5 Ways to Comic Con: Part Five
By George Rose
September 13, 2017
That leaves four other celebs I care about on Saturday. I don’t have a shirt for The O.C. (sorry Willa) and I don’t have a shirt for Monte Carlo (sorry Katie). I do have Batman and Superman shirts, though. Oh, wait a second… The Justice League movie is coming out soon! That has Batman, Superman and the Flash, all of which are also currently appearing in variety of different TV shows. Since the Justice League movie is coming out, merchandise for the comic team-up has been readily available. It’s not a problem that I’m not wearing any of the individual DC show shirts because the Justice League shirts I have are from the comics, not the movie. Everybody loves the classic drawings and I have just the shirt to help spread the DC comic book love.
Way to Prep #3: Autographables
Now that you know who you care about, you can know what to buy in advance to have ready for signing. Even though I want to meet a celebrity for an unrelated reason, sometimes the best thing to get signed is from the reason the celeb is attending (it could be worth more money later). Case and point: neither Monte Carlo or The O.C. have memorabilia worth signing, to me anyway. I don’t do posters and headshots are kinda bland. As you have learned from the article series, I’m obsessed with Funko Pops. Here is what I have purchased in advance to get signed: Stephen Amell (Arrow & Casey Jones Funko Pops); Robbie Amell (Firestorm Funko Pop); Katie Cassidy (Black Canary Funko Pop); Willa Holland (Speedy Funko Pop); Brandon Routh (Superman & Todd Ingram Funko Pops); David Mazouz (Batman Funko Pop).
Now that you know what I deem worth autographing, here’s what I’ve learned about where to get them. Ebay is the best place for the exclusive Funko Pops (the ones with stickers on the box). Ebay sellers are usually collectors and take proper care of the Funko Pops when shipping them. Amazon, however, was a total nightmare. I had to return several damaged Pops and buy them again from Ebay. Amazon is better than Ebay though when it comes to returns and non-exclusives. Walmart is the best though for cheap Pops because you can do store-pickup and immediately return the ones you don’t want as you pick up the ones you do. Amazon selection is better than Walmart but no store pick-up. Then you have the off-line options. The stores that carry exclusive Funko Pops are Hot Topic, FYE, Gamestop and Barnes & Noble. Other stores have some exclusives but these are the main stops on my weekly shopping tour.
Way to Prep #4: Packing
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again: your backpack is your best friend at Comic Con. Your friends won’t carry your stuff and there’s a good chance some of the vendors don’t have bags. In your backpack, you should have something to drink, a snack, some ziplock bags (I put small things like magnets and pins in there so they don’t get lost), and more large bags. Every time I purchase something, I want it to have its own bag so I can remember how many times I made a purchase (it helps later when reviewing my credit card statement). Each vendor goes into one small bag, like you’d find at Walmart. Once you have a few small bags, it gets uncomfortable to hold. That’s when four or five small bags gets placed into the one giant plastic bag (I like the ones from Hot Topic), also conveniently bundled up into my backpack. Then throw in some of the other things your OCD requires of you; I pack Purell, tissues, a backup battery charger for my phone, gum, mints and maybe a flask, depending on my mood.
Way to Prep #5: Memories
What we forget more often than not is that this is all supposed to be for fun. Sure, autographs can sell for more money later and celebrities are these amazing god-like creatures that walk among us mortals. But this is a chance to take pictures with your friends, a chance to tell Robbie he is the hotter Amell, a chance to tell Willa you’re proud she didn’t follow Micha’s path to drug abuse, and a chance to tell Katie you loved her southern sass in Monte Carlo. These conventions aren’t just about autographs and buying merchandise, they are about meeting people you idolize while you’re with the friends you love. The list of celebrities is rarely the same so most of these opportunities are once-in-a-lifetime. Heck, after missing Carrie Fisher last October it’s safe to say any chance you have to meet a celeb could be your only chance.
It may not matter to most people but celebrities matter to me. Robbie taught me not all jocks are cruel dirtbags. Katie taught me that southern charm is as helpful as southern sass. Willa was in The O.C. and that show dominated my college years. Some of these people aren’t just celebrities. They are a part of you. Maybe not you but a part of me. They raised me and taught me most of what I know. And if I don’t use these chances to thank the people that helped me grow into the movie fanatic I am today, I may regret it for the rest of my life. I know missing out on the chance to meet Carrie Fisher when I was all but a hundred feet from her less than a year ago will haunt me forever. I have learned from many conventions mistakes and hope you enjoyed having them passed on. The lessons aren’t over though. Check back next week to see how five articles of prep is still probably not enough to save the Heroes or Villains of Fan Fest!