8 weeks until Comic-Con

26 MAY 2014

On Wednesday we'll be 8 weeks from Preview Night - and those 8 weeks will grow progressively noisier with news and announcements and chaos. Which makes now a good time to step back and get some basics locked down.

Save money. I mentioned this before. Hopefully you've started a Comic-Con fund. But if you haven't, you still have time to start setting aside money. Sell off old back issues and action figures on Ebay now (you'll need the room for the plunder you bring home) and you'll have your money by July.

Budget your money. At this point you already know what you're spending on the hotel, parking, badge and airfare. But if you're strapped for cash, it's good to figure out how much disposable income you can afford to spend on restaurants, events and Exhibit Hall stuff. Already tickets have gone on sale for the San Diego Symphony, Kevin Smith, the Suicide Girls and Chris Hardwick, while many exclusives are up for presale. It's quite possible to spend hundreds of dollars here and there and be broke before you even set foot in the convention center.

Get your materials ready. If you're bringing business cards, demos, sample art, script pages or any other portfolioesque materials, get those ready now. Don't wait until July. Printers have mishaps, errors go unnoticed, domains expire - be sure you're going to be in good shape in both print and digital form weeks before Comic-Con.

Figure out your onsite production plan, if you need one. This won't apply to most of you, but is critical for those of you that it does. If you need to ship and receive goods in San Diego, if there is a slight chance you'll need to print more t-shirts or posters in the dead of the night, map out the right facilities, hours and locations now.

Make a list of everything you want. You're going to start seeing fleeting news jibbets about exclusives and giveaways that will only be mentioned once and never again. It gets hard to remember all of it as the weeks go on. Start a list.

Contact your friends. I hate making plans in advance and no doubt some of you do too. But here's the thing - Comic-Con is so busy that it's really easy to get swept up in moment by moment drama or succumb to your own exhaustion, and never actually get together with your friends. Find out now who's going and then circle back later and make a solid plan to see each other. The days of running into people you know and gradually roaming the night together as a tribe - which is how Comic-Con used to go for many of us - are over.

Prepare physically. I said before to get in shape now, at least to the point where you can comfortably walk a few miles and stand for long periods of time. I'm really not kidding about this. If you're completely out of shape, Comic-Con will wear you out on the first day. Get ready and get some decent shoes that you break in ahead of time.

Make a decision on your costume. If you're like most non-cosplayer nerds who like the idea of dressing up, you've probably speculated all year on what you might dress up as at Comic-Con. Now is the time to make a decision and stick with it. Costumes (good ones, anyway) can be a lot of work,  from collecting the right components to fixing them swiftly when they fall apart after an hour. Separate how you'd like to appear from what you can realistically pull off, and execute now.

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