6:30 pm EST, July 8, 2018

San Diego Comic-Con: Preparing for SDCC 2018 as a first time attendee

By Lelanie Seyffer | Edited by Karen Rought

San Diego Comic-Con is just two weeks away and I’m already incredibly hyped. Time to go into full preparation mode!

Like most people interested in comics and comics-related properties, I consider San Diego Comic-Con the event of the year. Year after year, I’ve remained basically attached to social media during the four days of the convention, vibrating with excitement at all the amazing news that we get while also going nearly insane with jealousy as I scroll through the accounts of people who are lucky enough to attend.

So when I was given the opportunity to attend this year, I very quickly said yes (after literally shrieking out loud and scaring my dog).

Since it’s my very first year attending San Diego Comic-Con — and only my second con over all (the first being Unity Days this past January) — I’ve wanted to make sure that I’m as prepared as possible. Here’s how my pre-SDCC journey is shaping up so far.

How I’ve prepared

Done extensive reading

I googled basically every iteration of “how to prepare for comic-con” and then read every article listed up to the fifth page of the google search. Yes, that’s a little intense, but as my mother always reminded me — preparation is the key to success.

Bought 2 different portable battery chargers

The one thing everyone seems to agree on is the fact that you’ll likely run out of battery and that outlets are at a premium. With that in mind, I went ahead and bought two portable battery chargers — an Anker brand battery (which everyone seems to love) and some random other battery charger that I picked up at the airport the last time I flew.

Bought new shoes

All my research pointed to the fact that comfortable shoes are a must. I’ve spent the last two years in an office job, so I haven’t needed super comfortable shoes for quite some time. I’m also heading back to being a classroom teacher this Fall, so it was time for new comfy shoes anyway. I haven’t had too much time to test them out, so we’ll see if the price tag (and it was a pretty hefty price tag) was worth it.

Cleaned out my hiking backpack

I plan on loading it with lots of snacks, a water bottle, a light jacket and keeping plenty of room for the swag and stuff I’ll no doubt end up getting. And with that in mind…

Set aside cash for spending

This is an old bar trick of mine. When I get swept up in the moment, it’s very easy for me to just swipe my card and deal with the consequences later. To save my sanity and my bank account, I’m planning on only bringing in cash to buy cool shit with. I’m hoping this makes me a little more judicious in my purchases (because I probably don’t really need a fifth Wonder Woman poster…) and will keep me from any buyer’s regret.

Mentally started preparing for crowds

It’s interesting that I’m so excited for San Diego Comic-Con because it basically combines two of things that I hate the most — long lines and huge crowds. However, with some mental preparation and lots of meditation, I feel ready to tackle this most dreaded dislike of mine.

Rented an Air BnB a little north of San Diego

Part of this is cost — it’s just quite a bit cheaper to rent outside of the Gaslamp district. You can generally rent a place that’s also much nicer, though you are trading on convenience. The other part of this is that I’m a huge introvert, and I feel like the crowds would start to wear on me very quickly if I don’t have a quiet place to recharge. This is part of my journey that I’ll be most interested in seeing how I feel about after the con. Will the sense of peace and quiet be worth the loss of convenience? Guess we’ll see!

What I’m looking forward to

The weather

I know it seems like such a small, petty thing, but you try living through a Phoenix summer. I took my dog out for a walk the other day at 10 p.m. and it was still 106 degrees. It’s currently in the low 80s/upper 70s in San Diego, which seriously sounds like an absolute dream for my parched bones.

Meeting other fans

I’m an introvert who hates lines and crowds, but in short bursts that can be overtaken by my sheer enthusiasm for shows, books and movies that I love. I just love the energy in a room when you’re surrounded by people who are all super excited for the very thing you’re excited for. It’s why I love going to the first showing of a movie, why I participate in fandom online, and one of the things I’m looking forward to the most at San Diego Comic-Con.

Meeting my fellow Hypable staff

I recently had my one year anniversary here at Hypable. And while it’s been so much fun interacting with the rest of the staff through Slack and social media and getting to know them through their articles, San Diego Comic-Con will be the first time I’ll get to meet and hang out with many of my fellow writers. I’m super looking forward to getting to meet so many Hypable writers in person and giving them all hugs!

Panels on YA lit and inclusion in comics

Every year you hear about all the big panels at San Diego Comic-Con — the big reveals, the trailer drops, the new footage. But you don’t really hear about the smaller panels that run throughout the con. So, I was surprised and pleased when I saw the schedule and went through the wide variety of panels that are available. I’m most looking forward to ones that center on some of my favorite YA authors and those which will discuss diversity and inclusion in the media.

The WB/DC theatrical panel

If you have read any of my stuff here on Hypable, you know that I’m a huge fan of the DCEU. With HBO and Marvel skipping San Diego Comic-Con this year, I’m hoping that WB really brings it with their theatrical panel, and specifically with their DCEU film slate. We know for sure that we’re seeing the Aquaman trailer for the first time, that we’ll likely see something from Shazam and that Gal Gadot will make an appearance. As someone who has spent the past five years enthusiastically defending the DCEU from what feels like every single person I know, getting the chance to attend this panel feels like the greatest reward I could’ve gotten. Wish me luck in that Hall H line!

And hey, if any of you more seasoned San Diego Comic-Con vets have any more advice for me or wanna hang out in the Hall H line to talk about DC stuff, come find me on twitter — @lelaniecypher!

See you all on the other side of San Diego Comic-Con!

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