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By Dennis Przywara | July 22, 2013

By now we know all about the new villain in the second “Avengers” film, or the Batman/Superman combo movie that sounds about as compelling as a Flintstones/Jetsons cartoon cross over, as reported at the now world famous 2013 San Diego Comic-Con. I’m not here for that type of news reporting. Not that I’m above it, I’m just lazy. Lazy and full of many fried “shaped like” foods that have gotten the best of me and my belly in downtown San Diego. I’m here strictly as a human guinea pig to dodge and weave through the various mazes of the Comic-Con floor and pass the savings on to you! My observations, my conversations, not to mention my bribery of free Churros to get into the “40 years Of Funky Winkerbean” panel will be your bonus round come next years Comic-Con Mayhem. Let the education begin!

After decades of Indian burns and titty twisters, being a nerd is not only super cool, but we have our own party every year called Comic-Con to celebrate it. So it would only seem natural that the average wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend or humble Hobbit would want to eventually tag-along on this merry adventure. I call this person, “The Comic-Con Virgin.” They make great sidekicks, but like all comic foils they need guidance. I suggest printing up this disclaimer and having all Comic-Con Virgins sign and notarize it twenty-four hours before arriving in the Holy Land:

Dear (Name of Comic-Con Virgin),

You must be this patient (spread hands wide) to partake in Comic-Con. Things at Comic-Con are much large than they appear. Please be advised that you are going to the San Diego Comic-Con of your own free will and (your name) will take no responsibility for damage done to your body due to walking, climbing, or waiting for long periods of time.

You should be in good health to partake in Comic-Con. You know your physical conditions and limitations. If you suspect that your health could be at risk for any reason, or you could aggravate a pre-existing condition of any kind, DO NOT GO!

Understanding those risks, the undersigned hereby fully and forever discharges and releases (your name), its officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and volunteers, from all liability, claims, demands and causes of action, if any, in the event of injury and damage to the undersigned. You also may get wet.

(Comic-Con Virgin’s written and signed signature dated below)

I would also suggest that it’s never a good idea for a Comic-Con Virgin to question a Comic-Con Veteran when it comes to hotel reservations, shuttle services, dining arrangements, or walking distance to and from any location within a two mile radius of The San Diego Convention Center. As a matter of fact, if your Comic-Con Veteran has booked you a reservation anywhere that is not at least within ONE MILE of Hall H, then they have failed and shall be stripped of any badges or metals of honor and a new Veteran must take his/her place anyway. Lastly, if a Comic-Con Virgin DOES question your authority, simply steal the line from “Chinatown” and rephrase it in this fashion: “Forget it, babe, its Comic-Con.” It will be the only answer you’ll ever need.

Which is more menacing?  Only you can decide!

Which is more menacing? Only you can decide!

Patience is the key to Comic-Con. If you’re not shacking up at the nearby Marriot, you’re going to have to dodge the crowds, rail line, shuttle stops, strollers, pedi-cabs, Gas Lampers and the occasional oversized Wampa costume to get into the main entrance. Whatever you’re doing, be it running to the autograph booth or hitting the convention floor, remember there are over 120,000 people JUST LIKE YOU trying to get a glimpse at the new “She Hulk” animated series or waiting with bated breath for the limited edition Rerun from “What’s Happening!!” action figure! If you get one and a fellow Comic-Con buddy doesn’t, share… because after all… “Sharing Is Caring!”

Let the madness begin!

Let the madness begin!

Conversing with fellow nerds takes not only time, but also juice for your cell phone. Fortunately for me, I’ve been doing all my nerd news scooping via HAM radio, so I never have this problem. Even so, I found TWO ways to conserve power to that mighty tool you call a cell phone.

One, jam a surge protector in that back pack of yours and become your own Thomas Edison by plugging it in any of the thousands of wall sockets within the Comic-Con area. Soon, other mortals will want to borrow your new fangled “super power” and you’ll be making friends faster than The Flash himself!

Second, for the past four years on the convention floor, certain media booths are allowing you to charge your phones at special powering stations FOR FREE! Yes, you might have to watch some sort of Magna animated series about a fish turning into a football in Japanese, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons… and you learn a foreign language! Who said Comic-Con isn’t educational?

All this and no hidden fees!

All this and no hidden fees!

Unless your time is VERY expendable, forget them. I know this will anger many but most of the popular panels are at least three hours to get in. As for Hall H, it’s at least a seven-hour crapshoot, if not longer. More than likely you’re going find the latest Comic-Con scoops via the web within seconds of the 6,000 fans in the room hearing it. I say let THEM do the dirty work for you. When you’re a hundred years old on your death bed, I guarantee you won’t be thinking of that eleven hours standing in line to know who will play the next Banshee in the new “X-Men” film.

Yes, even “Snoopy: A Retrospective" was sold out!

Yes, even “Snoopy: A Retrospective” was sold out!

Remember, use these tips wisely. Tips may change without notice and are non-transferable. And as always with Comic-Con, proceed with extreme caution… and always use sunscreen!

Even Film Threat creator Chris Gore had something to give to the fans!

Even Film Threat creator Chris Gore had something to give to the fans!

Author Dennis Przywara has been attending the San Diego Comic-Con for so long, he remembers when it wasn’t fashionable to say you were going. He writes for Film Threat from time to time and made the classic documentary about Star Wars fandom, Starwoids.

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  1. suzette says:

    I’ve been to comic con on 2011, 2012 and 2013 and I was laughing so hard because everything on this article is so true! there IS a lot of suffering and chaos going on at comic con.
    The key is to stop chasing celebrities and focus on smaller panels that are actually VERY informative.

    I only go to Hall H on thursdays because that’s when it’s actually possible to get inside hall h without being in line for 15 hours. I can’t understand why are people willing to sleep on the ground and be all dirty, hungry, uncomfortable and sweaty, SPECIALLY when they’re paying for a hotel!

  2. Mike says:

    Really looks and sounds like hell.. I know it’s Comic Con and all, but are there any good genre film conventions around with less stars, hype, etc and more to the point?

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