21 JUNE 2018
Today I tweeted an announcement I thought would be useful to at least a few people: Amazon Prime Day is coming late this year. It's not until 2 days before Comic-Con, in fact, making it too late to order SDCC supplies unless you want to bother with a hotel delivery. In the past, Prime Day has been a ripe opportunity for Con shopping so I thought it was worth mentioning.
But two of my first-timers texted me in a panic. Isn't the whole point to save your money for Comic-Con? they asked. Well, yes, for fun stuff. But you should be lining up basic supplies that can make your Con more comfortable. Here are a few things you might want to buy/order now.
Backup batteries. Your phone and other devices will run down quickly from being used so much and you may not be able to charge them quickly. The fastest way to stay powered is bringing along a few extra batteries. Bring extra/portable chargers as well.
Air hammocks and portable chairs. Whether you're sharing a hotel room or camping for Hall H, this is infinitely preferable to sleeping/sitting on the floor or ground. Especially when you're in line for several hours, blankets and pillows only go so far.
A good water bottle. The advanced kind that keeps your water cold for a long time, not a terrible plastic one that's been sitting in a cupboard forever.
Drugs and braces. Wraps, orthotics and other supports can make a difference in your ability to get around Comic-Con without pain. Same for painkillers, muscle ointment, moleskin and other salves. This goes double if you're out of shape or prone to headaches or have a bad back/knee. I idiotically broke a toe last weekend and even though I'm sure I'll be healed by SDCC, I'll still pack a little splint for support.
Nerd clothes. I've noticed a lot of first-timers think they have to wear some kind of superhero t-shirt or other nerd-signalling apparel at SDCC. That's not true, you can wear whatever you want. But if you want to wear some special fandom shirt, start looking now because you can't necessarily count on finding it on the floor. Unless you're looking for one of 8000 Chewbacca and Daryl Dixon and Batman shirts, that is.
Good, supportive shoes. Even if you don't plan on walking that much (something first-timers say a lot to me), your feet will be happiest if you bring some super-cushy shoes. Yes, even if you're normally too glam to wear big dorky shoes. I used to think like that. It's a classic case of "no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy" - your vanity will die faster than you can imagine once you're in the grime of the Exhibit Hall.
Sketchbooks and journals. Honestly, these you can get quite easily on the floor - but I know Con attendees have made scrapbooking a thing in recent years and some of you need an extra special leatherbound dragon-embossed journal with plastic photo protectors, etc. If you want to document your SDCC experience, start looking now.
GoPros, cameras and phones. If you're clinging to a cracked-screen phone that barely works or if you assume you'll be able to march selfie sticks or massive camera crews through the crowd - you should think about getting a more workable device for the Con. It's worth it.
I know this seems like a snoozer of a pre-Con season so far - but we've got ConanCon tickets coming up, the programming will be announced very soon, and we'll hear about more events over the next few weeks. Take advantage of this downtime to get your basics in order.