Having been to a bunch of comic cons in different states and with all kinds of people from around the world, I’ve noticed a few things that could make Salt Lake Comic Con even better and help, especially newer attendees, to really get the most out of comic con.
Attendees new to comics
“I don’t really read comics” was a common phrase I heard a lot of people say. Many have been introduced to comic characters through the popular Marvel and DC movies and that’s great! What I’m hoping is that now that you’ve realized you like Captain America or Batman or Black Widow, come take a look at some of the comics, see where it all started, read some of their excellent, classic and modern, stories. I’ll try and put together a blog post soon that gives some ideas on where to get started reading comics.
And if you are just there for the TV and movie celebrities, that’s great too. Just remember that a good portion of those TV and movies are actually based on a comic or graphic novel. And those comics and graphic novels in many cases are even better than the shows so it’s worth checking out a few and dipping your toe in the comic water. There really are some amazing comics & stories out there to be discovered.
Once you’ve found out how awesome reading comics is, buy some! I counted only seven vendors in the entire artist alley that were selling comics (that’s a very low amount compared to most Con’s I’ve been to) but that’s okay. What was a little disturbing when I talked to these comic vendors (some with some really interesting independent ideas/stories and great comic art) was how poorly they were selling. No one was buying comics! Along with that cool Thor print you have your eye on, maybe drop a couple of bucks on an original comic story next time. You just might read the next big thing before anyone else has even heard of it.
Strollers are not compatible with Comic Con
Hopefully most parents that brought strollers realized after a day of fighting the packed crowds that strollers and comic cons are not very compatible. I saw too many strollers blocking crowd paths and running over toes and into heels. I saw a lot of frustrated stroller drivers. Try a baby backpack instead. The more floor space you can give to crowd movement, the better off everyone will be.
Be patient with staff
99% of the staff helping to run the con are volunteers. They usually volunteer to get a free pass to the show since they are fans themselves. So before you rage against the staff machine, consider taking a deep breath and remembering they are fans too, under a lot of pressure, over-worked, underpaid, and usually hungry and tired. Go easy and remember that everyone is doing their best to make the experience a great one for all attendees.
Remember kids attend also
When considering if you should cosplay with little-to-no costume, consider there are also young kids attending the show as well. Unfortunately, comics have a history of objectifying women so sometimes it can be hard, especially for women, to find a female superhero who actually wore more than just a metal bra and panties but see what you can make do with because there are a lot of kids that attend the show as well. In addition, any artists who are painting sexually-charged nudes, hardcore violence, or sex, throw a few post-its up to do a little censoring for the kids.
Comic Con is an amazing experience and most that attend for the first time can’t wait to come back the next year. And it can be even better.