18 weeks until Comic-Con

19 MARCH 2014

So now that your major life question of 2014 is answered - yes, you're going to San Diego Comic-Con - you no doubt wish it was July right now. Instead we're headed into that dead zone between the winter anxiety of registration and the early summer drumbeat of media coverage. But Preview Night is only 18 weeks away, and there are things you can do now to get ready

Design your Comic-Con strategy.

If you've been to SDCC before, you know how easy it is to lose entire days in a blur of Exhibit Hall thunder and outdoor lines. And then you get home and read about all the parties, panels and exclusives you missed, and realize you just blew a ton of cash without experiencing half of what you hoped for. Instead of squandering another trip, think now about the kind of Con you want to have. Do you want to market your creative talents? Do you want to cosplay? Do you want to be more social? Figure out how you'll make it happen.

Save money

You know you're going to spend, spend, spend this July, so start putting away money each week now. Your credit card bills won't look quite as monstrous in August. 

Get in shape

This is not a statement on general nerd fitness. It is a statement on the grumpy people you see sprawled around the Convention Center, rubbing their blistered feet and looking tragic.You'll be walking and standing more than you realize, so get ready. 

Join your hotel’s rewards program

If you land at a major chain hotel, join their program. It's not about the accumulating points as much as benefits like free Wifi and continental breakfast - little perks that can save you a nice sum over 4 or 5 days.

Unload your old stuff now

Pro tip: the Exhibit Hall is not the place to make a fortune on your back issues and unwanted action figures. Put all of it on Ebay now, hold out for the right price, and clear some shelf space for the prizes you bring home this summer. 

Plan your costume. 

If this is the year you decide to dress up, plan it out now. I realize true cosplayers had their look planned out months ago, and are willing to sacrifice comfort for aesthetics; I'm speaking here to regular attendees. First of all, know that cosplaying is not de rigeur. Most people wear street clothes. And costumes can be hot, unwieldy, prone to disintegration and uncomfortable to travel around in, so factor that into your plans. 

Finally, if you do knock it out of the park with a great costume - say, a mindblowing concept of the Yellow King (please someone do this) - realize you will be stopped constantly to have your picture taken. If you're not prepared to be courteous and patient about this, or prefer to roam the Exhibit Hall without interruption, wear the same frumpy clothes as everyone else.


  1. What do you mean by market yourself creatively?

    1. I'll go into this in more depth in a later post, but Comic-Con has become a destination for creatives - both in terms of networking and education. It's an opportunity, one anyone in a creative field should consider seizing. I'll post later on how to prepare and what to do.

  2. I didn't manage to get badges to SDCC, and i was dumb enough not to apply for volunteering.. so that's my plan for next years comic con.. but anyways, do you know if you can choose what days you want to volunteer? because i would want to be free on saturday and sunday, would i be able to choose if i applied for volunteering or will they decide it for me? :(

    1. Yes, you can choose the day. As I'm sure you're aware, returning volunteers get the priority, and there's an Interest List for everyone else - most of whom don't get picked. So be sure to monitor the CCI site (and my site) closely in the autumn and sign up for the Interest List the second it's available.
      Sorry you didn't get a badge.