What a long day, and I wasn’t at the convention center either! Today, my family decided to check out Legoland in Carlsbad. We borrowed my brother-in-law’s rental car and headed out around 9:30am. On the way, we got a crèpe breakfast and some coffee which helped wake me up a bit. Aiden had been fussy again this morning, so I wasn’t sure how Legoland was going to go.
Back at it in the wee hours of the morning. The other Shortboxed crew have been waiting in the Hall H line since yesterday morning. I applaud them because they essentially lost all day Thursday of panel offerings, exclusive and autograph hunting, and shopping possibilities.
In Norse mythology (or simply just Thor continuity in many of our readers’ cases), Valhalla is where Asgardian warriors go to in the afterlife when they have died honorably in combat – it is their reward for a life well-lived. Hall H is Valhalla for San Diego Comic-Con geeks.
We battle all night, fighting off hoards of line cutters, the growl of hunger pains, the shiver of the pre-dawn sky and the sister of death herself, sleep. For those that survive the long, grueling night, they are gifted with entering the majestic Hall H.
Many have heard horror stories about camping out for Hall H – all the questions and confusion about when and where to line up, what time you can enter, who’s allowed in and out, something about wrist bands and an unofficial line, and so on. Once you do figure out when and where the line starts (we don’t even know ourselves, and we likely won’t find out until the actual con itself), the next important thing to do is figure out how to make your overnight campout pleasant enough so it doesn’t feel like you’re sieging a castle for six months.
There’s no way around it – human beings are filthy, germ-spreading animals. We use our hands to touch everything, we sneeze and cough in public, and some of us simply have bad hygiene habits. All of this gets cranked up at comic book conventions like SDCC. Imagine 130,000 germ factories all squeezed into one place, side-by-side, for four and a half days and you’ll begin to see the importance of taking preventive measures.
At a mega-con like San Diego Comic-Con, everyone is too busy and too stressed to think about personal hygiene and proper manners, so it’s up to you as an attendee to make sure you don’t catch or spread any germs, otherwise known as “con crud.” It happens to the best of us, no matter how extreme your measures are, because there’s nothing you can really do if the person sitting next to you in Hall H sneezes on your face and you have to spend the next 8 hours pressed up next to them.
Thankfully, over the years I’ve learned some best practices to at least lower the chances of catching con crud. I personally follow each of these rules myself, so they’ve been through many real-world tests:
We were lucky enough to make the trip up from San Francisco to the Pacific Northwest to attend Emerald City Comicon for the first time – and it was definitely worth it. Considered part of the “Big 3” of comic book conventions among San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con, it drew over 80,000 attendees from all over the country (and even overseas). It’s not just comic books, however, but all things comic book and pop culture related – dealers, panels, celebrities, gaming, creators, cosplay and more. We managed to soak all of it up, and had a blast!
We wanted to attend ECCC for several reasons, but mainly because we’ve never been before and we’ve been to nearly every California convention already. While our main focus is comic books (obviously), we still like to attend panels, meet celebrities, do some gaming and sometimes cosplay ourselves. If comic book conventions are buffets, we like to sample a bit of every dish.
In this recap and review, we touch on different aspects of the show: