It might be February but there's already a Comic-Con buzz in the air and people are asking how they can go to SDCC this summer. And for once, they're not too late. So here's my periodic rehash of how to try to get a badge for SDCC. (Old news for most of you.)
1. Don't wait. Don't skip this post, don't think you'll find someone to hook you up this summer. It is harder to get into SDCC than most people realize - even those of you who consider yourselves well-connected.
2. Go register for a Member ID on CCI's site. You must have this to get a badge. Do it now; CCI has said they will close down the Member ID site before the badge sale.
3. What's the badge sale, you ask? It's called Open Registration and it's the only chance for the public to buy badges for the Con. It happens online. Everyone finds out about it usually just a few days in advance when CCI emails everyone with a Member ID.
4. How it works: like an online lottery. You go into a waiting room and wait to be randomly picked. Once you're picked, you're put into another room where you can choose from the available badges. You can buy for three people, self included.
5. The badge sale goes very fast and the odds are not in your favor. Preview Night badges usually disappear within minutes, followed by Saturday a few minutes later, followed by Friday and then Thursday and Sunday. So you'll know pretty soon how you've made out. Be aware that far more people will participate in Open Reg than will actually get a badge. I'm not saying that to discourage you - you should still try - but to manage your expectations.
Now, that is the only way 99.9% of you can get a badge - but there are also contests and you can beg any pros and retailers for their spare badges. But don't count on either of those (I'll exempt the denizens of LA here to an extent, because a lot of people locally will know someone who can hook them up.) What I don't recommend: scalpers.
As for when Open Reg will happen: it hasn't been announced yet. My guess is between late Feb-mid March - which means you should get your Member ID now if you haven't yet.