Surviving Comic-Con: A How-To Guide.

In addition to being a world-class bellman/blogger, The Hook is – much to his wife’s eternal dismay – a fan boy extraordinaire.

And so with the imminent arrival of comic convention season, here are a few tips and guidelines that should prove helpful to anyone brave enter another dimension; one of sights and sounds unlike any you have ever encountered.


This is the single most important piece of advice I can convey; if you’re driven into a murderous rage by the sight of grown men and women dressed as fantasy icons, a comic book convention probably isn’t for you.

Fan Expo 2011

Fan Expo 2011 (Photo credit: SteFou!)

That having been said, I can understand just why some people are put off by the following sights…

  • Fan boys who squint in the harsh light of day. The sun is much brighter than the fluorescent lights in their parents’ basement.
  • Portly gentleman in tight-fitting Batman t-shirts. FYI: the blood around their mouths is most likely their own; it’s tough chewing through those hospital restraints. Or so I’m told.
  • Fans engaged in a philosophical debate as old as time; Kirk or Picard. Don’t get too close, people have been hospitalized over less at these events.
  • People – of both genders – whose “costume” is actually body paint. This is as scary as it sounds.

But if you’re still planning on attending a ‘con you’re going to need to add a few items to your “utility belt”. And no, I’m not apologizing for that pun, so get over it!


Thousands of fans crammed into one space is bad enough, but when you factor in exhibit space, celebrities and vendors, you run the risk of dehydration taking you out before the guy in the Boba Fett costume who you outbid for those “naked pics” of Carrie Fisher.

By the way, a bottle of “‘con water” will usually run you close to $5, so for God’s sake, bring your own!


I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one, do I? 


Conventions are all about the celebrities; the most stoic individual will find themselves reduced to a quivering mass of giggling jelly once they acquire the autograph of one of their favorite stars. Unfortunately these days you have to sell a kidney or rob a bank to pay for a signature or photo!

Nevertheless, you’ll want to preserve that keepsake and this is where the  large envelope and a comic book backing board come into play. After all, the last thing you want is to arrive home, crash on the couch and open your bag to discover your $80 William Shatner pic had been crumpled beyond recognition.


You’ll discover loads of unanticipated treasures at a ‘con – and they don’t come cheap! And let’s not forget lunch – hunger and dehydration are the enemy – and parking prices which seem to rise dramatically whenever a convention or sporting event are taking place. Funny how that works, right?

I’m certain I’ve forgotten a tip or two, but the essentials are here. Just remember, conventions are a blast – if you’re prepared in mind and body, that is!

So have fun, and keep an eye out for The Hook, okay?


Niagara Falls Comic-Con 2012

June 9. 2012 10 A.M – 7 P.M.
Scotiabank Convention Centre
Niagara Falls. Ontario. Canada

For full details, click here, fan boys and girls!

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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45 Responses to Surviving Comic-Con: A How-To Guide.

  1. wherethedaytakesme says:

    These are good tips Hook, thanks. 🙂

  2. Scriptor Obscura says:

    The Comicon people should be paying you for giving them so much free advertising and exposure here on your blogs! Or maybe they already are…? I am sure that they would appreciate you letting them know that you are giving them so much free advertisement here on your blog, and you might even get some free stuff or special tickets out of it! Who knows, right?

    • The Hook says:

      I’ve been awarded media accreditation – with no strings attached,by the way! I’m just glad to support a ‘con in my own backyard!

  3. I’ve never been to a full-blown comic-con, but I’ve always wanted to. Thank you for the advice! Especially the cardboard. That’s solid wisdom right there. 🙂

    Have an awesome weekend Hookster!

  4. twindaddy says:

    I can’t believe people pay that much for an autograph from Shatner….I’d be embarrassed.

  5. susielindau says:

    I probably won’t make it, but make sure to get a lot of pictures for us!

  6. Sounds like the most fun a person can have during a nightmare……… Have a great time my friend!

  7. You’ve got me looking forward to it as much as you are…!!! and I’m not even going…!!! 😉
    Have a blast…. as if you need anyone to tell you that…!!! 😉

  8. Wow.. that is probably the last place I would have thought of going but now that you’ve described it, I think I would go just to see the people!! Have fun!!

  9. kewsmith says:

    I’m having a bit of a panic attack just picturing all those people. I don’t want to get smashed up against people only dressed in body paint. But I bet it’s a blast for the fans.

  10. Woman says:

    LOL!!! I’d love to be up high looking down watching a comic-con!!!!

  11. munchow says:

    I am not sure I would go to the comic book convention as a participant in comic disguise, but I would love to go there as a photographer. I most highly enjoyed you reference to getting out of the hospital restraints. On the other hand I am sad to read that you well be leaving this blog in open space. But fully understandable. And I will be looking for you wherever you go.

  12. One more warning: We paid a small fortune for Comic-Con tickets just to hear Michael Dorn speak AND HE CANCELLED. There was no notice outside where we bought our tickets, and we were most pissed.

  13. TBM says:

    I think I need to witness this once in my life.

  14. Val says:

    Very sensible tips, Hook! Just wondering what your costume will be?

  15. raisingdaisy says:

    Sounds like you enter a whole other world at ComiCon! And get to experience one wild ride! (Perfect for The Hook, I might add…. 😉 )

  16. Smaktakula says:

    Although i haven’t had the opportunity to go to a con in many, many years, it seems like things have changed from what I’ve seen/read. So I say, if you’ve got the physique to pull off body paint, go for it!
    Sadly, this excludes me.

  17. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    We’re still a few months out from our Con! In the 90 minutes Ba.D. tried to get us tickets last weekend, Saturday spots sold out. He was then only able to get two Friday spots for four people. He offered the other to a good friend, naturally, as I’d just said, “I’ll be fine if I don’t get tickets!” It’s getting to be that the greatest hassle is getting equipped to get into the Con–and I don’t mean with tasers or similar! Just the tickets. 😉

  18. The Guat says:

    Portly gentlemen in tight fitting Batman shirts and aspirin…awesome!

  19. Pingback: To All MY Friends Out There….. | You've Been Hooked!

  20. Pingback: The Scorpion Queen « For You, Daddy!

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