Should you keep your Thursday/Sunday badge? Yes.

12 MARCH 2017

Today 3 segments of SDCC attendees are waking up with tumultuous feelings: 

1) Those who got a Thursday/Sunday badge and are questioning if they should go 
2) Those in groups where some people scored and some didn't
3) Those who got nothing at all. 

(Those of you who got 4 day or Preview Night badges - your next hurdle is a hotel and that's for another post.)

I'll post advice for dealing with each of these outcomes. Right now, let's talk about landing in the ambivalent zone known as the Thursday-Sunday split.
If you’re feeling bitter over this, know this isn't the worst fate that can befall you. You definitely should still go to Comic-Con. Here’s why.

Thursday is a great day: good panels and a freshly-stocked Exhibit Hall. There's something invigorating about a Con on its first day. The vendors aren't as tired and neither are you; most things haven't sold out and everyone's in a fairly upbeat mood. And lots of parties happen on Thursday night - my theory is the planners know everyone isn't quite as zonked as they will be by Saturday night.

Sunday has great Hall H panels, the SDCC talkback panel and plenty of offerings for children if you're a parent. Plus the Exhibit Hall features major deals, with vendors marking down their stuff so they don't have to ship it back home. And remember, even a one-day badge will make you eligible for Returning Reg, thereby doubling your chances of getting a badge for 2018.

My first partial Con was in 2007, when full badges sold out online and I (not anticipating this, or the horror that was to come) was forced to buy 3-day badges for me and my then partner. And guess what? It was kind of great. It broke my typical fever-like intensity and let me stay out till hours on Friday night, then spend Saturday sleeping in, eating brunch and jumping around in the ocean all afternoon. I didn't come home with that dead-on-my-feet feeling Monday.

So yes, doing just a few days at Comic-Con can be a godsend. You can relax, meet friends for leisurely meals, lay around in bed reading your new comics or take the ferry to Coronado. You can visit the Fleet Center and see what special nerd-themed exhibits they're running during SDCC. And you can party like Jay Gatsby since you don't have to join a Ballroom 20 line at 3 a.m. 

One caveat: if you're flying in from a far corner of the earth, it may not be worth it to run up a hotel/airfare bill for just 1 or 2 days at the Con. If that's your concern, I would recommend doing the Early Bird sale. You’ll spend less on your room and it won’t matter as much that you’re not downtown because you won’t be in a rush to make certain panels or lines. You’ll be traveling on your timetable (a rare and wonderful feeling at SDCC.)

Sad attendees who didn't get a badge at all - I'll address you later today. Same with those of you in the awkward situation of having a boon companion who didn't get a great badge like you did or vice versa. Stay positive and be good to yourself today.


  1. Well Valerie, my wife Liz and I are one of those Thurs/Sun badge owners. And we barely got those, seeing that as we checked out in purchasing the badges, the waiting room announced that ALL of the badges were sold out. Yikes! Our other group members of our cosplay collective fared better, getting four day badges. So now, we have to wait until April's Plan B to try and flesh out the badges. And try to find others in the open registration melee to join in a larger buying group. Wish us luck! Still, you are right about lots going on, even on off days. Entertainment Weekly will have ConX back again, and you don't even need badges for that.

    Keep up the good work, Gary and Liz

    1. Right, there is tons of stuff to do. You'll have a great time even if you don't upgrade - but I hope you do.

      The more stories that are trickling in, the more I'm hearing about people not doing as well this year as in Pre-reg sales past. I'm wondering if they allocated more badges to Open Reg this year since the demand is so enormous.

  2. Last year we got Thur/Sun during PreReg. Then during General Registration, we got Friday. So no Saturday, the busiest day. We made the most of it though, by checking out everything outside of the con (NerdHQ, the area behind PetCo Park, the area behind the convention center, etc.) But I'll be honest, I'd rather have spent the day inside the convention center. In any case, I'd say to those with only Thur/Sun, don't give up hope yet. You still have hope in the General Registration!

    1. Skipping Saturday can be nice precisely because it is so busy. I mostly missed Saturday in 2015 due to going to Conan, and didn't miss a thing. But Hall H people probably feel differently.

      How did you do this year?

    2. This year we got lucky and got 4 days + preview (my first Preview Night in about 3-4 years). I also tried to score Conan tickets but no luck last year. But we did end up getting all four Conan Funko Pops by waiting in line every morning and then making trades.

  3. Replies
    1. Marriott Marquis. It's very Marilyn Monroe in "Something's Gotta Give."