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Domers Do Comic Con

Ellie Hall | Thursday, August 26, 2010

By ELLIE HALL

Scene Writer

The four glorious days of the San Diego International Comic-Con give attendees the chance to rub shoulders with icons of the entertainment industry and enjoy the cutting edge of pop culture along with 140,000 other like-minded, so-called nerds. The convention has grown so much over the past 30 years that even the most casual conventioneer needs a map and a plan of attack. Fortunately, my partner in crime, Stephanie DePrez, and I were not casual conventioneers — we were women on a mission. 

1.    Do your research: Be able to recognize all of the famous names that will be wandering around the Exhibit Hall, because you never know when you’ll run into Stan Lee or James Cameron on the way to the bathroom. Know which of your icons will be at the Con and make sure you can pick them out of a lineup. 

2.    Have a plan of attack: Military strategies have been planned with less detail than our finely-tuned schedule. Since there are always a million interesting things going on at once, you need to pick and choose the most important panels and the impossible-to-miss signings, and still leave enough flexibility in case something important comes up. 

3.    Forget sleep: I think we averaged four hours of sleep a night during the Con. It’s a choice — you can be well-rested, or you can be in the first row of Hall H when Joss Whedon officially confirms that he’s directing and writing “The Avengers.” 

4.    Buddy System: You cannot do Comic-Con alone. With a friend along for the ride, you never have to worry about losing a spot in line, going hungry or having your seat stolen during the panel break. Instead, you throw your seat-saving friend a sandwich as she walks into a panel and run off to track down a Fox publicity executive. Synergy. 

5.    Get Connected: Awesome things happen really quickly at Comic-Con, so when they do, it’s in your best interest to know about them as soon as possible. Actors and directors randomly show up at booths for signings, exclusive memorabilia will go on sale, or a free taco van will park outside the convention center. You never know what will happen, but you can bet that when it does, someone will tweet about it. I brought my laptop to the Con every single day and took advantage of the free WiFi so that I could always know what was happening around the Con.

6.    Don’t Be “That Fan”: Yes, Comic-Con is the closest thing to Nirvana for practically every fan base imaginable because there’s always that chance that you’ll meet the object of your devotion, but the overly emotional/crazy fanatics ruin that opportunity for everyone else (I’m looking at you, Twihards). While Steph and I were waiting to interview longtime Joss Whedon writer Jane Espenson at the California Browncoat booth, a Buffy alum, newlywed Seth Green, dropped by so that he could introduce Jane to his wife. He shook hands and talked with fans for a few minutes … until one very loud guy noticed him and started freaking out. Cue crowds and Seth Green’s hasty departure. The biggest names in the entertainment industry come to Comic-Con to meet fans and interact with them, but no one wants to interact with a blubbering idiot. It’s okay if your inner fangirl is squealing when you realize that you’ve been sitting next to Nathan Fillion for the past 15 minutes (true story), but keep it that way: inside. 

Contact Ellie Hall at ehall4@nd.edu