Our Top 10 Con Survival Tips

Awesome Con Floor 2016

Con season is upon us. With San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) right around the corner (July 20 – 23), it may be a good time to remind ourselves of a few best practices to keep ourselves healthy and active during Con Season. With long lines, exhaustion and miles of walking (often within one day of an event), I got together with several members of the Comic Industry and created this list of Top 10 Tips to get you through any Comic and Entertainment Convention.

10.       Check Times and Prioritize. Before the Con even begins make sure to check times and availability. Not all Creators and Celebrities are there throughout the entire Convention. If you have a Panel that you really want to attend but a Creator, or Celebrity, you really want to meet is only attending the Con one day and is only at their booth for 4 hours of that single day due to their own panels, and the one panel you want to see is during some of those specific booth hours… Phew! You need to make sure to prioritize! Who is important to see? Which Panels do you want to attend? What times are your tickets for the Entertainment Guests, as you are usually given periods of time and not simply a spot in line? You will more like not see everything but making plans can help you see the most.

SDCC 2017 Thursday Schedule

9.       Take your Books out of their Bags & Boards at LEAST 3 people ahead. Keeping your books safe, dry and flat is of the highest importance. But it is common courtesy for the line and for the creator if you have what you want signed out of its bag and board when there are no less than three people ahead of you to the front of the line. Plus, if you aren’t fidgeting with your bags and boards you have more time to talk directly with the creator.

**Additional Tip: Keep your books and art safe by carrying them in binders or expandable file folders. If you plan on putting them in bags, make sure you have a top loader to keep everything flat.

8.      Bring Back-Up Batteries and Charging Cables. A good, 5 Star Rated Back-Up Charger is as cheap as $10.99 on Amazon. Buy one. Carry it. Along with an extra wall charger as a just in case. Everyone is taking pictures, Tweeting, Streaming, etc. It is exciting. But you do not want to be out of battery at the end of the day. Especially if you are in a city where the only people you know are the ones who traveled with you.

7.       Bring a Bag that fits Comfortably over your Shoulders. Whether you prefer a backpack (the preferred option by most attendees) or a shoulder bag (i.e. a purse), make sure the bag has thick enough shoulder straps (minimum of one inch) that fit comfortably over your shoulder. Thin straps can, after a day’s worth of purchases or walking around with stacks of books all day, can cause serious injury.

**Additional Tip: If you are carrying your wallet in your bag, make sure it is zipped up and in a pocket, that sits along your side. If you are carrying it in a pock, wear fitted clothing as that you can feel where your wallet is at all times.

SDCC 2011 Bag

6.       Bring Snacks. Grabbing an ice cream cone or a bag of popcorn while wandering around a Con is fine, that is if you are willing to spend $10 per snack. Not only is it far cheaper to bring snacks, having a small bag of nuts or those pouches of applesauce are great for extra energy.

**Additional Tip: Do not be afraid to leave the Con to get food. Grab a map of the area or speak with the Hotel Front Desk and ask about places near the Convention Hall. Find a local gas station to grab a bottle of water or support a local business by eating lunch at a nearby restaurant. It will be cheaper (for the most part) and a full meal is better for you than grabbing a $12 hotdog out of necessity. Plus, they may have cleaner bathrooms!

5.       Carry A Mini-Medi-Pack. Having band-aids, ibuprofen and small ice packs never hurt anyone. Actually, it is the exact opposite! With the amount of congestion, walking and heat. A headache, blisters and dehydration are more inevitable than possible.

**Additional Tip: Bring Sunscreen. Especially at the Cons, with lines that can take over an hour to enter the Con or the many events that take place outside of the Convention Hall due to space restrictions, all the sun is doing is beating down on you. Protect yourself!

4.       Wear Comfortable, Broken-In Shoes. Most lists will generally say “comfortable” shoes, but remember most “comfortable” shoes are those that you have WORN. If you get new shoes for big events like New York Comic Con (NYCC) or SDCC, walk around and break them in. You WILL be walking around for hours, even at the smallest events. You need comfortable shoes to keep you going.

3.       Take a Shower. This tip is not only for common courtesy... (Because, yes!) But more so for your health. Con Crud is defined by Urban Dictionary as: “Illnesses which are spread around at… conventions due to the large numbers of people who gather and interact in one confined place.” One of the chief ways to keep yourself from getting sick following a show is washing up!

