It’s that time of year again. San Diego Comic Con, the grand-daddy of all the cons, is upon us, and that means thousands of you will be flocking to the ridiculously heated streets of San Diego to participate. While many of us set out to go, meet people, watch panels, get our cosplay on, and get some sweet, sweet swag, there are a few ways you can help ensure that you and everyone else has a better con experience. And by help ensure, I mean here are five things that you absolutely should not do.
If you’re going with friends or meeting up with a group of friends, set a freaking alarm and be on time. SDCC is a highly structured event for panels, and your being tardy means you and your group can miss signings, panels, meals, taxis, and more. Oh, and don’t expect your friends to hold your place in line for a Hall H event so you can leave your hotel room later. The horde of other fans wanting to get in on those panels will all but ensure that you’ll get a nice comfortable spot… on the floor while you wait for the panel to end. SDCC waits for no one.
Bottom line: Set your watch, your phone, whatever. Leave early and anticipate that crowds are going to make for slower transportation.
Look, buddy. People pay good money to go to SDCC. They wait for this all year. The last thing they want to do is put up with your cranky butt because you either skipped a meal, didn’t get enough sleep, misplaced a cosplay item, or didn’t get an autograph you wanted. This isn’t to say you can’t have moments where you’re just DONE and want to go relax. Everyone has those. But don’t let whatever is going on with you bleed into how you interact with everyone around you.
Plan ahead, stay hydrated, sleep when you can, and pack a snack where possible. You paid a lot of money to get here too, don’t self-sabotage your own vacation by not taking care of yourself.
Be a know-it-all
Nobody likes a gate-keeping geek. Cons are a place for all of us to revel in our geekdom with our fellow nerds. To meet our equally obsessed peers and gush over DC’s Rebirth, or our favorite film franchises, or television shows. Nothing harshes a good nerd squee like some asshole waltzing in and either trying to prove someone else is a “fake” fan or trying to one-up everyone else by bragging about how they just know sooooooooo much more about a piece of media.
San Diego Comic Con is freaking expensive. If you’ve reserved a slot, paid for the hotel, paid for the tickets, paid for transportation… I think your fellow con-goer would be taking that “fake” for attention to the extreme. Just let people enjoy being with their fellow nerds, regardless of their knowledge level. Look at it this way. You LOVE this certain story arc that most of your peers haven’t had the fortune of experiencing. Wouldn’t it be exciting to share your joy of that story with them and watch as they get excited about it too and want to learn more? SHARE THE NERD LOVE.
There’s a video on youtube that I’m going to drop in right here.
So you’re stuck in line for a panel, and the person behind you absolutely LOVES a particular piece of media. Or you’re meeting with friends for lunch, and they won’t stop gushing about a movie trailer they just saw for a franchise you can’t stand. Maybe you’re bitter after listening to a Henry Cavill interview, and you wanted more Gal Gadot, but your con buddy is now on a Superman high.
Don’t be that jackass. Let them gush over whatever it is they’re excited to be there for and don’t default into breaking two rules at a time by judging them AND being cranky about it. After all, they patiently sat through the two-hour rant you gave last night on why Kate Kane is now and forever the absolute best in the Bat Family. Show them the same courtesy. (Even if we agree with you, Kate is stellar.)
Bite the shipping bone
Everyone has their OTP’s; it’s the magic of shows. We as a geekdom like pairings and shipping. But there’s a time and a place for that. You know what isn’t cool? Running up precious minutes on a panel for a television show or a movie asking about a ship when the cast and crew are there to promote the season arc and share updates and new cast introductions. There’s a line of people behind you who’ve waited all year to ask their questions about characters, arcs, etc. And there’s a finite amount of time for questions. Don’t hog the mic and throw fan ship questions, especially if it’s to denigrate a canonical couple and bog the panel down.
That gauntlet of con-goers who lost a chance at getting their show question in because you wanted to rant about a ship? Well, you have to pass them all on the way back to your seat. The con is there for you to have a good time, but it’s there for everyone else as well. Be considerate.
PS. DON’T ASK THE CAST OR CREW OVERLY PERSONAL QUESTIONS. BOUNDARIES. BOUNDARIES ARE YOUR FRIENDS.