning 13 after the Con on 27 July and before 1 August would need their badge to pre-register. 1 August is such an early date to give for that.

Then there's this. Today's post doesn't give any hint as to when pre-reg will be. But it does say that when it comes to everyone else - professionals, exhibitors, staff, press, etc. - "online registration for these categories will occur sometime in early 2015."

The way it's worded suggests that we'll get pre-registration in 2014. In the past it's occurred shortly after the Con, and the only reason it got delayed last year was the development of the new system. And the fact that they reminded us again to expect an email about it makes me think it'll happen sooner as opposed to later - say August or September as opposed to months down the line.

This is all wild speculation. Possibly I'm dead wrong and in the end, the when of pre-reg doesn't matter - but it's something we'd all like to know anyhow.

Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival

21 JULY 2014

By now you probably have a good idea of how you're spending your Comic-Con nights - but here's another party anyhow. It's the Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival and it's Saturday the 26th at Embarcadero Park North, 4:00 pm.

This party is about two things: beer and costumes. On the beer and food front, you'll have access to over 80 craft beers from more than 40 local brewers. The beer samplers will be "unlimited" and of course there will be food trucks to soak up all that ale.

There will also be carnival games and a costume contest. Categories include Group Costumes, Superhero lookalike, Best Villain and others. Prizes range from Uber credits to restaurant gift cards to brewery tours. However, because this is a 21+ event, your costume must show enough of you to check against your ID.

VIP tickets: $55
General: $45
Designated Driver: $20 (no beer samplers for you)

Open to the public.

What's free at Comic-Con

20 JULY 2014

If you pay attention to all of the events going on around the Con, it can sometimes seem like a rich nerd’s game. $80 to walk in the door of a party, $90 to hear a concert, $40 to sit down at a meetup - it adds up fast. And that doesn’t even include exclusives, which can sent you back $140 for a doll or $200 for an action figure.

These prices can feel a bit demoralizing when you’re of modest means and have already spent almost 2K on your badge, flight and hotel room (and still have to eat.) Luckily, you can have a good time at the Con without running up your credit card on spendy events. There are so many things to do that are free (or cheap), you won’t even remember the more expensive options.

Here's what's free at Comic Con.



uMTV is throwing that party Thursday night with the Fan Awards in Petco Park.

Also on Thursday night: Beer Bust at Comic-Con, which serves up 400 free beers.

FearFestEvil  party is on Friday night and free as long as you RSVP.

Incognito with Adam Savage on Friday night is also free, and first come first serve.

Nerd HQ may charge for panels but there’s a lot of free stuff to do there otherwise, including their Thursday night dance party.

Borderlands Prequel Laser Tag will be at the top of Petco Park. Free, but people with badges get priority over anyone else.

Godzilla Interactive will be behind Hall H. You’ll have a 24 foot Godzilla to admire and a graffiti wall to adorn with your personal Godzilla moments.
Homer's Dome invites you to take a 4-D journey into Homer's thoughts by the Hilton Bayfront.

ArtExpo is free and takes place at the Wonderbread Factory - 121 14th Street.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Interactive will be in the Petco parking lot. You can see the latest movie trailer, get a Turtle-style photo, eat free pizza and get a free foam disk.

Sin City Interactive is in the same place and will show clips/trailers, get a photo of themselves in the film, get t-shirts and see the 6 classic cars in the movie. The Suicide Girls should be there off and on too.

We don’t know exactly what will happen at the Game of Thrones Survive the Realm experience in the Omni Gallery but we know it will be awesome. A photo of you flying around on a dragon? Crushing the Red Viper’s head? Fighting a bear? Probably something we can't imagine. ETA: Per Andrew we know that it will have a virtual wall for people to climb and the first 2000 people a day will get swag.
Adult Swim’s Fun Houseand Meatwad Dome in the Petco parking lot are 18+ and free. The Fun House is kind of a bounce house/obstacle course; the Dome I'm not sure of.

The Sleepy Hollow Virtual Reality Bridge Escape will be in that area. You can wear an Oculus Rift headset to experience the Headless Horseman yourself.

Gotham Zipline and Police Cars are free; the Police Cars will be driving around and you just need to flag them down. The Zipline you can find outside Hall H.

Night events at the Con have competitions, a mixer for gay comic book fans, trivia contests and countless film festivals and screenings - anime, Star Trek Episodes, Spike and Mike, the IFF. There is something for everyone after dinner.

