Comic-Con, what is it? Think of it as a giant trade show and people watching extravaganza housing everything hot in pop culture today.
A Little History
This convention (con) started 43 years ago as a one day event showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy, film/television, and related popular arts. Over the years it has morphed into a four-day event that includes a larger range of pop culture, showcasing elements from animation, anime, manga, horror, toys and collectibles, webcomics and video games in the form of panels, booths, and costumes. Let’s not forget mainstream pop culture. Along with the traditional sci-fi/fantasy elements, you’ll find panels for shows such as Family Guy, Psych, Bones and Glee. Comic-Con has become so popular that it sold out within 90 minutes of tickets being released online.
I’m always amazed at the amount of creativity people put into their costumes for Comic-Con. You have the traditional Star Wars characters (though I didn’t see as many Storm Troopers, Darth Vaders or Princess Leias this year), Star Trek characters, Doctor Who, a variety of faeries, and a number of super heroes. This year’s favorite was a gnome sitting on a toadstool. That being said, I must admit I love the Steampunk costumes. (What is a Steampunk? Think Victorian era meets advanced machines based on 19th century technology. Steampunk.com)
What to do at Comic-Con?
There’s plenty to do at Comic-Con, be it walk through the booths on the convention center floor, watch panels, or sit and people/character watch. You won’t leave empty handed as many of the vendors give away swag (buttons, posters, bookmarks, etc.). And to help you carry it all, you receive a nice big bag at check in. Careful though, it can get heavy quickly! Oh, and if you’re a reader, make sure you check out the publishing house booths, they give away books!
The crowds can be overwhelming, especially for a first-timer. Thankfully, you get an events guide to help you navigate through the organized chaos. You’ll find the events schedule for all the panels, autograph signings, film festival showings, an exhibitor map and more. As for food and drink, you may want to bring your own with you as it can be a bit pricey (I paid $4 for a bottle of soda). And be prepared to wait in line. Keep in mind there are over 130,000 people who attend the con, so it’s important to bring your patience and wear comfortable shoes!