How to Survive Comic-Con

Navigating the ginormous annual convention Comic-Con isn't for the faint of heart. These tips from seasoned pros will help.


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You Will Need

  • Schedule
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Carbs
  • Empty bag
  • Poster tube
  • Flexibility
  • Water bottles (optional)
  • Snacks (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Plan ahead

    Decide in advance what you most want to see because there's no way to do it all. The complete schedule is posted on about 2 weeks prior to the convention. For the latest information, subscribe to the Comic-Con newsfeed, follow them on Twitter, "like" their Facebook page, or download their free mobile app.

  2. Step 2

    Prepare for battle

    Dress comfortably to survive Comic-Con, especially when it comes to footwear: Almost every attraction requires standing in line, and waits can be several hours. And consider carbo-loading the night before: Comic-Con isn't a sprint; it's a marathon!

  3. Pack water bottles and snacks so you're not at the mercy of the overpriced and underwhelming food court options.

  4. Step 3

    Prepare to shop

    Bring cash; many vendors don't accept credit cards and the ATM lines can be long. Carry a bag for swag -- preferably one you can tote hands-free -- and an empty poster tube for artwork.

  5. Step 4

    Head to your favorite spots

    Arrive early to browse the main floor, where the smaller booths are featured; that area gets unbearably crowded by midday. And no matter what the schedule says, stop by your favorite exhibitors in person; some signings and events aren't announced in advance.

  6. Step 5

    Arrive early for popular panels

    If there's a popular panel you really want to see, consider attending the previous one to ensure a seat; except for VIP sections, rooms aren't cleared between panels.

  7. Step 6

    Go with the flow

    Be flexible. Though it's smart to have a plan to survive Comic-Con, it's even smarter to take advantage of the surprises you'll inevitably encounter.

  8. Comic-Con is nicknamed the "Nerd Prom."