One Hundred And Sixty Things We Learned At San Diego Comic Con(UPDATE)

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From Peter Svensson, Joseph Kyle Schmidt, Jeremy Konrad, Daniel Celko, Peter Sailer, Joe Glass, Rich Johnston, Joshua Stone, Marq Romero, Hannah Means-Shannon, David Dissanayake and Nikolai Fomich of Bleeding Cool.

  1. Van Jensen loves working for DC, so don't get it twisted.
  2. It's easy to make friends when you're waiting in a line over 1,000 people long.
  3. Exclusive toys? HA! HAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, right.
  4. Screw the vendors, go straight to the artists/writers and buy stuff. You might get a great sketch out of it.
  5. Don't wait until Sunday to get your commission started.
  6. Hall H is special, but is it worth camping out 24 hours in advance? I guess that's up to you.
  7. Always use a lanyard. One of the writers learned this the hard way.
  8. Didn't use a lanyard? Someone stole your pass? Tough shit. You're not getting back in and you will cry yourself to sleep wondering how you could be such a goddamn fool. And the answer is because you didn't use the lanyard. You asshole.
  9. The Rocket Girl hardcover is beautiful.
  10. Geoff Darrow has a special place in his heart when it comes to weapons attached by way of nipple piercings.
  11. Parking is reasonable if you're the Monopoly Man.
  12. Former Sonic writer Ken Penders has grandiose multimedia plans for The Lara Su Chronicles.
  13. Ex-/Current Military Bronies exist and are vocal.
  14. Homestuck cosplay is out, gender swapped Thor/Loki is in.
  15. The publishers of a licensed property can totally savage it at a panel with no recourse.
  16. You have to wait hours in line to get a ticket to wait hours in line to get a chance to buy a toy.
  17. George R.R. Martin is a valid cosplay choice.
  18. Jeremy "Finn" Shada doesn't know how to use a microphone properly.
  19. Hannah Means-Shannon works so much harder than anyone knows.
  20. Gatorade actually wasn't paying me for each mention.
  21. You can always depend on the kindness of comic publishers for last minute crash space.
  22. IDW savaged Pony continuity with how they dealt with crossing over from the mirror world.
  23. When you need one, you will not have a business card.
  24. A first time cosplayer can win at the Comic Con Masquerade for best construction.
  25. Scott Dunbier is the comic industry's Rolodex.
  26. Natalia Hernandez is going to rock the comic world in a decade.
  27. If you let Chris Roberson and Jamal Igle talk, awesome will ensue.
  28. Imperial by Steven T Seagle and Mark Dos Santos is Shakespearean in the best way.
  29. Everyone is going to miss Bob Wayne.
  30. You can make creative teams happen for a book without being an editor.
  31. Louise Simonson was the woman on the first House of Secrets cover featuring Swamp Thing.
  32. Tom Scioli is a mad man who will either burn out or transcend his human body.
  33. One last Chew crossover may happen.
  34. Ordering from subway could be the most stressful thing at the SDCC.
  35. Having a cute girl making puppy dogs eyes is the easiest way to get into a full panel.
  36. There is a Ghostbusters reference for every thing that happens at SDCC.
  37. You will always get accosted by a homeless person if you eat at a taco bell while at a convention.
  38. The late night taxis are always worth the money.
  39. If you only get the Blue Screen of Death in your hotel room, disconnect from the WiFi.
  40. Bathroom passes are just as good as they were in elementary school.
  41. The pizza sold inside tastes like it came out of a microwave dinner.
  42. No one can get through the Alien Isolation Experience the first time.
  43. If you use your laptop at a bar during SDCC, everyone will think you are important enough to talk to.
  44. Cafe 222 is the best place to get breakfast around.
  45. Rich Johnston's favorite X-Man is Maggot.
  46. Edgar Wright was Right.
  47. Jim Steranko has a policy – he only takes pictures with "beautiful ladies".
  48. On very rare occasion, Jim Steranko breaks that policy.
  49. Stan Lee thinks of Jim Steranko as the son he never had.
  50. Tensions between con goers and security continue to rise.
  51. Hyatt security will physically remove your drink from you past 2AM.
  52. Carrie Smith and Stephanie Lantry's "To the Power Against" is an awesome indie comic.
  53. Chris Miskiewicz is still the #222 most influential man in comics.
  54. Matt Ryan is going to make a great John Constantine. He has convinced me.
  55. Steven Amell's abs are more famous than he is.
  56. Bring a poster tube.
  57. Marvel should have its own corner of the convention center, trying to navigate anywhere near their booth is impossible.
  58. WWE fans are comic fans too. And they really love Sting.
  59. Rolling your clothes saves you space in your suitcase.
  60. When getting con swag, think about how you are going to get it home.
  61. If someone asks you if you are there for a screening, always say yes.
  62. The volunteers running the panel rooms are quite hilarious, and teach kids dirty jokes.
  63. Do things outside the con. Most of them are more fun anyway.
  64. Ads for Marvel's newest smash hit Agents of Shield are on San Diego trains everywhere.