So many gaming events. See here for a longer list but the Xbox Lounge at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Nintendo Lounge at the Marriott Marquis alone could keep you busy.

The Assassin's Creed Experience outside the Hilton Gaslamp will ask you to climb ropes, do a 25 foot “leap of faith” and generally scramble around an obstacle course for a free t-shirt.
History Channel's Viking Interactive is in the parking lot at 450 2nd Ave. You'll be made up into a rough-looking Viking and then be placed into 3 different scenes for a compiled video you can share on social.  

Not counting the cost of your get-up, the Saturday night Zombie Walk is free and fun.
Friday's Orphan Black meetup will have free food, drinks. 1 pm at Southpaw Social at 815 J Street.

The Strain Fan Event on Saturday night will screen 2 episodes and have food and drinks.

Adult Swim is hosting Tim and Eric's Jammy Party for the world premiere of their new live action show Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories. You have to wear pajamas to attend and RSVP .

Geek and Sundry is open to all at Jolt'n Joe's every day.


Once upon a time, even B-list panels gave out t-shirts. (The best one in my collection: a blue shirt with a hula girl and a “I Got Lei’d at Comic-Con” from the Hawaii 5-0 panel before the first Walking Dead panel ever.) Then the recession’s cold tentacles reached into Comic-Con and we all started getting cheap trinkets that broke within hours. But it looks like this year many panels are bringing good swag back to us.

The Penny Dreadful panel is handing out Tarot cards.

The Adult Swim Funhouse and Meatdome in the Petco Park parking lot are giving out t-shirts to anyone who completes them.
Simon& Schuster will give out Star Trek books, different ones every day of the Con.

If you donate blood at the Hyatt, you get a swag bag full of goodies, including a True Blood t-shirt. You also get entered into multiple drawings.

Creepy & Eerie’s Saturday panel will hand out Creepy swag.

While I can’t say for sure, the Game of Thrones experience gave out t-shirts last year and probably will this year too.

On Friday at 1 pm, the BoxTrolls food truck will hand out free “delicacies” from chef David George Gordon. Petco Parking lot.
The Temple of Art 11:00 Saturday panel will have t-shirts and giveaways.

Red Giant Entertainment is offering a Giant-Sized #0 comic 4-pack to anyone who comes to their Sunday panel: .

The Teen Wolf booth #3729 has "activations" where you can insert yourself into a custom character poster and create your own monster, as well as a free limited edition bestiary by artist Swann Smith that details the creatures of Beacon Hills.
Marvel is giving out something legendary at its Saturday 10:30 and 12:30 panels. It claims.

This is just a teeny portion of the prizes and shirts and free stuff that will be handed out; most panels don't announce it ahead of time. As for eating cheaply, see my post on eating at Comic-Con.

 If you know anything else that's free, post it in the comments.


Last-minute deal on Walking Dead Escape

20 JULY 2014

Living Social has a deal up today: you get to do The Walking Dead Escape at 9:00 pm Friday or Saturday night for $37 as a Survivor or $42 as a Walker.

Like a lot of special deals, this is non-refundable. So be sure your calendar is clear for this. If you want to be a Survivor, you need to arrive 30 minutes early; if you want to be a Walker, you need to arrive 2 hours early so the pro makeup team can work their zombie magic on you.

Both groups can join the official Fan Fest after completing the course.


CBLDF Comic-Con Welcome Party

19 JULY 2014

If you're sick of everything being sold out or super expensive, here's another option: the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Comic-Con Welcome Party. It's on Thursday night at the Westgate Hotel.

You'll be in excellent company; confirmed attendees include Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Scott Snyder, Chris Burnham, Nick Dragotta, Nick Pitarra, John Layman, Josh Williamson, Joe Harris, Frank J. Barbiere, Stuart Moore, Paul Pope, Daniel Corey, Richard Starkings, Roc Upchurch, and so on. But beyond that, you'll get to:

  • see the items that will go up on the auction block at CBLDF's Saturday night auction, which include art by Jeff Smith, John Cassaday, Emma Rios, Frank Quitely, Brandon Graham, Francesco Fracavilla, Jeff Lemire and others.
  • visit the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab / Trading Post booth, which will include two new scents (based on Neil Gaiman's Coraline) to benefit CBLDF 
  • get your paws on the CBLDF Liberty variant of Harbinger #25 with art by Gilbert Hernandez, or “It’s Not A Trick” signed by J.H. Williams and Todd Klein
  • see the world premiere of "The Day The Saucers Came" Neil Gaiman t-shirts, featuring art by Brandon Graham, Ben Templesmith and John Cassaday
  • support free speech 

The party is Thursday, 24 July at 8:00 pm at the Westgate Hotel - 1055 Second Avenue, San Diego. It's free to members and only a $10-20 donation suggested from non-members. Tickets are on sale here.

