Friday, 7 July 2017

My Comic Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic Con is just around the corner, and it got me thinking about comic cons in general, and what I usually do to prepare to going to one.

Comic Cons can be pretty fun. It's a great way to meet like-minded people, pick up some geek merch, and meet some celebs. Check out my Comic Con Survival Guide below!

1. Pack plenty of provisions!
You'll be visiting a pretty packed venue most of the time, and the more people that are crammed into one space, the hotter it becomes! It's important to pack plenty of water and snacks. I once had the embarrassing misfortune of fainting in the middle of London MCM Comic Con a few years ago...

2. Charge your 3DS...and phone!
Comic Cons are perfect for picking up Streetpass hits! If you own a 3DS and want to make the most of the Streetpass function, then definitely get your handheld charged up for the visit. I've found that on a particularly busy day at a comic con, I've picked up over 100+ streetpuss hits. That's a lot of puzzle pieces, or unlocks for your games that support it!

Oh, and its a good idea to keep your phone charged. Bring along a battery pack. If you're planning to take a lot of photos, you'll need it.

3. Get your cosplay sorted early
I've cosplayed a few times at MCM Comic Con so far.

Firstly, as a Super Mario (complete with a painted on moustache - funny story, I made a little 5 year old kid cry as he realised I was a girl, and not actually Mario).

I don't have a photo of this one, sadly. My old photos were wiped after a computer fault!

Secondly, as Alice from Alice: Madness Returns - twice!

And thirdly, as a Disney-bounding Minnie Mouse.

You'll need plenty of time to get any materials, costumes, accessories etc ordered and made. It also gives you a bit of time to play around with makeup and styles, and it's far less stressful if you know you've got it all done and dusted way before you make your reveal. Also, be warned. Cosplay is not cheap. Allow for time to save the amount you need for your costume!

4. Keep an eye on Twitter/the internet for any gatherings
Comic cons are a great place for like-minded fans of TV, film, comics, games, etc to gather. Keep an eye out for any cosplay/fan meets. I went along to a Disney cosplay meet at the last comic con I went to, and it was a lot of fun. I met some new people, and it was cool seeing other's cosplays!

5. Comic Con is expensive...but it doesn't have to be
Yeah, if you're going to a comic con, you'll probably spend a bit of money. It's hard to resist when there's stalls of geeky merch ahead of you. However, if you're on a budget, comic con doesn't have to be expensive. There's plenty of free things to do. Keep an eye out for free talks, meet ups, shows, board game areas, and free showing of films, etc. 

6. Get your plan of action sorted
At a comic con, there's always plenty of panels, meet-ups, photo opportunities, and more to check out. It's worth getting your plan of the day sorted before you get there, otherwise you'll miss the panel you really wanted to see, etc. I always manage to grab a schedule at the press stand before I get started for the day, then make a note of each thing I'd like to check out, and when it's on.

8. Be aware of your surroundings
Sadly, not everyone is! You should always check where you're walking - especially if you're carrying a large prop with your cosplay. You don't want the embarrassment of knocking over stands, and upsetting comic artists by pushing all of their artwork off of their table. Trust me, it happens a lot, and as someone who's exhibited behind a table, walked the floor as a punter, and covered it as a press, it's really not fun when someone does this (especially when they do a runner and avoid helping to tidy things up again). Just be aware where you are, that's all!

Oh, and if you're looking to attend as press, they often have a pretty handy area to get your blogging and editing done. Eventbrite have a place to book up conference spaces if you need that sorted, too. 

So, that's my guide! I'm a regular at London MCM Comic Con in particular (although I intend to check out more, especially now I can drive), so if you ever see me - don't be afraid to come up and say hi!

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