by Martin Bright
Comic Con is approaching at SUPER SPEED and it’s time to start packing. You are going to need comfy clothes, fresh SHARPIES, a bag, snacks, headphones, sunglasses, DEODORANT, energy drinks, a good pair of shoes, batteries, phone charger, pain medication, collectibles to get autographed, a hat, traveling pillow… That list could go on and on and on. When it comes to Comic Con packing, it’s up to everyone’s personal discretion for what to actually bring. Here are some specific items I will be carrying and a few recommendations on how to not lose your mind when prepping for Con.
Comfy clothes are a must. Wear clothes that handle weather and room temperature changes. Light layers are always a smart way to go and make for extra utilization out on the floor. For example a sweatshirt or zip-up hoodie can be used to keep you warm AND as a pillow; using a sweatshirt will save you from having to carry around a pillow or laying on hard surfaces while waiting in line.
Technically shoes fall under apparel, but they truly are SO IMPORTANT that they need their own section. There are all kinds of geeky-themed, athletic, and stylish shoes out there but they are not always the most comfortable. Remember you’ll be standing in line for long periods of time and are going to want cushioning; foot pain can lead to back pain that leads to headaches and fatigue – all bad when you need to be on the go for 20 hours a day (that will seriously be the case in terms of time at Con).
Personally, I’ll be wearing a few different pairs of shoes. My Converse Chucks and Comix ZIPZ will look cool but I added some Dr. Scholl’s gel inserts for extra padding. The most comfortable and my highest recommended shoe this year are SANUKS slip-ons.
My girlfriend and I have been testing these half shoes/half sandals out for the last few months at Disneyland, in lines for midnight movies, and general shopping weekends. Vanessa says for the ladies these shoes are comfortable, a good fit and hold up on long days. Same goes for the guys; these shoes go with jeans and shorts, no laces to keep tied, have a really cushiony sole and barely weigh anything. I’ll be wearing these for three of the five days I am in San Diego. (And if SANUKS is reading this, Vanessa and I are totally willing to do endorsements for shoes)
I already mentioned things like fresh SHARPIES, bags and boards for comics, batteries and chargers for your devices in my “How To Survive Comic Con” article. I want to focus on a few specific items here though:
Poster tubes are a life-saver for, well, posters and art prints. These little cardboard tubes tossed inside your regular bag will prevents tears, wrinkles and crunching of precious purchases and S.W.A.G. while at Comic Con. You can get one for under ten dollars anywhere shipping products are sold or find a fancier plastic one with a carrying strap on the Exhibit Hall floor for a little more.
Comics Cases are becoming extremely popular. Two years ago I barely ever saw attendees using them but now, you can see them in many fans’ bags. I found one on Amazon for ten dollars but it may be late for shipping purposes. Check with local comic shops and on the Exhibit Hall floor to pick up one of these, holds a dozen bagged & boarded comics, organizes them for easy access at signings, and keeps them from bends and crunching in your bag.
A good back pack or carrying bag is also a MUST HAVE at the convention. A bag is someplace to store chargers, S.W.A.G., your jacket or even to block the wind (just in case). Padding on the straps of a bag is important to remember because of the amount of time they will be carried as well as the capacity of the bag for your needs. This year’s WB S.W.A.G. bags have been shrunk down (no longer 3’ x 3’ and added a cape) to make them easier to maneuver through crowds with and should serve as a good “carry all” for attendees (NOT TO MENTION IT’S FREE). When the bag gets too heavy to carry, other exhibitors will be giving out other free bags and you can drop the filled bag at the “Holding Service” in the lobby of the convention center until the end of the day and fill a new bag.
What it really all comes down to what you will be comfortable walking around wearing and carrying. The lighter the better and the longer you’ll be able to last for those exclusive panels and S.W.A.G. chases. Now finish packing and start resting, we have less than a week until Fanboys and Fangirls take over San Diego, CA for a week of awesomeness!