For those of you who aren't going to Comic-Con

20 FEBRUARY 2016

Right now a lot of you are emotionally careening from rage to disbelief to grief and then back to rage again. You got shut out of the badge sale today; you know now you're definitely not going to San Diego Comic-Con 2016. I am so, so sorry.

I'm going to repost what I said last year about this. Obviously I don't have a magic fix that can put a badge in your hands but I do have a few suggestions.

Be good to yourself today

I don't know anyone who's all, "Eh, if I get a badge, good - if not, I'm okay." People are in this to win it. Our mouths go dry and our hearts pound and every time the screen flickers, our blood pressure soars sky high. Even if you get a good badge, the whole experience wrecks your nerves - and if you don't, it can plunge you into serious anger and despair. I know other people think I'm being melodramatic, but they don't realize how stressful this can be to many attendees. So try to be good to yourself this weekend; sleep in, indulge yourself with an extravagant meal, buy something with the money you won't be spending on SDCC.

Don't buy from scalpers. 

I've talked about this numerous times and no doubt I will again as spring comes on, but please don't traffic with these people. They're mostly out to scam you with fake badges and cannot be trusted. Sometimes in the days before the Con, retailers and professionals will sell off their badges - these are usually legit but it's hard to know until you arrive to pick it up. Every year I get emails that describe blowing hundreds of dollars on a fake badge. This year we probably will have a few scalpers selling legit badges, but they'll probably cost a small fortune and you can still get caught by CCI if they ID-check you or get wind of the badge going rogue and turn it off.

Go to other Cons

I know, I know - you want SDCC. There is no substitute. Except that - did you know NYCC is now bigger than SDCC? That Salt Lake is hot on its heels in attendance numbers? There's still WonderCon, Special Edition in NY, Dragon*Con, Phoenix Comicon, Denver and a bunch of others. I personally am very interested in Silicon Valley Comic Con, which I'll post on later. That's next month and if you're at all tech-inclined, you might love it. 

With other Cons, the main differences boil down to a smaller Hollywood/celebrity presence. BUT you often end up going to more panels and events because you're not waiting in huge lines, and when you do meet the celebrities there, you tend to get more interaction with them.

Contact CCI with your tale of technical woe, if you have one. 

Today's sale seemed to go pretty smoothly. I heard of a few people getting bounced out, not many. If you genuinely got compromised in some way, and have the screenshots to prove it, go ahead and contact CCI now. My group had a weird issue in Pre-reg and CCI made it right with the 2 people who got shut out. They're good about that.

Try to win a contest. 

Odds are slim when it comes to winning Comic-Con Powerball, but why not.

Ask your industry contacts if they can hook you up. 

Guest badges don't float around quite as freely as they used to, but retailers, exhibitors, artists, etc. may have a spot for you on their team or some other way they can help out. Yes, they're probably beleaguered by requests but it doesn't hurt to ask politely and let them know you're willing to help out however they need it.

Consider that you've just saved time, money and stress. 

Maybe you've never been to SDCC, so allow me to tell you that it's not always what it's cracked up to be. It's tiring. It's expensive. It's a lot of standing in line - especially for those big splashy panels that are probably high on your wish list. Sometimes you wear yourself out to buy that one exclusive and get into that one panel and then you get home and you realize they weren't all that special - and one is on Ebay and the other on YouTube.

For those of you who are hovering in the middle  - you got a single day badge or the Thursday/Sunday split and now you don't know if you want to go at all - I'll tell you later why I think you should. If you're gloomy right now over your failure to get all 4 days, please believe me (though you probably won't) that you won't care all that much once you're there. There's just so much going on outside the Con. I'll post on that later.

The rest of you - again, I'm sorry. There really isn't anything I can say to take the sting out of a complete badge shut-out. Just know that you're the rule, not the exception, because demand is that high. And more importantly, know that your other options aren't subpar conventions but Cons that can be just as exciting and rewarding as San Diego. I am not saying that just to make you feel better. It's true. Look ahead for the rest of the year and you'll probably come up with an alternate adventure.

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