On the Nerd HQ sale

19 JULY 2014

Yikes. Today was uglier than anticipated. It was like a small-scale badge scale. Panels sold out in record time. I thought yesterday's Image Expo sale was bad, but this is much worse.

That said, some people are reporting getting tickets for events that are marked as sold out, then suddenly not. So don't get your hopes up, but I would check back if you really have your heart set on something.

Nerd HQ tickets on sale today

19 JULY 2014

At long last, tickets are going on sale today at noon PST for Nerd HQ. Back in Petco Park all four days of the Con, Nerd HQ is mostly free but tickets for panels are $22; by participating, you'll help support Operation Smile. This year the panel series “Conversations for a Cause” will have Norman Reedus, Evangeline Lily, Jared Padalecki, Adam Baldwin, Andrew Lincoln, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites and cast appearances by The Walking Dead, The Giver, and many more.

There's also a dance party Thursday night and a ton of gaming and new tech to dive into:

  • SEGA will showcase Alien: Isolation, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA and two titles under the new Sonic Boom franchise – Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U system and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system. Fans will be able to play demos of each title.

  • Maker Studios will have an exclusive stage for performances and panel discussions from various partners including Dodger, Stampylonghead, JonTron, Markiplier, Jesse Cox, The Game Grumps, CaptainSparklez, and Ninja Sex Party, with appearances by KassemG and Amy Pham.

  • Intel will show off a variety of tech toys and activities. Attendees can create custom green-screen photos with Intel-based tablets, enter for a chance to win over $40,000 of prizes and try the first modern digital version of The Settlers of Catan board game.

  • Finally, Facebook will unveil a new activation; the innovative Facebook Fan Question Station. Comments from the Nerd Machine Page will be sourced and the Facebook Fan Question Stationwill randomly select fan questions for talent to answer in the NerdHQ green room.

Don't forget to get the Nerd HQ App to help you organize all of this. It will provide the schedule of “Conversations for a Cause,” Maker Stage events, parties, maps, and more.

You can get tickets here.

Gamer's guide to Comic-Con

18 JULY 2014

Today CCI published their gaming schedules, from board games to video gaming to D&D to Magic: The Gathering and more. I'm always grateful for these tournaments because they keep a high number of people absorbed and out of the panels. But if you're a gamer who would rather wander around and see what's afoot, there's a lot going on this year. That goes for experienced gamer fanatics and the mildly interested.

Every single thing listed here is free and open to anyone with a badge - except Gam3rCon.

Exhibit Hall and Panels

Nintendo will have a booth at the San Diego Convention Center dedicated entirely to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.

Tetsuya Nomura and Hideo Kojima will be signing autographs - but you have to buy a Play Arts Kai Figure at the Square Enix booth, #3829.

The Witcher fans get to see a brand new live 30 minute demo on Thursday.

Microsoft is bringing several panels, including a first look at Halo:Nightfall on Thursday at 11:45 am and Friday at 10:15 am, both in 6BCF, and a panel on Sunset Overdrive on Thursday at 5 pm in 5AB.

The documentary Atari: Game Over will be shown Friday at 3:30 in 5AB.

Battlefield Hardline panel will be discussed on Friday I room 5AB at 2:30.

Bioware will host a panel on Mass Effect 4 on Saturday at 2:00.

New details will be revealed about Tekken 7 at the Bandai Namco panel.

Ubisoft will show off a new demo for Assassin's Creed Unity.

Xbox Lounge (Hyatt)

Besides playing on the Major League Gaming main stage, you can have your pick of dozens of games, including Evolve, Forza Horizon 2, Super Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix, The Evil Within, The Crew, and Project Spark.

And don't forget this contest.

Nintendo Gaming Lounge (Marriott)

They will host a Smash Bros tournament, this one for the 3DS version. You can register on site starting Friday the 25th, but space is limited. You'll also get time with upcoming 2014 games like Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2 and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - and much of it will be streamed on Twitch.  Find out more here.

