16 weeks until Comic Con

27 MARCH 2013

Does July 17 sound far away? It really isn't. Right now we're in that dull stretch between the stress of registration and the excitement of Comic Con announcements, but this is in fact the optimal time to start preparing.

Such as:

Save money. How obvious, right? But if you're more of a spender than a saver, this is one time you should break character and put some cash away each week, if only so you can later indulge in the orgiastic nerd spending spree to end all sprees.

Get in shape. People always get so offended when I tell them this, and then they go and they're whining and blistered and sore by Friday morning. And delaying their more energetic friends who tried to warn them of such an outcome. Comic Con is a lot of walking and standing and sitting in hallways. That's if you're an attendee; if you're working, you'll probably be on your feet a lot and carting booth stuff around. Be ready. 

Join your hotel’s rewards program. Several of them (Hilton, Starwood and Wyndham, possibly others)  recently went fascist when it comes to free night points, but you can still get perks like free Wifi or continental breakfast.

Make money. Instead of waiting to sell your old back issues and unwanted action figures at the Con, put some or all of them on Ebay now. Anyone, feel free to jump in and correct me - but I've heard the money and credit you get from Con vendors isn't all that spectacular, unless you have something truly rare. You're better off putting your stuff online now and holding out for the right price.

Start thinking about your costume. I'm not speaking to the cosplayers here, because you people exist in another space entirely, but the regular attendees who think it would be "fun" to wear a costume. Or just want to go native. First of all, you should know that most attendees don't wear costumes, and they can be a serious pain in the ass in terms of heat, maintenance and discomfort at a time you'll really just want to be comfortable. But if you're committed to the idea, start planning now. 

Renew/get your passport if you want to go to Tijuana or Baja. Although I'd check travel warnings first.


  1. This is sound advice. We chatted about hotels before- the ones I get are usually an internet rate and require payment in full at the time you make the reservation. Aside from getting a jump on simply obtaining a hotel room, his makes budgeting a lot easier, as, aside from whatever toys you buy (some buy a LOT!), your hotel reservation will likely be the most expensive item on your list, even if you're splitting that cost amongst friends (remember, a single person has to make that reservation and hold their cohorts accountable). Having that sort of money spent and out of the way should make it easier to budget the rest of the Con.

    Speak of toys, some folks, if they're flying, railing, or bussing it, may want to consider shipping in their budget. You know who you are- I can hardly move around that pile of shiny new Macross and Voltron toys you bought, stacked in their boxes around your chair at Rockin Baja. It's much easier, and much more considerate to others on your flight, to employ services from Fedex or UPS to ship it all home, than try to cram it all in the overhead bin. If you're driving, however, and can still see out your rear view, knock yourself out.

    As for MAKING money, convention vendors are the LAST people I would sell to. They're there to make a dollar, and/or unload as much as they can so they have less to pack up later, not the opposite. It may work out well, however, if you have something for trade which is worth trading.

    Additionally: batteries, batteries, batteries! If you're willing to drag that obnoxious WB swag bag around for four days, you can handle a few extra batteries for your camera and/or phone. And, maybe, laptop. Unless, of course, your hotel is close enough you don't mind making the trip to swap out supplies- just hope you can schedule this well if there's anything important you need to capture and don't want to risk missing, or risk having a device die on you 15 minutes into it. You might also want to have a power adapter on hand- CNET has their Base Station at Lou and Mickey's, on 5th and Harbor, complete with recharge stations for your gadgets. If you're attending as a pro, you can recharge in the pro lounge, which is normally upstairs, in the convention center (and if you're in the pro lounge, and really want to be a hero, sans costume, bring a portable power strip, too, as outlets are limited, and everyone loves someone who shares). I can't speak to whether or not press also has a lounge, but they very well might.

    1. Thanks, Antonio. I like your adapter advice in particular. I've had a hard time trying to recharge anything at the convention center the last few years and having spare batteries and supplies is smart.

      Thanks also for verifying what I've heard about Con vendors. I'm strictly about the buying when I'm there, but I've heard from friends that you won't get a good price for anything you're selling unless it's rare and guaranteed to move.