Getting Ready for San Diego Comic-Con International 2017!

Getting Ready for San Diego Comic-Con International 2017!Hey folks!  I don’t know about you, but I’m getting super excited!  It’s now officially less than a month away to my favorite time of the year, Comic-Con 2017!  After a three year personal absence from the event I’m stoked to be returning to action this year!  Back in 2015 I wrote a post titled “Surviving Comic-Con 101” and I’m sure a lot has changed since then.  Reluctantly I had to sit back over the years and watch my fellow reviewers report on Batman v. Superman, the unveiling of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, attend an impromptu Star Wars symphony concert and so much more.  Although I’m thankful for my reviewers’ coverage of it all a little piece of me died each and every post that had gone up.  Not this year!  This year I’ll be damn if someone else is going to forget their laptop and experience the magic of Comic-Con over me.  I work hard in life.  I’m frickin’ going!  It’s my God given right to Comic-Con!  Bring on the Comic-Con exclusive Justice League movie trailer please!

So with all that being said up above I’m at a loss.  LOL.  It’s been three years since I last personally attended and I don’t even fully understand how the Hall H line and chances of getting in work.  I just hope it’s not one of those freakishly cold and rainy weeks like we had many times before during Comic-Cons of past.  Not to fret though as I’m sure I’ll figure it out and even if I don’t get into everything in Hall H, it’s not like there’s nothing else to do there.  Ballroom 20 always has some equally cool stuff going on as well and let’s not forget the beautiful city that’s hosting it all.  My favorite place to eat in the world is in San Diego and it’s simply called Basic.  If you’re ever in town, make sure you try the thin crusted pizza and pear salad.  It’s simply out of this world.  Furthermore, Late Night with Conan O’Brien will be back in town too so I hope to get into a taping or two of that as well.  Many more surprises, guests and concerts have yet to even be announced.  This will for sure be a crazy next couple of weeks as programming and announcements are made.

To the uninitiated and if you’re lucky enough to get a pass to the event, Comic-Con is essentially 5 days of non-stop parties, concerts and geek festivities galore.  All of Hollywood descends upon San Diego as the Convention Center is taken over by 120,000 plus hordes of attendees, media and most importantly the celebrities there to promote their work and/or just have a good time like the rest of us.  I say 5 days because if you’re lucky enough to score a 4-day attendee pass, then you earn the right to attend what is called “Preview Night.”  That’s essentially the Wednesday night before Comic-Con officially begins.  Only a few panels are happening that evening, mostly television ones historically.  However, what’s so special about that night is you get to walk the Exhibit Hall in minimum numbers compared to the 120,000 plus droves of attendees that will descend upon it the next day.  You get to check out all the vendor and studio displays before everyone else.  If anyone reading this has ever experienced the Exhibit Hall on a Thursday to a Saturday, then you know how valuable this so called Preview Night is.  It also gives you an opportunity to try and grab your exclusive Convention items you want to purchase before all the crazies try for them the next day.  So if you have the chance to attend Preview Night, I recommend you take full advantage of it.  I know I will.

Let’s jump into what you can expect from San Diego Comic-Con International 2017 other than the endless hours of long lines you’ll wait in and those obligatory pretzel hotdogs most people will live off of for 5 days.  This year Comic-Con begins with Preview Night on Wednesday, July 19th and ends on Sunday, July 23rd.  For many of you that don’t know you can pretty much skip Sunday if you’re travel plans are tight or just completely worn out from the previous four days.  However, Sunday does allow you to score whatever merchandise the studios and vendors haven’t got rid of yet in the Exhibit Hall.  Other than that Sunday is typically known for its remaining television show panels.  Now I’m not a young whipper snapper anymore so Sunday at Comic-Con is like a church Sunday down here in Texas (yawn!), a day to sleep, relax and recover.  I’ll personally be using it this year as my travel day home.

Speaking of going home.  That’s always the depressing part for me.  Comic-Con produces a euphoric high within me.  Seeing and interacting with all the celebrities I adore makes me feel like an important person in life while there those 5 days covering all the press stuff I possibly can.  When I leave I feel like a mere mortal, drained of any significant importance in life (with the exception of my fiancee who is my rock and our furry children), and heading back to the boring state I temporarily reside in.  Because of this I firmly believe in reincarnation.  When I come back in the next life I want to be born rich, not have to be a slave and live in the sunny state of California.  Give me a teacup chihuahua.  I don’t care.  I just want the rich California lifestyle.  Ha ha.

