Recently, LA was filled with comic book fans for Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con in downtown LA. While, most people have heard of the big Comic Con in San Diego, Stan Lee’s Comic Con in LA is still one of the top events to attend in a year. Believe me, if you are in the comic book and cosplay world you were definitely in attendance. Everyone from comic book authors and artists, to actors who play our favorite comic book heroes, to cosplay players alike lined up to see what’s new this year in their comics and stock up on new gear.
I was lucky enough to go this year in support of my upcoming series, The Pet Peeve Police, which has a comic book audience. I had no idea what to expect and boy did I learn some tricks! At first I was in awe of all of the costumes and sheer amount of people- it really can be overwhelming. But, I quickly learned lines moved fast, and these fans while serious about their comic book world, are an awesome fun loving bunch. Since there are a few other comic con and comic book related events coming up, I wanted to give my top tips on what I learned, what to expect, and what to do before attending the main event so that everything goes as smooth as possible.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan. This might seem obvious, but with so many panels, networking events and signings your head will be spinning. The best idea is to pick out the top event or panel you want to go to each day and plan everything else around that event.
2. Book Your Panels in Advance. Not all comic related events have their schedules in advance. However, you can book certain packages or signings when you book your ticket. Certain VIP passes include signing or panels for only VIP guests. If you know you are going for the whole event time it might be cheaper in the long run to get the VIP pass, then you won’t have to worry about not grabbing a ticket to those highly anticipated events.
3. Figure Out Transportation Ahead of Time. Most of these events happen in major cities so there is public transportation available. But if you are not comfortable with riding a metro in an unknown city, look into parking options, or just grab a Lyft or Uber. The last thing you want is be driving in circles looking for a parking spot and miss an anticipated event.
4. Bring Your Survival Kit – Cash, Charger, Lunch, Snacks. Since everyone at these events are using their phones the internet can be pretty slow and service non-existent, so print out your maps and event information before hand so you are not waiting for the event page to buffer and draining your battery. Also, a slow internet can effect credit card transactions, so make sure to have cash on hand. In addition, it should be noted that some of these artists are selling their own materials and don’t always take a card, so cash really is king in these scenarios. If you are picky about food or just don’t want to spend crazy amounts on a burger and drink then pick up lunch and snacks on the your way to the events. It will save you money, time on lines, and you know you will like what you are eating. *Note: usually they do not allow water bottles.
5. Be Comfortable. Whether you are dressing up as your favorite character or going in your normal clothes, make sure to plan for long days on your feet. This means wear comfortable clothing and shoes; or if you are wearing a costume bring a back up outfit to change into. This rings true especially if you are planning on being at the event multiple days. Believe me, I saw some people who looked like they couldn’t move in costumes. That’s going to get real old after the first hour.
“With great power there must also come… great responsibility!”
– Stan Lee, Amazing Fantasy, #15, August 1962
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