Hello there! I have been an active member on this community, bringing you my joy of LoT, drawing for the love of it, and discussing everything Arrowverse. I’ve been a comic book fan since I was younger but have never been to a convention. That is…until now. I am going to my first one this weekend and really don’t know what to expect. It’s not the biggest like NY or San Diego but it is still quite big. There will be celebrities from shows and cartoons gone by as well as many big names in comics. Any advice for a first timer?
Congrats @ImpulseMaxMercury! Conventions are absolutely fun! As someone who’s been to a few, here’s a few tips:
Walk around the convention before buying something. Let’s say you see something at a table you like. Chances are, another table might have it for a cheaper price. Doing a lap lets you see who has what and for how much.
Bring comfortable shoes! Even smaller conventions still require a lot of walking. Since you might be on your feet for a while, the more comfortable the shoe, the better. I once did four days of New York Comic Con in Converse sneakers and oh boy was that a mistake!
Bring snacks and water. Not only may you be at a convention for a while, but even if the place has food vendors, you never know how expensive that might be. Having a snack on you and water will save you money and you’ll have more energy when walking around.
If you are going to bring something for a creator to sign and it’s in a bag and board, take it out of the bag before coming to their table.
If you’re getting something signed, keep it to a few items. You’ll run into the occasional jerk who will bring a stack of comics, or worse, a long box for one person to sign. Some cons have curbed this by adding a limit (particularly with the more famous creators) or the creators themselves will sign the first for free then charge for additional signatures. To avoid any of this, just bring maybe or two things aka the stuff that means most to you.
That’s all I can think of for now. Good luck on your first con!
Can’t emphasize this enough: bring a backup phone battery. If you can, bring two. You might save someone else’s life, and your own.
To add on to this- if you buy a lot of stuff early on, you then have all that to carry around for the rest of your time there. I made that mistake at SDCC.
If you can: look at their schedule and see what catches your eye the most and plan around that. You don’t want to get caught up shopping and realize you missed a Q&A or a panel you were dying to see.
One of the biggest things I learned at my first convention was that if there is a celebrity that you want to see but don’t want to pay for an autograph or don’t have anything for them to sign, you can still go up and talk to them.
You’ll get the occasional person that won’t allow you to talk to them without buying something but, overall, they are just happy to talk to you.
I enjoy those conversations far more than anything I have bought at a convention.
I also second the extra battery pack/phone charger and bringing a water bottle and some snacks. They help a ton.
A lot of the time, the creators will have their own table in artist’s alley and instead of waiting in really long lines for an autograph, you can just walk right up to them in artists alley at the end of the day.
Can’t believe I forgot about this one! Yes, definitely bring an external charger! I bought one for New York Comic Con almost ten years ago and I liked it so much I always carry one on me now
If you are getting autographs and have a specific color you want it might be best to bring your own markers. Don’t be afraid to speak up and say where you want something signed. Also, sometimes they will sign a quote if you ask as well. If you are looking to get a commission from an artist do that as soon as possible. Their list for the weekend will fill up fast. If you see a Deadpool cosplayer don’t hesitate to give them a roundhouse kick to the face. It’ll be funny.
Water, snacks, and a backpack to carry your purchases in. Have a great time!
Do you recommend Sharpies for signatures? Also once signed can I put them back in my plastic that I brought them in? I don’t want it to smear
I do see an artist alley. I was going to judge wait times once I got there.
You’re going to see so many cool stuff, learn from my mistake, don’t spend all your money at once! And have a great time.
Yeah, Sharpies are fine. They dry pretty fast but I like to give it a few seconds then put it back in the plastic.
Good luck and have fun. What Con are you attending btw?
Lots of good advice has been given.
Check the convention schedule and determine who you want to meet in Artist Alley.
Plan your own schedule so you can meet your favorite creators and attend the panels that most interest you.
See if you can take pictures if you want to.
BUY SOMETHING FROM THE ARTISTS! They pay to have a table in Artist Alley and they supplement their incomes from attending the conventions.
Don’t be afraid to talk to the artists. I’ve heard so many stories of fans who missed the opportunity to talk to their favorite artists because that were afraid to talk to them. I’m sure the artists appreciate when you tell them that their art touched your life.
Me with my hero Mike Grell.
Him signing his biography.
He made a point that I bought the first copy of a new print he was offering.
It was a great fun to meet him and hear him tell stories as he sketched commissions.
Thanks! I have looked at the schedule of panels and have one I’d like to attend maybe two.
I hope I have the courage to speak to my idols. As an artist myself and big fan I’m curious about the process and hope I don’t gush too much.
Thanks! I am trying to have a plan to budget for what I want we will see how it goes.
Thanks! Good idea to keep energy up. I have my backpack in mind just trying to narrow down the items I’m bringing to sign so I can still carry
I’ll have to look for my external charger and make sure it’s ready. Thanks!
Thanks! I just hope I get past my nerves and am able to speak to these idols of mine. I have some to autograph as well.
Good idea! It reminds me of how when I go to theme park and I have my kids wait for souvenirs until end so don’t have to carry them around.