**Additional Tip: Taking an Airborne or any other Immune Supplement at the beginning of the day helps give your body a little extra wall of protection towards the evils of Con Crud.

2.       BRING CASH! This seems like a no-brainer but it is surprising how many people don’t carry cash. Though most Con Exhibitors do accept Credit nowadays, the Wireless Internet, especially at the larger events, can often be spotty and Credit Systems can go down. Many Exhibitors also have Credit Minimums as systems such as Square Readers have high usage fees. Have Cash on you. As a just in case!

**Additional Tip: Bring Small Bills! There A LOT great product out there for $10 and under. Exhibitors don’t mind the easy transactions where they do not have to make change or receive small bills for change in the future. Carry $1’s, $5’s and $10’s.

Avengers 2 Panel SDCC

1.       STAY HYDRATED!!! Pay extra attention to this Tip because it is EXTRA important. Follow the example of every Celebrity at every Con Panel Ever! Keeping a bottle of water or Gatorade (for the electrolytes) on you at all times keeps you from dehydration and exhaustion. Many Conventions, even events during the Winter Months, can require long periods of time in which you are walking both inside and out. Bringing the proper liquids to keep you going can be the difference between enjoying a long day at the Con or a long day sitting at the wall on the edge of the Hall trying to catch your breath. Or worse! So… STAY HYDRATED!!!

There you have it! A few best practices so you may experience the best Con possible. There are many more tips and even more people to give them. But being prepared and keeping yourself energized is the best start. Keep Hydrated. Be aware. And Have fun!

PS: Just to make sure that the last tip REALLY sinks in. STAY HYDRATED!!!

Takin' a Shelfie!

There are a LOT of comic blogs out there. It seems there are more and more people with opinions on the Comics industry each and every day. From fan to retailers to comic creators and everyone in between, everyone is talking the goods and bads of Comics and all that the Industry holds. And, yes, we absolutely have our own input. Here in the "Our Thoughts" Blog section, we are going to talk about a multitude of topics. Each staff member will get the chance to speak their mind, talk new product or perhaps just ramble on about life.

Heather's Shelfie

For our first "Our Thoughts" segment we thought we could start with a soft but bright topic. We want to introduce a new Monthly segment that we hope will also bring you, our customers, into the conversation. "Takin' a Shelfie" will spotlight both new and older items including books, games and toys that you should have on your shelves. But we do not only want our own Shelfies. We want yours too! But... We will get to that a little later.

So... Let's talk about what you should have on your shelf!

Amazing Spider-Man Digest

MARVEL COMICS DIGEST #1 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

Marvel and Archie Comics are coming together to bring All Ages stories in this cost effective (prices starting at $6.99) Digest. With over 200+ page, this travel-sized books include classic stories from creators such as Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. With the school year coming to an end, this is the perfect pick-up for the upcoming car trip to the beach.

DC Universe Harley Quinn ArtFX+ Statue

DC UNIVERSE HARLEY QUINN ARTFX+ STATUE

Kotobukiya continues their line of incredibly beautiful, yet affordable (Harley is only $69.99), line of DC Comics Heroes and Villains statuary with Harley Quinn. Wearing her classic costume and carrying her signature hammer, Harley is ready to be the next lethal smile standing tall (1/10th scale) upon your shelf.

Ghosts Love Candy

GHOSTS LOVE CANDY CARD GAME

Ghosts LOVE candy! This is a fact. Why else would Halloween be their favorite Holiday? But as an incorporeal creature of the night it is difficult to actually pick up and consume candy. That is why, on Halloween night, you can take control of the bodies of the children and trick-or-treat to your little ghost heart's content. But don't eat too much or you might throw up. At $19.95, this quick card game, created by Steve Jackson Games (Munchkin), is great for all ages and perfect for the next family game night.

We Want You

WE WANT YOU!!! To send us your Shelfies! Take a picture of what you are most proud of. Your favorite piece of original comic art, your special and most beloved art commission by your favorite artist, your five book shelves filled with every Marvel trade ever, or that tower of games you and your family play every night. We want to share in your passion for this incredible industry! So please send your Shelfies to: amazingcomicshop.digital@gmail.com with the a Subject of "OK TO POST!"

Watch out for our next "Takin' a Shelfie" post where we talk even more toys, games and stories that you need on your shelf!