Getting Ready for Comic-Con International: San Diego 2012 - Yes, Already

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jerry Robinson and Mark Evanier
Yes, it's only February - but February isn't too soon to begin to consider July's Comic-Con in San Diego. Anyone who has attended within the last decade knows it, and the strange aspect is that many of those who know it also find themselves becoming tense about what is, year upon year, a delightful mix of adrenaline and unexpected pleasures. The catch that makes many tense is the uncertainty over what is to come. So it's time to take a look at a few suggestions and to solicit even more from those who know what's what. (By the way, one of the most expert of those who know what's what is Mark Evanier, whom the convention drafted long ago to evoke anecdotes and other information from those who have made the comics industry what it is. If you have not made it a point to attend his panels, make this your year to do so. He is also a prime source of general advice about attending the convention, and you'll find that and more at his website. Don't miss that, either!) Anyway, in the midst of making my own plans, I've so far come up with suggestions to myself that I'll set down here for the record.
(1) Plan ahead. Look at the convention map, the San Diego map, the convention schedule, etc. Note whatever is of interest to you.
(2) Don't let #1 stop you from preparing to seize the opportunity, if something that looks like fun offers itself. Years and years ago, Don and I realized that we were growing so tense over planning that we decided to relax at the next Comic-Con and just enjoy whatever happened. We had a resultant relatively stress-free event that was packed with surprise encounters we'd have never experienced, had we gone with an agenda so strict that it didn't allow us to take time to hang out with nice people.
(3) Consider what to pack. If you want photos, take your best camera; it's not as though you'll see these folks all together somewhere else. Not to be morbid - but this photo is the last one I was ever able to take of Jerry Robinson. (And I love my digital camera and have since added a telephoto lens to the one I had last year - but don't forget to stick some extra memory cards in your pocket. I actually had to walk half a mile back to my hotel room last year to grab one I'd left there, when I realized the one in my camera was full.)
(4) Sign up for Twitter and begin to follow people you care about. Then check it during the show. Sometimes, folks will Tweet about where they are, what they're doing, and what news they've learned. It's a pop-culture festival, after all.
What have I forgotten?
And, before many minutes had gone by, Mark Engblom reminded me of his invaluable tip sheet.


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