About the Post

Author Information

Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

A Canadian At Comic-Con

When you tell someone you’re going to San Diego Comic-Con – the biggest, most international “geek” convention in the world – you tend to get one of two responses. Either the person looks at you, a little bewildered, and asks, “That’s a real thing? They didn’t just make that up for The Big Bang Theory?”, or they light up, incredibly excited for you. You immediately feel a sense of kinship with that second type of person – they understand how big an experience Comic-Con is, and how cool it is to be able to attend. Now imagine being there, surrounded by thousands and thousands of people all exactly like that second type of person. It’s an exciting, inclusive feeling, and it’s one I was lucky enough to be a part of for four days this July.

Credit Collider.com

San Diego Comic-Con (or SDCC) is an international convention that features comic books, anime, movies, video games, and television. What once started out as something small and niche has expanded to become a huge draw for both small and large fandoms alike. Movie studios and television shows put on panels and signings to promote their upcoming projects and reveal exclusive footage and info; comic book publishers display retrospectives on comics of the past and deliver exclusives on what’s coming in future issues. Artists, famous and amateur, display their work and take commissions while companies that specialize in every type of merchandise imaginable set up booths on a giant exhibit floor. Fans of thousands of different things can come together to bond over their favourite characters, shop for exclusives, and see celebrities, artists, and creative geniuses in person. Anyone can find something to their tastes at SDCC. It’s one of the most overwhelming experiences I’ve ever taken part in, and I wouldn’t trade that opportunity for the world.

Earlier this year, a friend and I decided to attend Comic-Con on a whim – it was a “I’d love to be able to go someday!” thought that we chose to turn into a reality. We soon learned, however, that this was no simple feat. Badges for SDCC go on sale months in advance, and they sell out in minutes. But technology was on our side that day, and we walked away from badge sales with two things: four-day passes to San Diego Comic-Con, and the lesson that if we were going to do this, we needed to do our research and do it right.

Credit MTV

Fortunately, there are plenty of online sources out there to help the first-time Con-goer. SDCC’s official site posts maps, rules, and schedules for the weekend as the event draws closer every year. Twitter, podcasts, and fan-run blogs – such as my favourites, the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog, Crazy 4 Comic-Con, and When Nerds Attack – give helpful tips on ways to maximize your SDCC experience, and I know my time at Comic-Con would have been far less fulfilling without them. Thanks to their advice, I got to see panels from my favourite shows, find new material to fall in love with, meet some actors I really admire, party after nightfall, and watch the people around me have moments that made their day. I owe a lot to those kind souls who answered my questions, put out “How To” posts, and shared their past Con experience to help make my first an amazing one.

Comic-Con is a whirlwind four days, and one of the things I loved most about my first time is that my experience is solely mine – no two people have exactly the same Comic-Con trip, and nor should they. There are so many events, panels, signings, activities, encounters, and shopping opportunities that I’m a firm believer in everyone customizing their Con to suit their own tastes. You’re in line for hours and dealing with huge masses of people every day – why do that for things you aren’t truly passionate about? There were things that I wanted to see that were happening at the same time as something that interested my friend, so we split up, did our own thing, and came together again afterwards. With the fun sense of community I found in being around other fans who all enjoy the same things as me, I didn’t feel one bit lonely. I didn’t feel like I stuck out at all for being alone. I got to have the Con experience that I was hoping for, and I’d encourage everyone to do the same.

Credit Media 10 News

One of the highlights of SDCC 2013, for me, was getting the opportunity to meet the cast of Teen Wolf. It’s a deliciously addicting summer show with a fun cast, so when I heard they’d be doing an autograph signing, I was eager to be a part of it. I lined up in the wee hours of the morning for a chance to draw a winning ticket to the signing, hoping that I’d luck out. They don’t do signings on a first-come first-serve basis, but I wanted to be near the front to have the best chance for the draw. I got to meet other fans of the show and pass the time talking about our favourite episodes and bits of mythology. I was one of the first few people in line, and when it came time to draw a ticket from the fishbowl, the woman in charge asked me what time I’d lined up. “One in the morning,” I told her, too tired to bother feeling sheepish. “All to get a ticket for the signing?” she asked me, shocked. I nodded. The woman gave me a smile as she pulled two tickets from the bowl, checked them… and then handed me a winning one. I was thrilled! Thanks to that woman’s kind heart, I got to have some awesome moments with the delightful members of the Teen Wolf cast – memories that still make me grin when I recall them. It’s moments like those that have me eager to attend Comic-Con next year, too!

Credit LA Times

Whether it’s getting to see exclusive footage from a movie you’re excited about, watching your favourite artist draw something right before your eyes, showing off your hard work on your cosplay, or meeting the cast of your favourite TV show, San Diego Comic-Con can turn into four days of memories, photos and stories that you’ll never forget. It’s thrilling to be in the same room as thousands of other fans, experiencing and supporting media and content that you’re passionate about. If you have the chance to go to Comic-Con, go. Indulge in the things you love the most. Meet new people. Stick around for panels or events that you aren’t familiar with – you might wind up walking away a fan of something new, as I did several times that weekend. Enjoy SDCC for everything it has to offer – the good and the bad. Embrace the fact that you’ll barely sleep and that your feet will get sore and that you’ll get sick of crowds, because you’ll get to enjoy fandom in a way few others will be able to do. Let your inner geek out proudly – chances are, it’s never felt so good.

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