TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3188:
Well, it's only 10 days away until the 2010 Comic-Con International: San Diego, (a.k.a. SDCC), opens its' doors for Preview Night!
Tina & I will be there for all 5 days and 4 nights. Tina has been going since 2001 when we were engaged. That was the year that Hollywood 'discovered' Comic-Con. I set up as a comic book dealer back at the El Cortez Hotel in 1972 when the SDCC was at that venue. So we both have different expectations about this comic convention.
This pre-check off list is what we will be preparing with between now and when leave to drive down to the San Diego Convention Center. We are lucky that the SDCC is only 35 miles South of us here in Carlsbad, California! (At least until 2012! But this blog is not about the possibility of moving the Comic-Con elsewhere!)
So what's 1st on our personal Check Off List?
PREPAID PARKING: First of all, this year there is the pre-paid parking option! We've already "reserved' parking space for all five days of the con under the Convention Center itself. I've already blogged about this and posted references to this fact on our own Facebook Group Page, Facebook Comic Con | Make It So Marketing, a.k.a. Hamersky.com. If YOU haven't reserved space yet, I suggest you look at this ASAP if you are driving to or renting a car for the SDCC. Again, a note of caution: I'm not recommending this option, but I do NOT want to drive down to the parking to be told it is already sold out at 5 AM in the morning for the drivers coming down at 9 AM that already 'reserved' their spots!
PROGRAM SCHEDULES: Then, believe it or not, the Wed - Thur - Fri - Sat Comic-Con schedules are already posted! I double checked before starting this post at 4:30 AM PST Sunday Morning, July 11th, and Sunday's wasn't up yet. But it should be soon. You can start with this link for the Wed-Thursday schedule, and then click on successive tabs.
Next, we usually copy & paste the programs / panels / films / events that we want to see on copy paper. That way when we pick up our actual program schedule on Wednesday afternoon after check in (approximately 3PM or shortly afterwards), we can hi-light in yellow the programs we want to attend on the 'Grid' that is printed in the schedule for easier viewing. Quite often there are scheduling conflicts, and / or Tina wants to see programs that she is more 'into' than I am. We also cover a lot more that way for our blog, (seen at ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com), which you are reading a post at now.
However, THIS year you can use your smart phone to hi-lite & download what you want to see. Since this is the 1st year Tina and I are using smart phones (Androids that we just picked up July 4th), I am starting right now to see if this is feasible for us. I see that several of my Facebook Friends are doing so also. However, until I make sure this is the way I want to keep track of what I am attending, I've opted to keep my schedule 'private' at this time. I will be using my Droid already to take photos / text / & update my Facebook Member Page & Group Page. I notice a drain on the battery already when practicing for this during the past week. So I don't know how effective using the Droid for scheduling would be.
Okay, so far we've got the parking & the schedule either figured out, or have it under control 10 days out from the Preview Night. (Barring any future special invites to off-convention center parties or events. We've already booked one to attend.)
CLOTHING: Next is clothing. For the 2009 SDCC, Tina suggested I stop wearing comic book character t-shirts and 'brand' myself. Thus if you are attending and run into me, I'll be wearing my signature indigo colored polo shirt with the white lettering 'ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com' on the left pocket area. I've got a half dozen of these, which is why last year's photos from the con show me in similar clothing each day.
For myself, wearing comfortable clothing is the only way to go. That means the polo shirt, blue jeans, and tennis shoes / walking shoes. Each year I cover the whole exhibit floor at least once, plus the upstairs under the sails pavilion, and a lot of program rooms. Doing that means that Tina & I are at the convention center from as early as 5 AM till approx Midnight several days, depending on what the programming each night holds interest for us.
Tina always carries a sweater or jacket in the car, as the program rooms are usually cool. She carries a back pack, while I usually carry an over the shoulder pouch for easier access to my lists, and to place copies of publications that creators give me for possible review in this blog. We do have extra clothing in the car if needed.
FOOD & DRINK FOR MEALS & SNACKS: Tina & I are really looking closer at this topic for this year's con. That's because Tina came down with food posioning on Saturday evening last year during a program, and we had to leave. She more than highly suspects a certain food choice made from the concession stand was the reason, and is currently revising what we will do this year.
We always take our own snacks due to the high cost of those inside the convention center, and are lucky we have rarely missed underground parking at the convention center, due to our arriving there so early each morning. That way we have a place to store all of our 'swag' we pick up, plus room for purchases, and our 'igloo' container for drinks & food. We usually buy some sort of breakfast sandwiches enroute to the con, and have breakfast while sitting in line, as seen in the photo above from 2008.
Again, we are lucky we are so close to drive to the SDCC, but when we go to other cons, we attempt to do all of the above I've listed here so far.
ACCESSORIES: Due to the fact that we are so close to the SDCC, and that we almost always have underground parking, we can bring a lot of accessories, but not necessarily have to lug them around. For instance, we both have learned that sitting on the ground, whether pavement or grass or carpet is hard to do off and on all day / night. Thus we have opted to bring tiny, and I mean 'tiny' fold up stools. The convention center does not allow full size fold up chairs in the hallways, and you will be asked to take them out of the center. However the tiny fold up stools are perfect sized.
Cameras & batteries & cords. I have been using a 1st generation camera, a Sony Mavica FD-100 for years and years, both for eBaying and attending comic cons nationwide. This year in addition to that, I will be using my Droid's built in camera for Facbooking and taking photos for this blog. Tina finds that the Mavica gets very heavy for her, so she is very excited about her new Droid for photo taking. However she doesn't take as many as I do for future use.
Backpack / shoulder bag / briefcase - Years ago, when I was mainly interested in getting my own personal collection of comics signed, I would carry a briefcase to keep them safe in, until the comic was signed. That is a hard thing to do...carry a briefcase all day. But it worked in keeping my comics in the condition I brought them in. I see way too many people pull out crumpled comics from backpacks after buying or bring them there for signature. Not good! Tina uses a backpack, but she doesn't place anything 'valuable' in there. My over the shoulder bag keeps the promo comics that I am given to possible review in blog safe, plus I can bag & board them separately with other promo literature or the creators' cards so as to know who gave me what publication after the con when I start reading and blogging about them.But...The Most Important Thing Is...Don't carry or wear anything that will interfere with your badge's laniard. You wouldn't believe how much of a hassle it would be to try to replace your badge once you've obtained it and lost it because something interferred with that all important badge!
That's going to be it for this blog post, as I'm running out of room in this format. I do want to emphasize this however:
There is NO WAY you are going to be able to do everything that you want to do or see at this comic con. It is too darn big to be at two places at once, especially when something is in Hall H and one end, and then someone signing at a booth in the Small Press Section. You can't be at both.
So relax, prepare well on the topics I've blogged about today, and enjoy what you can. Just stick to your plan and don't get caught up in what's happening at a booth or table as you go by it enroute to the important program or signing you were enroute to. You may end up missing what you most wanted to see. Yeah, I know..."Be Flexible". Well that may be fine for some, but try doing that for a program at Hall H sometime that you just had to see. Some attendees sit through several earlier programs just to see the ONE they want to see. Because Comic-Con STILL doesn't clear the hall between programs!
And most of all...Wear comfortable shoes...You'll be walking many miles during the Con!
My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over the 3,185 total posts in number!
~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
Note: Our online comic book store carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items at: