Thursday, July 23, 2015

Con Prep: Survival & Standards

We are rapidly approaching the Boston Comic-Con, a mere 8 days away!

I have spent this month reviewing some of my preparations for this con, the big one on my schedule.
These posts have included:
1) Commission decisions
2) Commission source material
3) Lining up commissions 
4) Signatures and etiquette

Those posts were all about my preparation for the comic and creator portion of the convention. But the truth is that there is so much more to conventions than shopping and meeting celebrities.

You need to be able to survive in the con conditions. Throngs of people are stuffed into conventions centers, worming down narrow aisles, and pawing the same merchandise that you have just pawed. In some ways, it is like a more peaceful zombie apocalypse. And so I'll advise a couple of survival items.

1) Water and water bottle: you are bound to get dehydrated, so bring a receptacle for water so you can imbibe the fluids and maintain a physiological equilibrium. Each con might have a different set of rules. You might not be able to bring in actual liquids. For me, I just bring an empty metal water bottle like used in camping. But I don't mind tap water from a water fountain. There will be places to buy water and other liquids at the con but for me I'd rather spend my money on comics.

2)Hand sanitizer: Perhaps the biggest suggestion is hand sanitizer. Between looking at old books, shaking hands with friends and creators, and the overall concern for 'con crud'. Whether it is a Purell like gel or a WetOnes towelette pack, definitely have something to keep your hands clean and germ-free.

And then a couple more suggestions so you are ready:
3) Breath mints: Sounds crazy but throw a tin of Altoids in your bag. Nothing worse than having rank breath as you approach your favorite creator. It's just good manners.

4) Pens/paper: You never know what you will hear and want to remember at the con. If you are on social media, sometimes you need to jot something down to post/tweet later. And lastly, I use it mostly to write down where I have found something I might want to buy so that I know where to go back and find it. The vendors end up blurring together so I is better to have a note to jog your memory.

5) A 'Want List': Are there issues that you are always looking for? One issue missing in a long run? Stuff interested in? Make a list and have it on you so you know what to look for! I am missing a handful of issues from Simonson's Thor run but I can't commit those issue numbers to memory.

6) A device: In this day and age, I don't know if I need to say it. For most of us, this will be a smart phone. For others, it might be a tablet. Or both. But having a device to grab pictures, surf the net while in lines, and the usual stuff is key. Since I use, a device is key to remind me which issues I have! I also have the 'want list' on my device in electronic form. But remember that sometimes there will be areas without signal, so having a paper backup is key! And definitely bring your charger!

And then a question for you all about something I am thinking about-

7) A name tag: I have to say, I have been debating this one for the last couple of years. In this era of social media, more people probably know me as @dranj70 than as Anj. So I have toyed with the idea of wearing a name tag like that so that people could know who I am. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be comfortable with a nametag personally, then again I am a pretty shy person. If you are up for random conversations and trying to make some new friends though, I say go for it. It might be the gateway to meeting some interesting people or even fans of this site.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous. I am not keen on a name tag, but if you're planning on meeting up with people from social media then it'd be a good thing to have.

Meanwhile, this is a good list. The last con I went to was SDCC. 5 years ago I think it has been now. I vowed I would NEVER set foot in a con again. It was too crowded and "Hollywood" centric if you will.

I am about to wish I never made that vow because I'm about to go back on it. *If* I can get passes for the Silicon Valley comic con in March, I'll go. So I'm bookmarking this for the future.