Now I mentioned there’s a lot to do up above.  That’s the problem.  There’s a slew of interesting things happening and the worst part about it is they are all happening at the same time.  Just remember like it or not you can’t do everything.  They don’t release the official Comic-Con programming schedules until two weeks before the event so you really can’t start preparing any earlier than that.  What I recommend is that you use the official Comic-Con phone app and/or print out paper schedules so you have those handy and prepare early.  There’s going to be a bunch of things going on within the city of San Diego too competing for your time and attention as well.  So what I essentially do is I go hour by hour and make a schedule of things I am hopeful to attend each day.  I then go back over it and I make a “Plan B” because you are naive if you think you’re going to get into everything you want to first.

Preparedness is the fundamental key to surviving the craziness of Comic-Con.  Speaking of craziness I didn’t even mention all the rad cosplay.  Wow!  Eat your heart out as I’m sure this year will see thousands of female attendees dressed like the infamous Harley Quinn or Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.  I can rest assured you can take that prediction to the bank and cash it now.  I heard there’s even a Harley Quinn cosplay group photo opportunity planned on the steps outside the Convention Center that Saturday.  I have to be there for that!  Truth be told too you never know who’s under all those cosplay masks.  Celebrities want to have fun just like the attendees do so more often than not they will dress in costumes and if you don’t check their name on their badges they wear, then you’ll never know that’s really Johnny Depp under that costume (true story).

As of last year Comic-Con started to mail the attendee badges out a month in advance, which is super cool.  You no longer have to get there super early on Wednesday, Preview Night, and stand in line for your badge.  You can now go straight to the line to get early access to the Exhibit Hall instead.  Ha ha.  Either way you’re going to have to stand in a line.  You didn’t think you’d escape doing that did you?   That reminds me!  Unless you’re hardcore into cosplay dress comfortably.  Comic-Con should not be a fashion statement.  What I mean by that is wear comfortable walking/tennis shoes.  You’ll be not only walking a lot, but standing too for hours in endless lines.  You can thank me later for that priceless advice.  So I mentioned your badges are mailed to you.  This year they came in a super cool box with a magnetic clasp, which protects the contents inside.  That said box is pictured below here.

Comic-Con 2017

Inside the box your badge comes housed in you’ll find additional goodies such as an official Comic-Con 2017 lapel pin and a booklet (pictured below), which contains many helpful tips to prepare you for the craziness of it all.  In my opinion, the Comic-Con folks are really doing a spectacular job this year of knocking it out of Petco Park in preparing attendees for everything as much as possible.  Kudos and thank you to them.  So before I stop writing here (as you can see I can do so forever) I wanted just to leave you with my Top 5 basic tips, check off what you can expect on your checklists and how to plan accordingly for everything as much as humanly possible.

Comic-Con 2017

  1. DO NOT lose your Comic-Con attendee badge.  It is your lifeline.  Make sure you carry your photo ID with you at all times in case the Comic-Con police do random checks.  If you lose said badge, you will be charged a fee to replace it so don’t lose it.  Common sense, right?  You’d be surprised!
  2. Your Comic-Con lanyard, Events Guide (schedule of programming and events), Quick Guide (map of where to find everything), Souvenir Book and your official Comic-Con swag bag will be available for pick-up in the Sails Pavillon.  They are all free so make sure you stop by and grab yours.
  3. Exhibit Hall hours are as follows.  Please note programming continues after 7 PM Thursday through Saturday.  Show hours are as follows: Wednesday (July 19) 6 to 9 PM, Thursday – Saturday (July 20-22) 9:30 AM to 7 PM and Sunday (July 23) 9:30 AM to 5 PM.
  4. I learned this next lesson the hard way many times.  Because there are so many bodies within the San Diego Convention Center your cellular devices’ battery drains quickly competing and searching for cell/wi-fi signals and whatnot.  So make sure you bring your charging cords each and every day as well as an external battery if you have one.  You can thank me later for that tip.  Truth be told, you also chew up a lot of your phone’s battery by using it out of boredom when waiting in endless lines so if you can, resist the urge and do what we used to do in the old days.  Talk to one another.
  5. Also from personal experience if you plan on trying to grab some of those Comic-Con exclusives, try to do it Preview Night if you have the opportunity to do so.  Otherwise, may the Force be with you trying to get the item the remaining four days as everyone and their mother will want what you have and supplies are severely limited on hand there.  Trust me!

So that’s basically it in a nutshell.  Obviously I’m not spilling all my secrets, but I think I gave you enough pointers up above as to what to expect of the craziness that awaits you should you be the lucky recipient of a Comic-Con 2017 attendee badge this year.  It’s even worse for us press because more often than not we line up exclusive interviews with the stars and attend exclusive celebrity press junkets thus making us miss the exciting panels you all hopefully get the chance to see firsthand.  Just remember to take a deep breath and just have fun.  You’re not going to get into everything you want to and see everything you want to see.  The quicker you can accept that fact, the more fun and entertaining the zaniness of Comic-Con will all be for you.  If all else fails, there’s always the Internet to re-live each crazy moment you may have missed.  Enjoy!


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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