  65. Chip Kidd will be the most stylish man at the con. Don't even try to compete.
  66. Chanting "CM PUNK" will not make him appear magically except when you're at the Balboa theater.
  67. The Nerdist Podcast is the best place to propose to your girlfriend.
  68. If there are no rafters in the room, Sting will use the back entrance.
  69. Besides Marvel Star Wars comics, DRM-Free option for publishers and GotG 2, there weren't any major announcements for comics or movies. What gives San Diego?
  70. Even if you don't buy anything, you can still blow through $250 on pretzels and personal pizzas.
  71. In all sincerity, Mark Waid is a kind, thoughtful professional.
  72. If you're looking to make a comic and you want to collaborate just talk to someone.Literally anyone. You're surrounded by 100,000 likeminded people. Go for it!
  73. Everybody smells like fish after awhile.
  74. Get a couple beers in a Welshman and youll be amazed at what he can do.
  75. It's surprisingly easy to get past the Constantine security team and walk to the con like a member of the cast.
  76. Be careful of the gates at car parks and and tram crossings: they are out to get you!
  77. About half of the Marvel Editorial team at SDCC are actually total hotties and no one knows!
  78. There's a new comic shop literally opened this week in the Gaslamp District that is just setting up and filled with friendly and enthusiastic staff. Its at Historic Wyatt Earp Building, 835 5th Avenue, 92101 called Boomshop. They're really great, so give them you're love and support, San Diego!
  79. John Cassaday is a huge Star Wars fan and is really excited to be working on the comic.
  80. There are people who will turn up to Comic-Con wearing snakes…live snakes.
  81. There are people who will turn up to Comic-Con wearing nothing at all.
  82. Jim Lee is turning 50, but doesn't look a day over 40.
  83. The gay guys at San Diego Comic Con love a bear and they will not leave you alone.
  84. Quentin Tarantino used to buy Marvel Black-And-White magazine comics so he could see boobs.
  85. You will bump into all the people you wanted to bump into at Comic Con in the last half hour of the show.
  86. You will bump into all the people you wanted to bump into at Comic Con in the first half hour of the show.
  87. Need sorting out? John Layman can sort you out.
  88. San Diego authorities clear the streets of hundreds of San Diegans sleeping rough with force. So that a thousand visitors can sleep rough outside Hall H instead.
  89. If people know you at the show, add a half hour when trying to get across the show floor.
  90. Large tips make you feel like a good person, even if you're a shit.
  91. No one realized Daniel Radcliffe was cosplaying as Spider-Man.
  92. Everyone realized Jack Black was the stormtrooper.
  93. Cosplay ≠ Consent
  94. Peggy Carter will be the most cosplayed character next year.
  95. Dan DiDio is not afraid to shake Bleeding Coolers by the hand, even if his PR person next to him is freaking out.
  96. If you want big ticket exclusives, wait till Sunday. You may miss out on some but you won't need to line up.
  97. The show organizers do a massive event, with so many people, exercised with precision and determination. What they achieve every year, for a non profit organisation, is stunning.
  98. There are lots of Friday parties. But don't skimp on the shrinking Eisners to go to them.
  99. Go to hotel lobbies and bars midday and see all sorts of interesting people having lunch or breakfast away from the crowds that you might not expect. Such as Joe Quesada  and Mark Millar…
  100. Stick with your friends. At the show they are your family and have your back.
  101. Always try and get a Bleeding Cool T-shirt. The biggest con exclusive of all!
  102. Boom! seem to sell more of certain comics at the show that in the direct market as a whole.
  103. Mile High Comics have several layers of carpet at their booth. We'll really miss them.
  104. This was the show that Bob Wayne lost his sense of detachment.
  105. Katie Cook loves her line.
  106. The Polish are coming! To Madefire!
  107. Jim Steranko charges for autographs, however not only do you get his signature he talks to each person for about 15 minutes.
  108. Steranko has the strongest handshake at the Con.
  109. Battlestar Galactica has nothing new coming out, but Richard Hatch still fights the good fight.
  110. Chuck Dixon will pretty much or less let you ask any question and answer it with style and class.
  111. The Walking Dead Escape is scary realistic.
  112. Through contributing to Bleeding Cool, you will make lifelong friendships.
  113. Rob Liefeld has beefy thighs.
  114. CCI think that only having 2-3 front doors open is adequate for 100,000 people to go in and out of the convention center.
  115. People are even nuttier than you think, with thousands sleeping out each night for Hall H and just to get into the building first.
  116. If you add thousands sweaty nerds who aren't showering for several days to a city next to the ocean that it has the affect of increasing humidity in the city and making it uncomfortable for everyone.
  117. The Walking Dead Escape is clearly a torture device to be used on nerds because why else would you have an event based around running that is tied to a comic book convention. (The Assassin's Creed Experience is likely in the same boat.)
