A Newbie’s Guide to Surviving Comic Con
This past weekend, I attended the 10th annual Boston Comic Con at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. It was my first large scale convention and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I went with my boyfriend, Donny, and I decided I wanted to write about my experience for M365. I decided to write a sort of guide for newbies, and I hope that it helps and prepares you for the next comic con that comes to town.
Downsides of the day included: not taking nearly as many pictures as I wanted to, or buying as much from the vendors as I thought I would. There was A LOT to take in, and at times there was sensory overload. It was hot, there were a lot of people to weave through, too many celebrities to meet and not enough time, stress to find the right queue for celebrity photo ops, and so many cosplayers to look at.
With that being said, I had the time of my life and I don’t have any major complaints. There’s nothing like being surrounded by people who share the same love for Rick & Morty or Doctor Who or whatever fandom you belong to. I felt right at home.
The following is a list of Do’s and Don’t’s that I have compiled about surviving your first comic con; things I learned from my own experience. Please feel free to comment any suggestions that you have!
Go for multiple days. My boyfriend Donny and I bought Saturday only passes, as we weren’t sure what to expect. It turns out, there is so much to do that you need at least two days to try and see everything you want to. Just standing in line for photo ops and celebrity booths took up a lot of time, but it was worth it. There are also different panels to attend and hundreds of vendors to visit.
Let your freak flag fly. Seriously. Don’t let anything hold you back, especially fear, because comic cons are a safe space. It’s a gathering of people who love the same things you love, and the community is overwhelmingly positive.
Take lots of pictures. But don’t let it distract you from enjoying everything in the moment. I regret not taking as many pictures because there were a lot of really cool cosplayers, but I also don’t mind because I was able to live in the moment and take everything in. Plus, walking around trying to navigate through the crowds with your phone out isn’t exactly the best way to get around.
Splurge. I’m so happy that I paid extra to get pictures taken with some of my favorite celebrities. I couldn’t pass up probably the only opportunity for me to meet Tim Curry, or stand next to my favorite Doctor and Companion from Doctor Who. I got to meet my Overwatch main, D.Va, voiced by Charlet Chung, and took about fifteen selfies with John Barrowman. These are the pictures I treasure the most from the con.
Drink lots of water and wash your hands often. The aftermath of going to a con can lead to “con flu” or “con crud.” Essentially, having that many people in that amount of space means a lot of germs. It can also get hot while standing in the queue to meet a celebrity, and you wouldn’t want to end your day early by passing out on the concrete floor.
Freeze up in front of celebrities. My day started off with visiting Rocky Horror Picture Show’s very own Magenta, Patricia Quinn. I was nervous and made a total fool out of myself. Looking back, it’s not the most awkward I’ve ever been in my life, but it felt pretty bad at the time. She was lovely and didn’t laugh at me when all I could muster was: “I wanted to come over to say hi. So, hello!” and she made small talk with me, stating she was in an episode of Doctor Who while pointing to the T.A.R.D.I.S. on my shirt. I walked away choking back tears because I was so frustrated with myself. The thing is, she’s just a regular person, who also happened to act in one of my favorite movies: Rocky Horror Picture Show. The celebrities are there to meet you and share the love of their fandom with you.
Stress about what you’re wearing. Some people cosplay and some people wear t-shirts. I went for the latter, mostly to be comfortable and avoid the stress of trying to put together an impressive Doctor Who cosplay that would wow Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and John Barrowman. I opted for a shirt with the T.A.R.D.I.S. on the front which did me well. When I walked into the photo op with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, Matt Smith said “nice shirt!” and I tried my best not to fan-girl.
Take pictures of, or touch cosplayers without their consent. One of the great things about this specific convention is that they have a strict no-harassment policy. There were posters everywhere that said cosplay does not mean consent. It felt like a safe space. Plus, every cosplayer that I encountered had no problem with stopping to take a picture after they were asked.
For more information about the Boston Comic Con visit their website: here.
I can’t wait to attend my next comic con in September at the Granite State Comic Con, in New Hampshire. More information about the Granite State Comic Con, visit their website: here.