5 Ways to Comic Con: Part Three
By George Rose
August 31, 2017
Princess Leia’s death lit a fire in me. I decided I needed to start taking conventions even more seriously. Yes, I understand what’s wrong with that statement. I understand it’s a pretty ridiculous concept for a grown man over 30 to be worshiping false prophets or getting upset when he finds damage on the boxing of his collectibles. Yes, I know “collectibles” is a less embarrassing way of saying “toys” and, no, I don’t think I’m fooling you. I don’t know why I care more about Hollywood than sports, I just do. I don’t know why Carrie Fisher wanted to personally punish me for not seeing her in October 2016 and had to go ahead and die so I would NEVER have the chance to see her again… but she did. I’m just here to learn a lesson from that missed opportunity and pass it on to you folks. So sit back and enjoy some of the lessons from Convention #7: Philadelphia Comic Con Day 1, Thursday, June 1, 2017.
One of the first things you want to do before each convention is look up the list of which celebrities will be attending. This list starts being built months in advance, grows over time as new celebs are added, and is then modified a bit just before the Con with the final list of famous people. Some cancel as scheduling conflicts arise, some go from planning to attend multiple days to cutting down to just one, and some call out at the last second because they’re sick. Until you find yourself waiting in one of the lines to meet the celebrity of your dreams and you actually see that person, there is no guarantee you will meet them. Hell, you could see them at their booth, wait an hour in line, inch yourself all the way to the front, and then their lunch break comes up or the autographing timeframe is up or the Con is closing so you miss your chance.
The point is, if you know who you want to see on Sunday then you know what to look for on Thursday. If you don’t have the Funko Pop you want to get signed in advance, then you don’t have as much time to accidentally damage the box. Sometimes you can find the right Pop with zero damage just a few moments before the signing occurs. That’s the joy of the Con, the good old fashioned treasure hunt! But the Con is only as good as the company you bring. On this most recent convention in Philadelphia, I had plans to go on Thursday (best shopping day) and Sunday (stupid Free Kid Sunday). My plan was to do most of my shopping on Thursday and then do autographing on Sunday. More memorabilia is available on the first day and, even though Friday and Saturday are always the best for celebrity sightings, Sunday is considered a better celeb day than Thursday. The plan for my two days made the most sense and it was only a matter of executing that plan. My biggest mistake… bringing my fiance again.
As I’ve said before, my schmoopy love bug has absolutely ZERO INTEREST IN SHOPPING. I convinced him the one time he went before was a disaster because of Free Kid Sunday and because we went with other friends so I couldn’t focus on just things he would be interested in. Since Philly is closer than New York to where I live, it was also viewed as a simpler partial-day trip instead of a full day that includes a combined 3+ hours of traveling. My fiance, Joe, came… he saw… and he conquered NOTHING. He complained the whole time and, once again, swore off the Con. Joe’s lack of appreciation for Comic Con aside, at least I came prepared.