  118. If you get the retailer spotlight in the souvenir book, but are 25-75% overpriced on your back issues, you may lose money on your 7 booths you rent and not come back next year.
  119. If you are 25-75% overpriced on back issues, people may not care if you don't comeback next year.
  120. At the Sin City 2 party, there was nothing sexy about a Suicide Girl (or anyone) doing a striptease in the Donnie Darko rabbit costume.
  121. If you see a Donnie Darko rabbit striptease, you will never be able to watch Donnie Darko again.
  122. Don't bother with Hall H and Ballroom 20, also you shouldn't try to get in line at the Funko booth because it is in a state of being perpetually closed.
  123. If you're a season behind on The Walking Dead,  SDCC is not a good place to go to not ruin surprises. (Thanks Funko for the Headless Herschel figure, hmm I wonder if he'll be back next season.)
  124. There is nothing more awesome than being seeing your kids experience SDCC for the first time watch one of them ask a question of the panel in front of over 1000 people.
  125. Image Expo is intense. So intense.
  126. George R.R. Martin will have fans waiting by his car. How do they even know where it is?
  127. Drinking is a favorite subject and activity for cast of Vikings–should've seen that coming.
  128. The BBC America booth is the new Hasbro.
  129. Getting priority seating in a TV panel is difficult but golden.
  130. The vast majority of BC reporters can liveblogs and do it well (even they didn't know that).
  131. Infinity gauntlets are huge and hard to travel with.
  132. SDCC exhaustion is much better with lots and lots of jelly babies.
  133. Don't try to cross the street outside the con on a Saturday. You could get to LA faster.
  134. More interviews will always turn up than you think you're doing at SDCC. Say yes.
  135. Having big breakfasts is actually a good idea before con despite not wanting to get up early.
  136. Boom knows how to handle the biggest signing rosters SDCC has seen.
  137. When del Toro comes on the floor, a signing becomes a major media event.
  138. Avatar booth is the coolest place to hang out – especially if you want to meet George R.R. Martin.
  139. You will never be able to get all the Doctor Who shirts you want–just too many.
  140. Con set up is a strange beautiful thing as long as you don't get run over by high speed mini construction vehicles.
  141. Panels are still the best place to hang out and relax.
  142. It's alarmingly easy to get into Hall H on Sunday afternoon.
  143. Del Toro swears almost as much as we do.
  144. Nothing can contravene the cold hard fact of what will fit into your luggage and what won't when packing to go home.
  145. It's too hot to wear jeans to SDCC. Don't do it.
  146. Strategize ahead about where and when to find food otherwise you will end up eating nuts and berries like Rich Johnston.
  147. Audacity is rewarded at comic con when it comes to talking with creators and celebrities.
  148. Rocket Racoon wins cosplay and exclusives.
  149. Offsite events are getting so big that you can't move around the city.
  150. Assassins Creed will shave you. But you'll have to wait 2 hours even if you have an appointment.
  151. Gotham will try to kill you and you'll jump right in.
  152. If possible, don't come to SDCC already tired.
  153. If you think a person in a bar looks a lot like a star but not quite, it probably really is them.
  154. BC reporters really are the coolest. And they are everywhere, so if you know them, there's always someone to talk to.
  155. What happens at SDCC is the result of a huge amount of preparation and precision.
  156. Don't put your head down on the bed "just for a minute". You will fall asleep in your clothes every time.
  157. Barbeque and fried food is absolutely the perfect way to end a week of con mayhem and exhaustion, but it will put you to sleep immediately.
  158. You will talk more at SDCC than you do in several months of "normal life".
  159. Tim Seely works insanely hard.
  160. Dave McKean still prefers a pencil and paper at the end of the day.

Addendum:

We had a few late-comers to the list, so here are some extra observations from our ranks:

  1. Save the last few hours of Sunday for back issue diving.  There fantastic deals everywhere.
  2. Before you leave for the con, make a list if the comics you're looking for so you don't spend all your money.
  3. You will still spend all of your money.
  4. Stay away from the floor if you don't want to spend all of your money.
  5. You will still spend all of your money.
  6. Always, always, always, bring snacks with you. Good ones. Filling ones.
  7. Mile High Comics will be sorely missed.
  8. Scott Snyder is the most humble and gracious creator you'll ever meet.  Grant Morrison is the funniest.
  9. There are tyrants among the comic-con staff, but there are also angels. You will owe much of your success at SDCC 2014 to those angels.
  10. The Bleeding Cool team are f#%^*ing awesome, inspiring, and wholly lovely people.

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About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.
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