Should you plan your 2018 Con life already? Yes.

11 AUGUST 2017

Over the last few days, a rumor squiggled through the SDCC community: that Returning Registration would be held on September 30. It appears to be untrue, but it did get many people thinking about next year - often with a certain fatigue, since it feels like we just finished the gymkhana that is San Diego Comic-Con.

But it's not too early to think about your 2018 Comic Con plans, both for SDCC and the world at large. Here's why:

  • One reason: Returning Registration could be in November. If you want to put together a buying group, or do a health check on your existing one, now's the time. 2017 first-timers who've never done RR before - your chances are better in this sale than in Open Reg, so take it seriously. Don't skip it, as I have actually known people to do.

  • Another reason is the grisly massacre that was the SDCC hotel sale this year. While I don't have hard stats, I've heard of more people booking backup rooms for 2018 than ever before. Most involve high and nonrefundable rates. Hotels can charge whatever they please for these non-CCI reservations, so expect this to factor into your ability to find a reasonably priced backup room. In other words, start looking now if staying downtown matters to you.

  • You should also think beyond SDCC - now, before the Ret Reg madness starts. Every year people come home from San Diego and say, "I don't know if it's worth it." Or they decide to just go for a day or two the following summer. This is a common reaction but I am hearing it more than ever this year. If this is you, now is the time to think about other trips you might want to take, or other ways you might want to spend that money. It's really easy to get caught up in the desperate year-round quest that is SDCC attendance, to the point where you forget to think bigger.

  • If you haven't yet, think about other Cons. I realize I always say this, but too many people wait until after SDCC Open Registration to think about this. Emerald City obviously has a special place in my heart, there's WonderCon, Gen Con, Silicon Valley, Salt Lake, New York (which requires attentive planning now), Dragon Con, etc. I can't say this enough: smaller Cons can deliver more bang for your buck than San Diego, because you spend less time in lines and have easier access to panels and events. Choose wisely and you can count on great guests and programming.

Just something to think about. I was aching to go to Boston Comic Con this weekend, because I've been homesick for New England in the summer. Destiny cruelly yanked me to New York, but I have started hunting for a Cape Cod beach house next summer for a combined Con-vacation. One of my friends is doing the same with London Comic Con and another with Comiket in Tokyo. Something similar could work for those of you who want new experiences while still getting a few Comic Con thrills.

And of course, you may come up holding a royal flush in the SDCC 2018 badge sale and decide that's enough. Either way, you'll have some kind of wondrous destination for next year - so think big and design an incredible Con plan, starting now.


  1. My friends and I plan to go to WonderCon next year. But for me I'll try for SDCC again ONE MORE TIME. But after three tries I've become somewhat wary. I've enjoyed myself very much at WonderCon the times I went. It's smaller with fewer lines and, in my view, lots of people in cosplay which I love to see. SDCC takes a lot out of me physically especially my feet! So it may be awhile, if ever, I'll go back to SDCC.

    1. You should join a buying group for SDCC - you'll most likely get a badge. But it is draining so I can see why you might choose to skip it.

  2. FYI: Best Western Island Palms is taking reservations the week of 2018 SDCC. I reserved 1 room from Wed (18) to checking out Monday; cheaper than this year's Comic Con rate. I did NOT hv to prepay, just need to give credit card info; you will b charged if not canceled by 7/15/18 and you are a no show.

    1. Thanks for the tip! Non-prepay reservations are hard to come by. Good find.

  3. Someone ask me how much the reservation cost. The cost including tax for 5 nights $1221. Parking of course is extra if u hv a car: cost right now is $10 a night. I stayed there this year for SDCC plus the following week and parking was $10 a night.

    My family and friends liked it (we had 3 roooms). The only negative is rooms with two queens are cramped. Bathrooms have a lot of space. I have stayed somewhere different every year going to Comic Con (6yrs); some years I have stayed at multiple places due to making the trip into vacation and do things after Comic Con. This year was my first year at BW Island Palms. I like BW Island Palms and the more expensive Humphreys Half Moon on Shelter Island. Both are on Comic Con bus route (30 min each way - 6 mile drive). Easy drive to the convention along Harbor Dr. If I cannot get downtown with thr hotel sale or at a reasonable price b4 the hotel sale I prefer Shelter Island over places at Mission Valley and Hotel Circle.

    On Shelter Island recommend BW or Humphreys Half Moon over Kona Kia.

  4. I stayed at Humphreys Half Moon this year and in 2014, I love it. Talking about a hotel that fly's under the radar..My wife and I both love it.. During the late evening hours we walk along Shelter Island. I have already booked Humphreys's for next year via Booking dot com no prepay. I am not even trying for a downtown hotel.