I've been to the San Diego Comic Con eight times, this year will make nine. whoop! whoop! So if you're lucky enough to go, here are some tips.
Go with friends if possible. Having someone else do a Starbucks run, get an autograph, sketch, hold your place in line while you run to the bathroom is extremely helpful.
Don't bother waiting in the mezzanine to get in on Preview Night, the doors downstairs will open once that room clears out which is usually 15 minutes. Your ass will thank you.
Stay away from the fat chicks dressed as Klingons. Nuff said.
Once you get your program schedule, highlight what you want to see; if you have a PDA or an iphone all the better. BE A REAL NERD!
Don't put on a Naruto hat unless you're under 12.
Don't worry about looking like a dork by taking off your Comic Con badge when you leave, there are over 125,000 people there for the Con. Congratulations, you're no longer in the minority.
If you want to score tons of freebies at the con bolt over to the TokyoPop boothe, they always have a huge ass bag that you can load up. Once the Con is over, you can throw it all away.
If you're looking to break into the industry ... bathe. Come to think of it, even if you aren't trying to become a comic book artist, bathe. Please, I have to stand next to you in line. Dress like a professional. Act professional. Have a business card. If you just have pin ups, don't bother. It's hard enough to get into the industry with sequentials. They want to see how well you tell a story. This goes for colorists to.
If you're showing your portfolio, agree with whatever the person reviewing it says, don't defend it. Even if they confuse Spiderman for the Hulk. Shut up. Be open. They're the professional, not you. If they don't get it, you didn't sell it. Be respectful. You may be seeing the same person next year. God, I wish the publishers would all take a clue from DC and do what they do instead of having to wait for hours in a line that may get cut off.
Saturday if you want to see all the movie and TV stars you'll have to get in line early at Hall H. Really early. Like 4am early. And you won't be the first one in line. No joke people camp out allllll night. Bring a deck of cards, time will fly by sooo much faster. Hit Ralph's before you hit Hall H and buy a six pack of Coke, you'll make serious cash.
Charge your cell phone.
The best place to meet professionals isn't at the Con, it's at the bar.
Buy your next year's tickets at the con! It's selling out faster and faster each year, plus you get a discount.
Give blood. You get tons of free stuff. Do some good. And whatever you don't want, usually will sell instantly on ebay.
Bring a poster tube. Great for original art, posters, and hitting some bozo in the head that cuts in front of you in line.
Don't wear flip flops. Your feet will thank you.
If you aren't a professional, the Eisners are B O R I N G !
If you decide to do the 440 around the convention avoid the middle aisles. They suck. It's like a nerd cattle drive.
Don't kick yourself for not bringing enough cash, you'll never bring enough cash.
Hit the ATM BEFORE you hit the Con, the line at the Con goes on till next year's con. There's a Ralph's, Well Fargo downtown.
Don't bother buying food at the con. It's way overprice and will give you gas. There is a McDonald's downtown and a big ass food court at Horton Plaza ... come to think of it, those places will still give you gas but you won't be paying $12 for a burger.
Well, that's all I can think of. I have a few secrets especially about getting hotel rooms easily but I'll only divulge those secrets under torture or cash.