Nerd herd unite! Every July, lovers of comic books, science fiction, fantasy, anime, and popular arts gather by the tens of thousands (over 100,000 each summer) in San Diego, California for Comic-Con International. It’s a Thursday through Sunday that’s jam packed with panels that include writers, illustrators, directors, producers, and actors from an array of comic books, graphic novels, television shows, movies, anime, and more. What makes Comic-Con so special is that it’s a place where die-hard fans can gather, get in the inside scoop, and find out information before the rest of the world about all of their favorite things. Fangirl and fanboy moments need fear no judgment here!
As the Con gets closer you’ll wait in anticipation as the official schedule is released one day at a time, typically the week before Comic Con begins. On your first day, you’ll pick up your badge, which will display your name, your home state or country, and the number of days for which your pass is valid. By this time, you and your con crew will have identified which panels you would like to attend. Scheduling is key.
And as the Con begins, thousands of people flock to the convention center, lining up for some panels as early as the night before. This may sound insane, but there’s limited seating in the halls, ballrooms, and rooms. To guarantee getting in, you’ll need to compete with thousands of other people who share your interests. If you’re lucky, you’ll have some friendly neighbors in line and you’ll make a new friend or two, a very common occurrence at the Con.
Depending on the type of panel you attend, what you’re in store for may vary. Topics range from creating your own comics, to what’s in store for upcoming issues, to never before seen footage, and what’s up and coming with television shows and movies. Some panels hand out tickets that can be redeemed in the fulfillment room during the convention. Tickets are redeemable for things like t-shirts, hats, and other cool merch that’s exclusive to the Con.
In time not consumed by panels, you may decide to mosey on over to the exhibit hall and check out the booths for some of your favorite media companies for film, television and comic books. Here you can find, free stuff, awesome merchandise on sale (the Star Wars booth has a onesie that’s to die for) live events, celebrity autographs, and more!
Of course, the Con wouldn’t be the Con without… cosplay! Comic-Con is crawling with costumes of all sorts. You’re bound to see anything from a ninja turtle to a storm trooper, an alien, a superhero, a cartoon character, a television personality, to a corset from the Victorian era. Costumes range from store bought to completely custom made. The degree to which Con goers get into character is fascinating. Picture taking is a must!
Whether you want to stay up all night watching anime, talk to the writers and artists that work on your favorite comic books, speak to the cast of your favorite shows, or get the inside scoop on upcoming movies, Comic-Con has something for everyone. For regular attendees, badges go on sale in summer; they are available for new attendees at the beginning of the following year. Go on; let your inner nerd be free.