Nerd HQ

SEGA.will have on hand Alien: Isolation, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd and two titles under the new Sonic Boom franchise – Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U system and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system. This is the first time fans will be able to play demos of each title. The gaming gallery will have the first modern digital version of The Settlers of Catan board game, Catan Anytime.

"Bayonetta: Bloody Fate" from FUNimation Entertainment will be screened Friday at 9:35 p.m. PT in Marriott Hall Room 4 at the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel.
The Assassin's Creed Experience will give out free t-shirts to anyone who survives their obstacle course by the Hilton Gaslamp.
The PIXELS Electric Dreams Factory Arcade is at the Hard Rock Hotel and has retro video games available.
Square Enix and Deep Silver are hosting an arcade (open to the public) at the Whiskey Girl from 11 am Friday to 2 am Saturday. You'll see a bunch of upcoming titles, including Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and multiplayer title Nosgoth and the Hitman Go and Hitman: Sniper mobile games, as well as Escape Dead Island, Metro Redux and action RPG Sacred 3.
Nerdist is hosting Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel-themed laser tag on the top floor of Petco Park. 3 games will run per hour, with 50 people each, and it's free - but people with a badge get priority access.
Gam3rCon, unlike everything else here, is not free - but it's not that pricey either. $20 for a day or $50 for the whole thing. And while that gives you panels on games in addition to demos and play, you also get parties, bands, and other events.


"The Strain" screening & fan event

18 JULY 2014

If there's one new show everyone anticipated this summer, it's The Strain. Just like all our other TV obsessions, it's on Sunday night, and it's on the often-tasteless FX and written by Guillermo del Toro. No doubt you've seen the horrible/awesome ads of a tiny worm squiggling into an eyeball.

The plot: The Strain is "the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. Goodweather and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself."

Now you can see the first two episodes at "an exclusive fan event" that will have food, drinks, swag and mysterious "special appearances."
Where: Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15  at 701 5th Ave, San Diego)
When: Saturday, 26 July -- VIP Arrival at 6:30 pm / General Audience Admission at 7:30 pm
To become a VIP, you have to perform a scavenger hunt of sorts. First you have to visit the FOX (#4229), Harper Collins (#1029), and Dark Horse (#2615) booths and pick up a The Strain wristband from each one. You can do this on Friday or Saturday from 1- 4pm. Come to the theater at 6:30 pm Saturday, show your 3 wristbands and you'll be whisked inside for... well, I don't know. Probably the same experience as everyone else, but with special seating and probably some kind of gift. But it sounds like the general audience will get swag too.

Win an Xbox One at SDCC

18 JULY 2014

Here are two contests that should get you in the mood for Comic-Con.

Contest #1: Xbox is giving away 20 custom, collectible consoles at the Xbox Gaming Lounge (Hyatt). How to win? Take a picture of your favorite one and tweet it with the hashtags #XboxOne and #XboxSweeps (and of course follow @Xbox.) Winner gets a custom Xbox One.

Contest #2: Nerdist is giving away a Nerdist collectible Xbox One console. This one's a little trickier - follow @Xbox on Twitter and watch for a "very special tweet with more info." Retweeting it gets you into the running.

I'll have my guide for gamers up this weekend. There is a lot going on this year for games, so be ready.

Getting ready

18 JULY 2014

Fun fact: a year ago today, we were at Comic-Con. I was, at least. Were you there?
If so, then you know how to get ready - what to bring, what not to bring, how to pack and prepare. Such as:
  • All of the issues and books you want signed.
  • Anything you want to trade or sell.
  • Contact information for all of the friends and professional contacts you want to touch base with.
  • All of your promotional materials, samples for Portfolio Review and Comic Creator Connection, business cards, etc.
  • A good, hardcover sketchbook if you're into collecting sketches.
  • Your mini-drugstore: sunscreen for outdoor lines, bandaids and moleskin for your feet, aspirin for those throbbing Exhibit Hall thunder headaches, condoms for those late nights behind the Marriott pool, immunity boosters for all the germs you touch on the escalator, extra battery life for your cameras and phones.
  • Your mini-grocery: snacks for your room, obviously, and things like fruit or granola bars to bring with you to the convention center. Also bring a ton of water. Comic-Con is dehydrating.

