25 JUNE 2016
Going back 5 years now, I've collected stories from San Diego Comic-Con first-timers - what they thought, their biggest mistakes, their biggest wins, and if they'll try to return next summer. This jaded veteran always gets a thrill from seeing Comic-Con through fresh eyes, and it helps me understand how SDCC comes across to attendees who don't share my interests. Because there isn't one Comic-Con experience - the gaming couple who focuses on tournaments has a very different Con from the guy who camps out in Hall H, who in turn has no idea about the comic nerds bouncing from IDW booth to Image panel to DC signing who can't imagine what it's like as a cosplayer competing in the Masquerade.
And while you as a first-timer can benefit from the experiences of old-timers like me, you can learn just as much (if not more) from people who were recently new. Like many people who've been hitting SDCC for a while now, I'm guilty of operating within my own comfortable groove and ignoring half of everything else. And my perspective is skewed - I don't even blink when a volunteer directs me to the wrong room, or someone's wing bops me in the head, because that's all part of it. But first-timers who are used to having more control over their environment can be taken aback by some of the ... inconveniences of Comic-Con. And conversely, they can be enraptured by small wonders we veterans take for granted.
So. If you want to tell me the story of losing your San Diego Comic-Con virginity - you loved it, you got a photo with the CW star of your dreams, your hotel room was wrong, your cosplay armor broke, you got a green light during Portfolio Review - I'm all ears. You can just shoot me an email during or after the Con. Because while I don't know precisely what kind of Con you're going to have next month, I do know you'll come out of it with some incredible stories.