In terms of clothes: you definitely want comfortable shoes, a bathing suit for the hotel pool, and clothes for hot and cool weather. The San Diego climate is variable. And even if you're determined to stay in costume every day, bring clothes for an off-day. You might get sick of everyone taking your picture, or your costume might feel more itchy than anticipated when worn for 10 hours in a row. But don't overpack or bring a ton of shoes and elaborate outfits you won't end up wearing. I used to do this every year and then by Day 2, I would be back to the most comfortable outfit I had. Anyway, you'll need to leave room in your bags for all of your prizes.

Making plans

I know I harp on this incessantly but here it is again: organize your gameplan. If you take a passive approach to SDCC, you'll experience 3% of the Con in total and maybe .5 % of what you hoped to. Use the MySchedule gizmo or make a spreadsheet or list, but document somehow the panels and events you want to go to. No one wants to fumble around with CCI's site on their phone or the event guide once they're there. List the booth #s of the exclusives you want so you know where to go.
If you're looking for some lost childhood treasure at the Con, scope out now what it sells for online. Don't assume a vendor on the floor will give you a "reasonable" price. I saw once what was marketed as a long-lost Edward Gorey book selling for over $100 - I immediately looked on Amazon and similar copies were selling for $8. It pays to check.
If this is your first time, make sure you grasp how ugly the badge line is. You can decide to get in line extremely early and get your badge at a reasonable hour, or join the line later and miss part of the day as you wait. If you're doing Town & Country on Wednesday, pack a day bag and get there early. It's way better to be one of the first to get your badge, then head down to the convention center and take in the sights then spend hours locked in the traffic leading to the hotel.
And finally, while I do think it's important to get organized, be open to change. Your Con experience might go wildly off the rails and lead you somewhere you never expected. Sometimes panels don't work out, exclusives sell out, and everything just feels different than you thought it would. Don't get too attached to a specific outcome and you'll have a much better time.

You need your badge for pre-registration - Part II

17 JULY 2014

CCI emailed all of us today to let us know we need our badges for 2015 pre-registration. Yes, we already knew that. The email today didn't say much new in that regard, except for this little nugget:

Children who are 12 right now and going to SDCC next week, and then turning 13 in the few days before 1 August, must keep their special child badge to do pre-registration. Which suggests kids who will still be 12 by 1 August don't need their badge apparently. But that begs the question of kids who turn 13 in December (for instance) - how would they participate in pre-reg since they will need a regular badge next summer? Am I missing something obvious? My advice is to hold onto your kid's badge if they have any kind of 13th birthday looming in the next year.

And no, we don't know when pre-reg will happen except that it "will occur sometime after Comic-Con." You don't say. The 1 August cutoff above has me curious, though; I wonder if they'll spring it on us quickly (like they used to) since the new system is already in place. Anything is possible with CCI.

Ready to get reviewed?

17 JULY 2014

If you plan on getting discovered next week, the Portfolio Review is probably the most controlled way of doing that. The schedule is up, so take a look and see if any companies listed seem to be calling your name.

What Portfolio Review offers

Industry professionals will look at your work and provide you with feedback. Note that it's Portfolio Review, not Job Fair. If you expect someone to take one look at your work and hire you, you may be disappointed. This is about hearing the opinions of a person who hires people like you. That said, sometimes these meetings do lead to offers.

Who it's for

Not just aspiring comic book artists and writers, as everyone seems to think. Some of these companies are looking for:
  • animators
  • editors
  • 3-D modelers
  • copywriters and TV writers
  • inkers, colorists and letterers
  • storyboard artists
  • background and concept designers
  • motion graphic designers
  • illustrators

How it works
As you may have guessed, sometimes more people want to take part in this than can be accommodated. Therefore every morning you can sign up to be reviewed by a specific company who's on the docket for that day. You won't know if you got picked (randomly) until 15 minutes before the review time slot starts - and you'll find out by looking at a printed list at the company's booth. If you made it onto the list, you must wait in that area for your name to be called. 

Who will be there

A range of companies, including Disney, LEGO, Nickelodean, Hasbro,Titan Comics, Cartoon Networks, Capstone and Lucasfilms  and lots of others.


The best thing you can do is tailor your work to the company's objectives. If they're not providing much detail in that department, do some research. Don't think your sheer talent will blow them away - companies scout for someone who can fit into their already established creative ecosystem.  

If you're unfamiliar with having your portfolio reviewed, you may want to study up on the general dynamics. Here's my novella on marketing yourself at Comic-Con and some very good posts from Steve Lieber. Good luck.